AltaVista and Google remove railsabotage links

AltaVista and Google will remove from their search engines hyperlinks to a Web site that gives details of how to sabotage railway...

AltaVista and Google will remove from their search engines hyperlinks to a Web site that gives details of how to sabotage railway systems after Deutsche Bahn, the German national railway operator, threatened to take legal action.

The Web address for the site, which contains articles from Radikal, a left-wing extremist publication that is illegal in Germany, will be put on AltaVista's "banned list", AltaVista spokesman Karl Gregory said yesterday. It will be about three days before the site will stop showing up on AltaVista's search results page, he added.

Google removed the links and the cached versions of the Web pages after it received a letter from Deutsche Bahn on Tuesday, said Google spokeswoman Cindy McCaffrey.

"We have indeed removed the links from our site and are in the process of resolving the matter with Deutsche Bahn," she said late yesterday.

The Google caching feature, which stores a snapshot of Web pages, is intended to let users view sites when they are inaccessible because of technical problems, not when they have been taken down, McCaffrey said. The original site where the articles appeared was taken down earlier this week following a court order.

"In this case the site has been taken down and we received a request to remove the link and the cache, with which we have decided to comply," she said.

Deutsche Bahn won a case in the Amsterdam District Court forcing Dutch service provider XS4ALL Internet to block access to the Radikal articles hosted on its servers. Deutsche Bahn wants the search engine links removed because they "advertise" the handbook for destruction.

If Deutsche Bahn does take action, it would do so in Germany, where all three search engine companies have subsidiaries. The company feels it would not stand a chance in a US court because of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Observers, however, believed new antiterrorisim rules in the US could mean a win for Deutsche Bahn.

Read more on IT legislation and regulation

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.