An investigation by Britain’s Guardian newspaper has found that Yahoo and Microsoft’s search engines have complied with an Indian law that requires the use of safe search settings, altering the search engine optimization (SEO) landscape for internet users in that country.
The Guardian reports that the Information Technology Act of 2000 was recently altered, causing the resulting changes in both Bing and Yahoo. Any Bing users who attempt to search for "indecent" material will receive a blocking notice, saying that "your country or region requires a strict Bing SafeSearch setting, which filters out results that might return adult content," according to the Guardian.
CNET reports that search engines or internet cafes that do not abide by the updated law could be liable for more than $10,000 in fines and three years of imprisonment.
Coincidentally, Bing caused a flurry of humorous comment among the tech punditry earlier this year when it was discovered that the search engine – produced by staid corporate titan Microsoft – was found to be an efficient adult content search tool.