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Kat Hannaford
—The country Kazakhstan has changed the way it allows websites to be accessed, with all websites with a .kz domain now required to have their hosting within the country. After the whole China debacle, Google’s not au fait with that at all.

Writing on the Google Blog, Bill Coughran, SVP of Research & Systems Infrastructure said:

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 have 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.

Kazakhstan now has similar search quality to that of China’s last year, whose searches were rerouted to the Hong Kong Google search, before China renewed their hosting license. [Google Blog]

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