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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Google Censoring More P2P sites

Google’s efforts to overcome its piracy responsibilities have already taken the form of filtering all of the renowned file-sharing services from both its Autocomplete and Instant services.

After the search giant filtered words like “RapidShare”, “torrents”, and “BitTorrent”, experts noticed a rapid decrease in its searches. When they started the filtering system at the beginning of this year, they only filtered a couple of piracy-related terms. However, with new legislation named SOPA coming in hard, companies became cautious, and this is not surprising.

Now more search terms, including “the pirate bay,” “isohunt,” “torrentreactor,” and many other names of popular torrent trackers were excluded from Google’s “Autocomplete” and “Instant” services. Our service wasn’t left aside – it turned out that Goggled censored “extratorrent” term as well. In addition, the updated blacklist also covered websites like Fileserve and Filesonic.

Meanwhile, even if the search engine isn’t censoring the site itself, the implemented system is causing a significant drop in the service’s searches for the blacklisted terms. Google’s representatives were talking about the efficiency of the system, saying that there was no silver bullet for copyright infringement committed online, but this censoring system can be considered one of many that the company has implemented to fight it. Google admitted that this was something it looked at and decided to make some relatively easy changes to its Autocomplete algorithm to make some positive difference.

However, the industry observers point at the other side of the move. For example, isoHunt’s owner claimed that Google’s actions might lead to some negative path, pointing out that this move is more subtle than the filtering attempts made possible by the pending anti-piracy bills, while remaining censorship and starting small. The search giant is simply becoming a self-righteous Big Brother of the Internet, which can’t be encouraged by the industry players.
The Pirate Bay also commented the new system, saying that it was simply another step towards filtering their search engine without any sound legal basis. The Pirate Bay was also wondering why Google implemented the censoring system at almost the same time as they have released Google Music – a service for selling music which might also be found on different BitTorrent trackers

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