Argentina Forcing Google & Yahoo To Censor Search Results from Search Engine Land covers this very well. In short, Argentina is forcing, by court order, Yahoo and Google to censor their search results. The results being censored are for select public officials, models, actors, and sports stars.
For example, a search on popular soccer player, Diego Maradona returns no results at all and a message that means:
On the occasion of a court order sought by private parties, we have been forced to temporarily remove some or all of the search results relating to it.
Here is a screen capture:
Why do results come up at Google? Well, Google is censoring the results, but not completely removing the results like Yahoo.
We have discussion on this topic at Sphinn where one member seems to really know a thing or two on the topic. He said:
This is an incredible story - congrats to OpenNet Initiative for reporting this (and SEL + Ramkarthik for spreading the word :)
My first thought was that the Argentinean government had these results removed - it´s no secret that the Los Kirchner censore with a ´soft hand´ (critical journalists are not invited to press conferences, economical figures are´adjusted´ etc.). I was quite surprised to read that it´s actually private parties who have their online presence removed. I´m no expert in law, but find it hard to understand how an Argentinean private party can oblige international SE´s to have their ´names´removed from the SERP´s (and as a result other people with the same name loose their online presence as well).
Under which law do these SE´s operate? Any ideas?
Under the laws of which they run in that specific country. That is how it works.
Forum discussion at Sphinn.