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Online Censorship Opposed by ICP, Under EU "Privacy" & DMCA in US

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 9 -- What is censorship? Late on January 8, 2016, Inner City Press received a notice from Google that a page on its website, an article concerned Kosovo, would henceforth be blocked from Search from Europe. The notice is published below, along with Inner City Press' response.

  While still seeing this as censorship, at least in this case Google provided notice of what it had done, and a form to petition for the page's reinstatement. By contrast, when Reuters' UN bureau chief Louis Charbonneau ex parte claimed to Google that his email to the UN, seeking to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN, was somehow copyrighted, Google did not provide any notice, but simply blocked access to the leaked document, from everywhere.

  Inner City Press only learned of this censorship by a fluke, and by the notice put up by the Chilling Effects project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF, hat-tip).

   That experience has led Inner City Press, alongside its reporting on the UN and IMF and on predatory lending by banks, under-regulation by the Federal Reserve and others, to dig into the ways in which the Trans Pacific Partnership could globalize the type of censorship the Reuters bureau chief got Google to do, using the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, DMCA. This has become a project of the new Free UN Coalition for Access.

  In this January 2016 case, here is what Google sent to Inner City Press:

"Notice of European data protection removal from Google Search

To: Webmaster of,

Due to a request under data protection law in Europe, Google can no longer show one or more pages from your site in Google Search results. This only affects responses to some search queries for names or other personal identifiers that might appear on your pages. Only results on European versions of Google are affected. No action is required from you.

What we’d like you to know: These pages haven’t been blocked entirely from our search results

They’ve only been blocked on certain searches for names on European versions of Google Search. These pages will continue to appear for other searches.

We aren’t disclosing which queries have been affected.
In many cases, affected queries don’t relate to the name of any person mentioned prominently on the page.

For example, the name might only appear in a comment section.
You can notify us of concerns

If you have additional information regarding the content of a page that you believe warrants a reversal, you can notify Google. Please note that while we read all requests, we do not always respond. Only the registered siteowner can access this form.
Here are the affected URL(s):

  And here is what Inner City Press, confined to 250 characters per box, has sent to Google:

This article concerns Kovoso. Most individuals it it are public figures. Perhaps 1 individual in it filed a spurious request to censor. But see, for example,, online.


"Reporting on contested areas such as Kosovo is in the public interest and should not be censored, particularly not based on an anonymous complaint. This is a request for Google's response to  what we see as a form of censorship.

Inner City Press reports on the UN, and here, Kosovo. We note previously unexplained censorship and false invocation of copyright: We request reversal of both, and an explanation."

  Watch this site.


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