What is Google's Foreign Policy?

Search giant publishes number of government censorship requests

Thursday, April 22, 2010


A Chinese flag flies next to the Google company logo outside the Google China headquarters in Beijing on March 22, 2010. (LIU JIN/AFP/Getty)

Last month Google said enough is enough and moved its search operations out of mainland China, causing noticeable diplomatic waves. Yesterday, the company took another step, revealing some of the extent of its foreign policy. It published this explanation of censorship requests from all the governments with whom they deal.

Along with that is a "Government Request Tool," which is an interactive map of the world that shows how many times national governments have asked Google to remove a link, or other content, or how often they requested data from Google.

Jeffrey Rosen, law professor at George Washington University, says this reveals a little more about Google's diplomatic efforts as the company is increasingly forced by circumstance to act like a country, complete with foreign relations.

We'll follow this conversation up tomorrow with a conversation directly with Google. We'll talk to the woman who oversees much of this decision making: Nicole Wong, deputy general counsel for Google. 


Jeffrey Rosen

Produced by:

Alex Goldmark

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