France is trying to force Google to remove search results for certain people around the world through the EU's "right to be forgotten" law, and the Internet search giant is saying no. Instead, Google is willing to block those search results in countries governed by EU laws, but is refusing to do so throughout the rest of the world. Google is arguing the EU law, if enforced around the world, would reduce Internet access to only what the most restrictive countries allow.
Google to France: No worldwide "right to forget" rules!
Google's resistance stemmed from a June order from France to remove references for a specific person in search results not only in France, but around the world. Google refused to make an all-encompassing wipe of references to the person saying that would lead to "race to the bottom [where] the Internet would only be as free as the world's least free place," according to Reuters.
For France and some other EU countries, however, that's not good enough. They want to control Google, Bing, and other search results world wide over concerns that people can easily switch to search engines hosted outside of their countries.
France has threatened to fine Google for refusing its and so far the company doesn't seem overly concerned. Instead, Google seems ready to dig in its heals and ride this one out.
Google's argument for refusing to comply holds water because no single country should be in a position to control Internet access throughout the rest of the world; that's a path that would undermine the value of the Internet regardless of where you live. In this case, Google is living up to its "do no evil" credo and hopefully will stick to its guns.