Google Refuses To Comply With Australia’s Internet Censorship Regulations

When Google announced in Jan 16th this year that it stopped censoring search results for, it sparked off huge controversy over China’s stringent internet censorship, which has indirectly made the growing rift between China and the United States more prominent. And now Google says it won’t voluntarily comply with Australia’s internet censorship regulations, according to a report published by The Age.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said this week that he wants the search engine juggernaut to impose a censorship on certain YouTube videos that contain “refused classification” material as the Internet company has taken similar action on China and Thailand.

“What we’re saying is that in Australia these are our laws and we’d like you to apply our laws and so that we think that where we can reasonably work with them, we’re able to do it. I mean Google at the moment filter enormous amount of material on behalf of the Chinese government; they filter an enormous amount of material on behalf of the Thai government,” said Conroy.

However, Google Australia’s head of policy, Iarla Flynn responded to Conroy’s statement by saying that this would lead to the removal of many politically controversial, but harmless, YouTube clips.

“YouTube has clear policies about what content is not allowed, for example hate speech and pornography, and we enforce these, but we can’t give any assurances that we would voluntarily remove all Refused Classification content from YouTube,” Flynn said.

“The scope of RC is simply too broad and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information. RC includes the gray realms of material instructing in any crime from [painting] graffiti to politically controversial crimes such as euthanasia, and exposing these topics to public debate is vital for democracy.”

Meanwhile, it appears that 80 per cent of Australians support the government’s proposal of implementing a mandatory internet filter, according to a survey conducted by Australia’s leading research companies, McNair Ingenuity Research. The survey, commissioned by Hungry Beast, also found out that 91 per cent of Australians wants the government to release the list of blocked websites in the internet filter to the public. As of now, the Australian government plans to keep the list secret.

Via The Age, Hungry Beast