In a concession to regulators, Google is . . . using “geo-blocking” technology to control what European users can see. Under the new system, Google will not only remove links on, say, google.fr, but it will block users in France from seeing those links on any other Google country site, or google.com itself. Unless they use tools like virtual private networks to disguise their locations, users in those countries will see pruned search results.
Some say this is a logical solution — avoiding global deletion, while letting a sovereign state enforce its laws, within its borders. But it is a big step away from the Internet’s promise of universally accessible information, and a big step toward a world of “splinternets.”