Now The New York Times is getting into the game, this time censoring its own publicly available content so that Brits cannot read it.
"We had clear legal advice that publication in the U.K. might run afoul of their law," Times spokeswoman Diane McNulty said Tuesday. "It's a country that doesn't have the First Amendment, but it does have the free press. We felt we should respect their country's law."
Visitors who click on a link to the article, published Monday, instead got a notice explaining that British law "prohibits publication of prejudicial information about the defendants prior to trial." The blocked article reveals evidence authorities have in the alleged plot to use liquid explosives to down U.S. airliners over the Atlantic.
The Associated Press' spin on this is that it's all about advertising technology.
The BBC and other organizations also have blocked audio and video of Olympics competition because they bought licenses only for specific geographic regions. Likewise, to protect broadcast contracts, Major League Baseball has used similar technology to prevent live online access to games involving hometown teams.
The underlying blocking technology, known as geotargeting or geolocation, checks the numeric Internet address of a visitor's computer against databases showing the company or service provider to which that address was assigned.
The technique is not foolproof.
No kidding, for look at the fools implementing these policies.
It's not clear whether the Times' decision would make it more likely for news organizations to engage in country-specific self-censorship in the future, particularly in areas involving libel, where protections aren't as strong outside the United States.
After all, courts already have applied country-specific laws to the borderless Internet.
It appears that freedom of speech and information is not all that treasured by even the purported champions of their cause.