A U.S. federal judge has officially opposed a ruling from a Canadian Supreme Court that would have seen a website and associated pages owned by Datalink de-indexed. De-indexing, for those who may not know, would have seen those web pages removed from Google's search engine – effectively making it impossible for them to be found by prospective customers. Datalink has been accused of selling products that violated the intellectual property of a Canadian company called Equustek, which is what led to the ruling from the Canadian court in question. The U.S. rejection of that ruling, meanwhile, stems out of a response from Google, though the company itself was never a defendant in the original case.
For its part, Google made efforts to halt the enforceability of the ruling within the U.S. on the basis that it violates the First Amendment, in particular with regards to free speech. The judge overseeing the case, Edward Davila, went further to say that opposing the Canadian ruling would be in the service of "public interest" since that ruling would have forced intermediaries to remove links to third-party material. That, in and of itself, Davila commented, would be a threat to free speech on the internet. However, the judge ultimately dismissed Google's reasoning. Instead, the court pointed to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as a being reason enough to dismiss the Canadian ruling as it pertains to Google's operation within the U.S. The company responsible for filing the initial claims in Canada, Equustek, did not make an appearance during the proceedings leading up to the U.S. court's decision.
Interestingly, this is the same Section of the Act that Google attempted to invoke in a Colombian case earlier this year, although Google was forced to take down the pages involved in that particular case – primarily because it was hosted on Blogger. The article in question is intended to prevent platforms that exist on the Internet from being held liable for what users of said platforms say or post on the platform. More directly, in this case, the court found that Google is not responsible for the content of the websites that appear in its search results since the information and products in question are not being promoted by the search giant.