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If Australia censors the web, what will the others do?

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posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:26 PM
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If Australia censors the web, what will the others do?


www.smh.com.au

Censorship of the web is a growing problem around the world. According to the independent Open Net Initiative, the number of governments that censor has grown from about four in 2002 to over 40 today.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:26 PM
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Subsequent to my series of news article threads pertaining to this problem.....

This new article is by Ross LaJeunesse, head of policy and government affairs for Google Asia Pacific. Last night, amongst other things LaJeunesse stated the following:



"...many of the government restrictions we see today strike at the heart of an open internet. They also violate article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."



Then LaJeunesse went on to say:



"But while we view comparisons of Australia's filtering proposal to China's censorship regime as unhelpful and inappropriate, we also worry the government's plans to enforce mandatory filtering could legitimise government censorship elsewhere.

We worry that it is a first step away from free expression and a free and open internet.



I am in agreement with LaJeunesse's commentary.

I hope that Rudd & Conroy & other politicians will decide not to revisit this internet censorship package, subsequent to the initial "breathing space" their delay has perhaps allowed.

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not


www.smh.com.au
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 11-5-2010 by Maybe...maybe not]



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:29 PM
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Here is the article in full, for your convenience.



If Australia censors the web, what will the others do?

ROSS LAJEUNESSE
May 12, 2010

Censorship of the web is a growing problem around the world. According to the independent Open Net Initiative, the number of governments that censor has grown from about four in 2002 to over 40 today.

Growing government censorship of the web is undoubtedly driven by the fact that record numbers of people have access to the net and they are creating more content than ever before. Every eight minutes, on average, more than 2 million words are written on Blogger and more photos are viewed on Picasa web albums than exist in the entire Time-LIFE photo collection.

This flood of new content creates challenges for governments accustomed to controlling traditional print and broadcast media. Most of us agree there are limits to what information should be available online. Obviously, child pornography has no place on the internet or anywhere else. But many of the government restrictions we see today strike at the heart of an open internet. They also violate article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

The most recent example of Google confronting government censorship occurred in China. We launched our Chinese search engine - google.cn - in January 2006 because we believed the benefits of increased access to information for people in China outweighed our discomfort in agreeing to censor some results.

Since then, we have seen increasing attempts to limit free speech on the web in China. Numerous sites including YouTube, Facebook, The Guardian newspaper's site, Twitter, Blogger and Wikipedia have been blocked, some of them indefinitely.

The increasing censorship, combined with some highly sophisticated cyber attacks (some of which targeted the accounts of human rights activists) originating from China led us to conclude that we were no longer willing to censor our search results in China. In March we stopped censoring our search services on google.cn. Users visiting that site are now redirected to google.com.hk, where we offer uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong.

This was not an easy decision. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search to Chinese users from our Hong Kong address is a sensible solution.

We are well aware the Chinese government can, at any time, block access to our services. Indeed we have already seen intermittent censorship of certain search queries on both our Hong Kong site and and google.com.

While China is perhaps the most dramatic example of Google confronting online censorship, it is not the only one. Google products - from search and Blogger to YouTube and Google Docs - have been blocked in 25 of the 100 countries where we offer our services. In addition, we regularly receive government requests to restrict or remove content from our properties.

When we receive those requests, we examine them closely to ensure they comply with the law, and we attempt to narrow the scope of the requests when we think they are overly broad. Where possible, we are also transparent with our users about what content we have been required to block or remove so they understand that they may not be getting the full picture.

To provide greater transparency around censorship, we recently announced a ''government requests'' website that provides information about the requests we receive from government agencies around the world to remove content or to provide information about our users.

We hope this will shine some light on the scale and scope of government requests globally. We also hope it is a first step towards increased transparency about these actions across the technology and communications industries. Closer to home, we have serious concerns about the Australian government's filtering plans.

While intended to improve online safety, the filter could block access to important information online and have a broader impact than expected. It is government intrusion on a communications medium that has flourished and developed free from government interference.

While we oppose the Australian government's proposal, it's important to note the current public debate about the government's filtering plan is itself a testament to Australia's free press and vibrant democracy - it's a public debate that wouldn't occur in many parts of the world.

But while we view comparisons of Australia's filtering proposal to China's censorship regime as unhelpful and inappropriate, we also worry the government's plans to enforce mandatory filtering could legitimise government censorship elsewhere.

We worry that it is a first step away from free expression and a free and open internet.

Ross LaJeunesse, head of policy and government affairs for Google Asia Pacific, was part of the affirmative panel at last night's iQ2 debate on the proposition that government should not censor the internet.

www.smh.com.au...


Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not

[edit on 11-5-2010 by Maybe...maybe not]



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:34 PM
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Just one more thing as I open this thread.....

The leading advertisement on the article page was a very large recruiting advertisement for ASIO.....

.....the Australian Security & Intelligence Organisation!

www.asio.gov.au...

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:48 PM
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I think the internet should be Censored. (wow I just felt a ripple of anger from beyond..)

Yes, by the companies that own the sites themselves. Like ATS here, they have a T&C and enforce it.

That is as far as internet censorship should be allowed to go.

The Internet is an immense network with no claim of sovereignty by any nation.

That is how we like it!



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 04:31 PM
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reply to post by DaMod
 


DaMod.....

The appalling Rudd & the appalling Conroy should just stay right out of this.

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not



posted on May, 11 2010 @ 06:35 PM
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Typical, the internet is a place where information goes out and the government can't do a thing to censor it especially if it is some stop secret information or deformating a government official. They know the internet is a valuable weapon for the common folk and want to stop its tracks.



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