'Hidden from Google' lists pages hidden from internet searches

'Hidden from Google' lists pages hidden from internet searches

Summary: A website has been set up to list links Google has removed from search results following the European 'right to be forgotten' ruling.

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After a European Court ruled that individuals hold "the right to be forgotten" online, Google was forced to remove particular links. One website aims to keep a record of these actions.

Hidden from Google has curated a set of links removed following the ruling, which states that individuals can request links to be removed from internet searches if the pages contain information about them that is deemed "unfair, outdated and objectionable."

The "right to be forgotten" ruling was enforced in May. Under the terms of the court's decision, search engines can be forced to remove links to items that could, over time, be deemed irrelevant and incompatible with the 1995 Data Protection Directive. While some critics have argued the ruling is unfair and degrades the right to free speech, others have suggested this gives individuals more power to protect their privacy and digital footprint.

The website does provide a disclaimer, and states that "the Censored Search Term(s) field in the list above does not denote the individual who requested the removal of the link by Google. It only lists terms that have, at a given time, been censored on a Google EU domain."

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The Hidden from Google website says:

This list is a way of archiving the actions of censorship on the internet. It is up to the reader to decide whether our liberties are being upheld or violated by the recent rulings by the EU.

Afaq Tariq, the US-based developer of the website says that journalists, news articles, and user submissions "are the biggest driving force here," and "In a few (rare) instances, we search for censored articles by search terms which are inspired by well known scandals/news stories in the recent past." Some users of the website, however, have questioned the validity and search terms provided.

At the moment, 15 examples are on the list, each of which are checked on both the US and EU Google search engine versions — as the court ruling only impacts European search results. However, Tariq has requested other developers' assistance in order to process and fact-check new submissions.

Topics: Google, Government, Legal, Privacy

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5 comments
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  • I can see

    this site getting requests to take the links down...
    wright_is
    • this site is not a search engine, it's a database

      besides, the site is US based and does not do any business in EU. what can EU do about it?
      vpupkin
      • It is irrelevant

        the ruling affects all sites that provide information. If the originating sight is protected (such as press sites like the Guardian, BBC etc.) and the original article cannot be removed, then the referencing sites have to take down their links to the sites.

        If the site is protected by being accredited press etc. then they will probably have to take the links down...

        That it isn't in the EU is possibly its saving grace, although they could possibly be asked to block IPs from the EU... But given that the USA wants to break down all borders and say that it has jurisdiction in Ireland to sieze data, I can't see why the EU can't retaliate and claim it has jurisdiction over US based servers. What is good for the goose is good for the gander, as they say.
        wright_is
        • "they could possibly be asked to block IPs from the EU"

          EU can ask all they want but they simply have no way of enforcing it when the company/person running the web site has no ties with EU. Unless of course they are willing to follow suite after China and erect the Great Firewall of Europe.
          vpupkin
  • Let's post

    Let's post all their personal information and refuse to remove it.
    Buster Friendly