31 Mar '14, 4pm

US Court Says Baidu Has Free Speech Right To Censor Search

Late last week Chinese search engine Baidu succeeded in gaining dismissal of a lawsuit by pro-democracy activists based in New York (Zhang et al. v. Baidu.com, Inc). Plaintiffs had sued in the US and argued that Baidu improperly blocked them from seeing content on the search engine. Specifically, according to Reuters , the plaintiffs said that people in the US couldn’t access content (including their work) advocating greater openness and democracy in China. Among other remedies, they were seeking $16 million in damages. Ironically, the US District Court judge said that Baidu’s right to censor its search results was protected under the First Amendment to the US Constitution — which generally protects and promotes free speech and is an anti-censorship provision. According to Reuters’ discussion of the judge’s ruling, he opined: “The First Amendment protects Baidu’s right to ...

Full article: http://searchengineland.com/ironic-victory-us-court-says-...

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