April 22, 2003

The Church of Scientology against Google
April 25, 2002, Russian BBC

The American Church of Scientology is leading a fight with the popular Google search pages in an attempt to not permit distribution over the Internet of material it considers to be secret.

Church representative had managed to get Google to remove links to the Operation Clambake site, where Scientology is presented as a profit-oriented cult.

Lawyers representing the Scientology Church have argued that the site contains material, the copyrights of which belong to the church.

The complaint is based on a law recently enacted in the USA, which was meant to administer copyright in correspondence with demands of the new era of information technology.

However, critics of the law assert that it restricts freedom to exchange information.

Although the Google company submitted to the demands of Scientology, all the same it avails itself of the law to link to other sites.

Reverse effect

Similarly, a tactic by representatives of the Scientology can bring about a completely contrary result. Google, in response to demands, automatically sends its copy to the chillingeffects.org page, which is concerned with civil liberties on the Internet.

Because of the increased attention brought by the mass media to this case, the collection of sites that link to Operation Clambake has increased all the more. As a result, which a search is done on Google for the word "Scientology" (in the English language), Operation Clambake comes up right after the official site of the Scientology Church.