The EU decided that, if you find something embarrassing on Google and there’s no legal reason for it to be there, you can have it expunged. They call it the “right to be forgotten.”
The US, however, doesn’t have that law and you certainly don’t have the right to be forgotten there.
If you’re in the EU, you will get the censored version of search results made on Google.
If you’re in the US, you’ll get everything.
With a VPN, where you are changes at the push of a button, and that can mean a lot if you’re trying to find information about someone that they might not want you to see.
How it Works
If you’re on any of Google’s EU sites, the search results will conform to the EU’s right to be forgotten laws. If someone had something embarrassing show up on Google, they got it scrubbed from the indexes and you searched for them from Google.fr, for instance, you wouldn’t see the objectionable information.
If you flipped on your VPN, set your IP to the US and searched the Google.com site, however, you’d see the complete version of results.
While this is obviously counter to the spirit of the EU law, it’s also uncensored and might be useful in some situations. Job applicants, for instance, can be vetted more thoroughly. Even potential roommates could be checked out to a greater degree before one opts to live with them.
Google’s geolocation features will take care of conforming to the law. The company is cooperating with the EU and taking down information that’s been the subject of a legitimate complaint under EU law.
How to Choose a VPN
We’re not recommending anyone skirt the law, but censorship is a controversial tactic and not everyone agrees with it.
Oddly enough, people in the EU might find themselves having to employ the same techniques that people in totalitarian nations use to see the uncensored Internet.
If you’re in the EU and want to see uncensored search results, a VPN server in the US will allow you to do it.
VPN services almost universally have US servers, so if you need to search Google.com rather than Google.de, any of the providers on this list will allow you to do so.