Google has rejected demands from the Kazakhstan government that all local search requests should go through servers located in the country.
The search giant usually routes requests via whichever server will deal with it most quickly. It described any change to this as an attempt to create borders on the internet.
The order came last month from the Kazakh Ministry of Communications that all .kz domain names should be operated from servers within Kazakhstan – either as a boost for local data centres or a way to improve access for the security services we imagine.
Google used its public policy blog to explain that all requests from Kazakhstan would now be redirected to a version of google.com in Kazakh, rather than google.kz.
It said: "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."
Google said: "Measures that force internet companies to choose between taking actions that harm the open web, or reducing the quality of their services, hurt users. We encourage governments and other stakeholders to work together to preserve an open internet." ®