The genius of the Internet has always been its open infrastructure, it’s not limited by national boundaries, and it facilitates free expression, commerce and innovation in ways that we could never have imagined even 20 or 30 years ago.
However, some governments, are attempting to create borders on the web without full consideration of the consequences.
“Last month, the Kazakhstan Network Information Centre notified Google of an order issued by the Ministry of Communications and Information in Kazakhstan that requires “all .kz domain names, such as google.kz, to operate on physical servers within the borders of that country,” Google revealed. “This requirement means that Google would’ve to route all searches on google.kz to servers located inside Kazakhstan. (Currently, when users search on any of our domains, our systems automatically handle those requests the fastest way possible, regardless of national boundaries.),” Google stated.
“We find ourselves in a difficult situation: creating borders on the web raises important questions for us not only about network efficiency but also about user privacy and free expression. If we were to operate google.kz only via servers located inside Kazakhstan, we would be helping to create a fractured Internet. So we’ve decided to redirect users that visit google.kz to google.com in Kazakh. Unfortunately, this means that Kazakhstani users will experience a reduction in search quality as results will no longer be customized for Kazakhstan,” Google said.
[Source: Public Policy Blog]