p2pnet view P2P | Politics:- Well-known champion of online privacy Google has sided with the US government in casting a dubious eye at Australia’s plans to censor the internet on behalf of its citizens.
Google was the only company to completely fail an important six-month investigation into privacy practices employed by key Net-based companies, said p2pnet in 2007. And the US record on citizen privacy issues is, well, somewhat tattered.
Nonetheless, “Washington is worried about the impact of proposal, which would force internet service providers to block offensive material, including child pornography, bestiality and details on how to carry out criminal activity”, says the Telegraph, going on to quote US state department spokesman Michael Tran as declaring:
“Our main message of course is that we remain committed to advancing the free flow of information which we view as vital to economic prosperity and preserving open societies globally.
“We don’t discuss the details of specific diplomatic exchanges, but I can say that in the context of that ongoing relationship, we have raised our concerns on this matter with Australian officials.”
And if Google “really wants to stick it to Conroy it should just threaten to pull out of the former British penal colony altogether, just as it has already pulled out of China”, suggests The Inquirer. “Then millions of Australians would be stuck using Bing, and that might cause an armed uprising.”
Stephen Conroy is the suck — er, senator, who’s taking the heat for Kevin Rudd’s Labour government over the censorship scandal.
“In the next few weeks Conroy is bringing in legislation that will force all ISPs operating Down Under to block a blacklist of ‘refused classification’ websites for all Australians”, says the story, noting that according to Oz, “Most porn is okay but that featuring flat chested women is out because paedophiles apparently use that instead of kiddie porn.”
The last is in reference to the fact Australia’s film Classification Board recently became over-excited by women with small breasts, said p2pnet.
Meanwhile, says the Guardian, “Many countries — including the UK — use filtering systems to limit access to outlawed material: in the UK the independent Internet Watch Foundation lists sites internet service providers (ISPs) are asked to block. The list is secret, and frequently updated. In Germany and Canada ISPs use similar blocking systems; in Italy gambling sites are blocked.
“But critics say that the Australian plan, which has been proposed repeatedly over the past five years, exceeds what is necessary and strays into matters of free speech.”
Yahoo has also “condemned the proposal as a heavy-handed measure that could restrict access to legal information”, says the story.
Yahoo’s human rights record is possibly the most appalling of all. And none of the stories say how hard-core commercial US corporations which answer only to their investors and shareholders are able to criticise the political actions of a sovereign nation, and be quoted as credible authorities by the mainstream media.
Meanwhile, “Senator Conroy says his department has not been directly contacted by US officials”, but “took a swipe at Google for some of its policies on content, privacy and censorship”, says ABC News, adding >>>
“Not withstanding their alleged ‘do no evil’ policy, they recently created something called Buzz and there was a reaction. People said ‘well, look aren’t you publishing private information?’,” Senator Conroy said.
“The founder of Google said the following: ‘If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place’. He also said recently to Wall Street analysts: ‘We love cash’.
“So when people say ‘shouldn’t we just leave it up to the Googles of this world to determine what the filtering policy should be?’ – make no mistake, anybody who wants to go onto Google’s sites now and look up their filtering policy will actually find they filter more material and a broader range of topics than we are proposing to put forward.
“I’ll back our Parliament to stand fast on these issues from Google.”
..… and identi.ca
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
p2pnet – Google flunks major privacy study, June 11, 2007
Telegraph – US voices ‘concerns’ over Australia’s internet filter, March 29, 2010
The Inquirer – Australia attacks Google, March 30, 2010
p2pnet – Small-breasted women excite Oz film board, February 13, 2010
Guardian – Google and Yahoo criticise Australia’s ‘heavy-handed’ internet filter plans, March 30, 2010
ABC News – Conroy attacks Google in net filter row, March 31, 2010
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