Google will not delete an inflammatory video currently playing a role in Muslim protests around the world, in spite of a take-down request from the White House.
The search giant is only censoring Innocence of Muslims in India, Indonesia, Egypt and Libya, where violent and deadly protests have broken out following the video’s translation into Arabic. Reuters reports on the company’s legalistic explanation for not just wiping the video completely from the web:
Google said [it] was further restricting the clip to comply with local law rather than as a response to political pressure.
“We’ve restricted access to it in countries where it is illegal such as India and Indonesia, as well as in Libya and Egypt, given the very sensitive situations in these two countries,” the company said. “This approach is entirely consistent with principles we first laid out in 2007.”
Innocence of Muslims was online for some time before the offensive, dubbed-in English dialogue in the clip was translated to Arabic. Since then protesters have been attacking U.S. embassies in heavily Muslim countries, the worst assault ending with the deaths of four American foreign service officials in Benghazi, Libya earlier this week, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
Police in California are currently investigating whether the film’s alleged creator, ex-con Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, may have somehow violated his parole when he produced the video.