Philipp Lenssen of Google Blogoscoped has compiled the answers to several questions on Google's censorship activities. He's listed several reasons why Google may have removed results for reasons of politics or regulations, either to comply with local authorities or to enforce copyright laws. He also outlines how Google's policies are viewed by local users, the search industry, and others.
In deciding whether the practice is "evil," according to Google's "don't be evil" motto, Lenssen points to two schools of thought:
- Censoring may not be great but it's the lesser of two evils
- Censoring is evil so needs to be avoided at all circumstances
In either case, Lenssen argues that censorship matters: "Ideas have effects on lives, and removing access to the ideas (for you can't ever remove an idea itself), does have a very real effect on us."