International laws force Google to block some Cloud services.
Rachel Whetsone, Google’s Vice President, Global Communications and Public Affairs, posted a ‘refresher’ on the state of Google’s services as they are used around the world. Interestingly, in a quarter of the countries where Google operates, some portion of its services are blocked.
Obviously things like child pornography are blocked globally, but on a more granular level, countries like Germany can request that sensitive areas like Nazi sites be blocked to comply with local laws (made by democratically elected leaders).
Alternatively, Turkey requested that certain Youtube videos that insult the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Ataturk, be blocked internationally. Google was willing to comply in Turkey, but wouldn’t block the videos internationally. That’s why Turkey now blocks Youtube.
As Whetstone states, China is the most polarizing and high profile example but there are many others. While they didn’t go into a specific country-by-country breakdown, Google did single out Vietnam as another country, like China, that censors searches for purely political reasons. Whetstone stated, “This is especially true in countries like China and Vietnam that do not have democratic processes through which citizens can challenge censorship mandates. We carefully evaluate whether or not to establish a physical presence in countries where political censorship is likely to happen.”