[GRLUG] Nation content blockingal, not really [Was: NOT LINUX either]

Adam Tauno Williams awilliam at whitemice.org
Sun Sep 23 12:15:40 EDT 2012

PLEASE use a relevant Subject when posting.

> YouTube has blocked access to anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims
> in Saudi Arabia following a demand by Saudi ruler King Abdullah.
> The government had said it would block access to the entire YouTube
> website if owners Google did not comply.
> Google had rejected a request from the White House to remove the film,
> but has already blocked access to it in Libya, Egypt, Indonesia and
> India.
> Just curious, how does Google 
> block access to a country? 

(a) They don't, simply.  These kinds of statements are just an ignorant
'street' interpretation of what happens.   Journalists.... ugh.

(b) As for blocking the video - the copy of the video hosted on YouTube
- then YouTube [a subsidiary of Google] can obviously revoke access to
the content to whomever they like.

(c) As for blocking the video - the copy of the video hosted on YouTube
- from appearing in search results.  Google can do that.

But in neither case do they block access from "the country".  They block
access from IP address ranges that are allocated to that country or
allocated to entities that are chartered in that country [whois].  This
kind of blocking will block probably 99.44% of the joe-six pack web
surfers;  but it is not effective in keeping the content out of the
hands of the net-savy user.

And for almost any content - you can probably just get it elsewhere.

> Use the country code?  


> How to prevent the same item from coming in from a dozen different 
> directions?  i.e., just not from Google?

This won't do anything to prevent that.

> Not clear how even a country itself
> stops this, other than with some 
> hopeful filtering.

Deep packet inspection firewalls can be extrememly effective.  And
expensive in both monetary and resource cost. 
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