We all know the search engine Google and its vast power to find just about anything you need on the internet. But did you also know that Google works constantly to restrict various content around the world? Google’s mission statement is “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful”, according to the article reported by CNNMoney.com. However with so many countries having strict policies against particular topics, Google spends a great deal of time sorting out what it can and cannot allow displayed. For example, in Germany, France, and Poland pro-Nazi material or content is illegal to publish so Google avoids displaying links to any sites related to that type of material. And did you know that in Turkey internet users are not allowed to use YouTube at all within its borders? I found that interesting, I wonder if they can track you streaming YouTube content on your iPhone. Then again I am not about to be the one to find out!
From a positive point Google does not display links to any sites containing child pornography in any country regardless of laws and policies. They also do not allow content to be linked in which the host site does not have the copyright to. Google works closely with governments around the world to provide access to internet content and in the process controls two-thirds of the world’s search results. In these efforts they face challenges and are not always viewed in the most positive light. So just keep in mind that when you are visiting abroad and searching for the best place to get a bite to eat or place to shop for souvenirs, be careful where you Google!
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Jennifer Ulrich

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  1. While it's true that you need to understand local culture and law when you are traveling abroad, it is Google's responsibility in most of these cases to ensure it is acting in accordance with the local law and modus operandi. For example, where exceptions to Google's policy in a given region occur, Google will work with the local government on a one off or ad hoc basis to align themselves with that particular jurisdiction.

    Turkey, on the other hand, has outright blocked the YouTube domain and therefore you could not watch YouTube while visiting if you wanted to!