Google tests blocking of news in Canada in response to legislation

Tech giant Google is preventing some Canadian users from accessing news sites as a test run of its potential response to the Online News Act currently working its way through the Senate.

According to the Canadian Press, Google said it is temporarily limiting access to news content for under four per cent of its Canadian users as it assesses possible responses to the legislation. The change applies to its ubiquitous search engine as well as the Discover feature on Android devices, which carries news and sports stories.

“This action is unbecoming of a leading global company and is disrespectful to consumers of trusted Canadian news sources,” said Paul Deegan, president and CEO of News Media Canada.

A spokeswoman for Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez called the decision by the Tech Giant disappointing. It is a tactic that was employed by Meta last year.

Google said the test will run for about five weeks.