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This 104 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 104 ( 1 2 3 [4]     
Google and economic sanctions

 2:04 pm on Jul 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Two days ago I received e-mail from Google where they inform that they are unable to accept accounts for publishers residing in countries on the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control sanction list.
I live in Serbia and Montenegro and according to website of United States Office of Foreign Assets Control, there are no any sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro (http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/eotffc/ofac/sanctions/t11balk.pdf).
I participate in Adsense program for more than six month and there was no problems with this, even their TOS does not mention anything about this. I was very shocked and disappointed when I received this notice.
I would like to hear opinions and experience of other fellow webmasters about this matter.
Thank you very much,
Ilir Fekaj

Here is the notice:
<paraphrase by moderator>
Hello Ilir,

I am writing to inform you that your Google AdSense account has been
suspended. We are unable to accept accounts where the publisher resides in one of the countries on the United States Office Foreign Assets Control sanction list.

As your country of residence appears to be on this list, we have disabled your account and ads will no longer be served. We are required to withhold outstanding payments from you, and will be refunding advertisers for the clicks accrued on your publisher account.

We apologize for any inconvenience this situation may cause you.


The Google Team


[edited by: Jenstar at 2:10 pm (utc) on July 23, 2004]
[edit reason] Paraphrased email quote [/edit]



 3:59 pm on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Mario 123,

A few days ago you said, "I think that in a few days we'll read the following headlines in the papers"

I've been watching for them but haven't seen them yet. When do you expect this coverage to appear? In which newspapers?



 4:10 pm on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

McCarthyism, not Mac Carthism.

Even if you take the position that Google is commiting fraud and acting out of bad faith in dropping some AdSense members from "the Balkans," as some of the people posting on this thread claim, I don't see how anyone with any knowledge of history can compare this to McCarthyism. During the McCarthy era in the US, people's lives and reputations were ruined and fear and paranoia were rampant.

Let's calm down the rhetoric a bit. This is NOT on the same scale.


 5:43 pm on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)


Dear “The Google Team” and Goran Srdanovic,
I am a commercial representative working in the US Embassy in
Belgrade. As such, the number one priority of my job is to secure and help
generate US/S&M (Serbia and Montenegrin – Formerly Yugoslavian) trade. I am
sending this letter on behalf of the Embassy and American government to
state that there are no longer any such sanctions in place that would
justify the discontinuance of Goran Srdanovic’s account/relations of any
kind with google. It is true that the country, some years ago, was placed
on a sanctions list, now however there is a restriction of trade that
applies only to a small number of individuals from the country. These are
individuals who practiced in illegitimate business and/or helped perpetuate
the anti-democratic and human rights violating government.
For the aforementioned reasons, I would like to kindly direct “The
Google Team” to Goran’s previous letters (you will find a word document
attached). In these letters you will find the appropriate citings
specifying the nature of our trade relations (i.e. that there are no
sanctions whatsoever in place). If there are any more problems or questions
you may have please feel free to contact me.


Waiting for further development, the machine is rolling...


 5:54 pm on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sharing such information is a violation of Google's program policies, so publishers who accept your invitation may be jeopardizing whatever chance they have of reaching an accommodation with Google. I'm not saying they shouldn't talk to journalists; I'm simply pointing out the theoretical risks of revealing specific numbers or sharing confidential e-mails

I just don't care any more. They diplomatically told me that I am a criminal!


 6:47 pm on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

I just don't care any more. They diplomatically told me that I am a criminal!

No, they told you diplomatically that they don't want to be prosecuted as criminals. In the current U.S. political climate, their lawyers have probably determined that it's better to safe than sorry.


 8:04 pm on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Finally, an interesting development in this thread!

Srda, good job pursuing the embassy route. EFV is absolutely right in this regard: Google is probably under a lot of pressure. Hopefully this letter lets them cover their legal rears and settle this situation.

I think the Google lawyers messed up on this. I hope this thread gets back to the Google leadership and the situation gets resolved satisfactorily for all the publishers that were kicked out.


 8:57 pm on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well done, Srda.
Keep us informed on what happens next.


 10:29 pm on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nice work on getting the embassy chap on side Srda, respect your tenacity.


 11:09 pm on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think the Google lawyers messed up on this.

I wouldn't say they "messed up." They may have simply been too cautious. Either may, I hope the matter gets resolved satisfactorily for the publishers (though I suspect that won't happen if Google has already refunded the advertisers' payments).


 7:58 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

This scenario is sad, I don't think Google does this out of malice but you'd think that if they can't pay someone they would not enter an agreement to take their traffic in exchange for money.

I'm sure it's an oversight but it's a hard one for the small guy to swallow.

I wonder if Google can give them free traffic through adwords as compensation? Surely if Google can take traffic (but is legally prohibited from paying) they can give traffic?

After all, the sanctions do not stipulate that Google can't send traffic through regular results on serps, what about ads?

It'd be a nice touch for Google, and probably wouldn't cost them anything. The alternative is being party to a reaming of yet more publishers, even if it is not what they had wanted to do.


 8:26 am on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Folks let's get real.

Any US corporation has to be sensitive to the current political environment.

I don't like Google's actions in this case, but I do understand them.

If you happen to be an unfortunate capitalist in a society that favors others forms of government then you shouldn't be blaming your shortfall on those that share your opinions, you should be blaming your problem on those closer to home that don't!

I am not a US citizen, but I can relate to its philosophy....play fair and we will treat you as such, be hostile and we will be wary of you.....what the heck does anyone else expect? This seems fair enough to me :)


 12:22 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Play fair?


 2:11 am on Aug 7, 2004 (gmt 0)


Are you implying that the publishers were either "hostile" or somehow "unfair"? It's hard to tell where your blaiming them for their country's politics begins and ends.


 2:39 am on Aug 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you happen to be an unfortunate capitalist in a society that favors others forms of government

What is that supposed to mean?

Are you insinuating something about Serbian and Montenegrin society?

Do share with us, percentages, we're dying to hear it.

This 104 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 104 ( 1 2 3 [4]
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