The Privacy BlogPrivacy, Security, Cryptography, and Anonymity

Apr/09

19

Google stands up to Korean push against anonymity

YouTube Korea squelches uploads, comments | Digital Media – CNET News

I am very pleased that Google is taking a stand against Korean anti-privacy laws. The law in question requires large Internet services (like YouTube) to collect real name information about any user posting content or comments. In response, Google has completely cut off any posting or commenting through the Korean version of the site. The solution Google proposes is that users should simply log in to a non-Korean version of the site and post away. This way Google never  needs to capture identifying information.

It will be interesting to see if Korea responds by trying to block access to all non-Korean versions of YouTube. Obviously anonymity tools provide an excellent end run around this kind of restriction.

I find myself of two minds on how to feel about this action. On the one hand, it respects Korea’s right to set its own laws within its borders, without allowing any one country to dictate how the rest of the world will use such tools. On the other hand, I find such anti-privacy policies so repugnant, I would like to see companies simply refuse to comply and pull hardware out of that country while continuing to provide the service.

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6 comments

  • Christopher · May 25, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    anonymity…

    Intriguing idea, but I don’t know if I believe you one hundred percent….

  • Jason · June 11, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Google (aka Big Brother) is the biggest hypocrite. They track everything you do, and collect so much information on each person without their knowledge it’s scary. Rest assured Google knows exactly who you are and how you spend your time and money online without you having to explicitly provide your personal info, as in Korea.

    Just look at the TOC it tried to sneakily implement with its Chrome browser that got shouted down by Internet users. Do you think Google is a charity? It is a multi-hundred-billion dollar company that is accountable to its shareholders, i.e. its primary purpose is to make money, not protect your privacy.

  • Ted · July 30, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Google caved in to China

  • Dan the survey tool guy · August 20, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Well I think this is a great stand done by Google. Nice blog by the way!

  • Alan · February 24, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Google will allow search on it’s web site with Anonymizer Universal running, but it blocks attempts to use the “Cached” link.

    This is useful when you have a search term that may appear sparsely in a long web page. The color coding also helps show proximity of multiple search terms.

    The block says:
    “We’re sorry…
    “… but your computer or network may be sending automated queries. To protect our users, we can’t process your request right now.”

    Any fix in the works, or do we have to unprotect ourselves to do this?

  • Author comment by lance · February 25, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    This is the first report I have heard of this issue. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I will make sure the team gets to work on a solution.

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