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Google and Yahoo criticise Australia's internet filter plans
March 30, 2010
8:42 am
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rath
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Google and Yahoo criticise Australia's 'heavy-handed' internet filter plans

Monday 29 March
guardian.co.uk,

Australia came under fire today from the United States for its proposed internet filtering system, which, if implemented, would be the strictest of any democracy.

A US state department official said that it had raised concerns with Australia over the plans, which are to be voted on by its parliament.

"We remain committed to advancing the free flow of information, which we view as vital to economic prosperity and preserving open societies globally," Michael Tran, a state department spokesman told the Associated Press.

"We don't discuss the details of specific diplomatic exchanges, but I can say that we have raised our concerns on this matter with Australian officials."

Internet companies Google and Yahoo have already condemned the proposal as a heavy-handed measure that could restrict access to legal information.

Australia's communications minister, Stephen Conroy, said the filter would block access to sites that include child pornography, sexual violence and detailed instructions in crime or drug use. The list of banned sites could be updated based on public complaints. But he declined to say what the US had told Australia.

National censorship of overseas sites is becoming a trade issue. Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, told the Guardian last week :"Since services and information are our most successful exports, if regulations in China effectively prevent us from being competitive, then they are a trade barrier."

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.

"Our primary concern is that the scope of content to be filtered is too wide," Google wrote in its submission to the Australian government, suggesting that the filter – which would be mandatory and state-controlled – would slow browsing speeds.

The company said it already had its own filter to block child pornography.

"Some limits, like child pornography, are obvious. No Australian wants that to be available and we agree," Google said. "But moving to a mandatory ISP-level filtering regime with a scope that goes well beyond such material is heavy-handed and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information."

Lucinda Barlow of Google Australia told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the proposal raised the possibility of banning politically and socially controversial material and went beyond filters used in Germany, Canada and Italy. Other critics say the filtering would put Australia in the same censorship league as China.

Yahoo said the filter would block many sites with controversial content such as euthanasia discussion forums and gay and lesbian forums that discuss sexual experiences. Yet it would not block peer-to-peer file-sharing, nor prevent predators approaching children in chat programs or social networking sites.

Conroy said his department would take the comments from Google and Yahoo into consideration before sending a proposal to parliament later this year.

The US State Department sided with Google in its row with China over censorship when in January the search engine company complained that its systems had been hacked into in what it implied was an attack all but government-sanctioned by China. Last week Google moved its search systems to the Chinese island dependency of Hong Kong. The communist government responded by blocking searches from the mainland for forbidden topics such as the pro-democracy movement.

David Vaile of the Cyberspace Law and Policy Center at the University of New South Wales said China and Australia had markedly different approaches to restricting the Internet.

"China's filter is explicitly about discouraging access to and discussion of certain clearly political topics," he said, while Australia's filter would focus on specifically restricted material.

While some critics of Australia's filter have said it puts the nation in the same censorship league as China, Vaile pointed out that the freedom-of-speech argument used by American companies follows a legal tradition that other countries do not necessarily share.

Yahoo and Google are accustomed to the protections of the First Amendment of the US constitution,which guarantees freedom of speech and elevates it to a very high legal status, Vaile said.

"In Australia there is no equivalent," he said. "There is no law that says you've got free speech. Having a lack of any legal protection for free speech for any effective restraint on [filters] is something that's worrying."

April 16, 2010
5:07 pm
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sandra
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"In Australia there is no equivalent," he said. "There is no law that says you've got free speech. Having a lack of any legal protection for free speech for any effective restraint on [filters] is something that's worrying."

Its just not enough, the filtering through the net, its becoming an outgrown source. They filter everything they can as it is, and so I've been anticipating something new to hit the market that will target daily use, besides that of internet or cells etc.

“Living backwards!” Alice repeated in great
astonishment. “I never heard of such a thing!”
“—but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s
memory works both ways.”
— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

April 17, 2010
9:09 pm
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Its just not enough, the filtering through the net, its becoming an outgrown source. They filter everything they can as it is, and so I've been anticipating something new to hit the market that will target daily use, besides that of internet or cells etc.

awwwww...PETE...wheres that UNCONDITIOAL LOVE theory of yours...

backing out of it so soon....lmgo Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh

(this is too friggin funny) 😉

April 18, 2010
4:00 pm
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rath
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"sandra" wrote:

"In Australia there is no equivalent," he said. "There is no law that says you've got free speech. Having a lack of any legal protection for free speech for any effective restraint on [filters] is something that's worrying."

Its just not enough, the filtering through the net, its becoming an outgrown source. They filter everything they can as it is, and so I've been anticipating something new to hit the market that will target daily use, besides that of internet or cells etc.

Yhe .. its bullshitt alright.

April 20, 2010
8:03 am
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could be a lil cow shyt in there as well rath..its not always the bull at fault...

though he does seem to take the blame for it all..

sure a few "mad" cows got involved..

theys get their pussys tied in a not over any thing...

heres a goodbye song for you rath...

and thankyou..

I do admire you the most on here right now..

though I'm still gonna do the no rules fighting

just for practice...

Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh

k..my good bye song..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....&NR=1

April 20, 2010
8:13 am
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😆 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....&NR=1

does a lil two step dance....

with the google bot..and the yahoo bots...

theys so much fun...

I know..won plenty of card games with bot 3...

he used to pray with me as well...

prove me wrong greeney2......

😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

cause i can PROVE YOU WRONG !!!!!!!

just waiting...

till you pull your head outa the sand...

hi John....

hows tricks going???

getting the dough in all the right places...

ahhhh...

sheyes all i need

and jesus ..of course

nothing like the "sacred heart"..to show you whats up and whats down

(shrugs)

ok..back to my mission...

unconditionally love...

😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

I could laugh all day at that one...

maybe even a whole week

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