Australia's Communications Director Takes a Shot at Google

Published Wednesday, March 31, 2010 -

Stephen Conroy, Australia's Communications Director, has been making headlines as the vitriolic minister lashes out at detractors of his internet filtering plan. His recent critical speech about Google has surfaced in international news after Google expressed discontent over the Australian government's plan to censor thousands of websites similar to the efforts of Chinese authorities. The Sydney Morning Herald had an extensive article on the issue that has made more than one critic of the Rudd government and it's censorship policies very upset and worried that this is a slippery slope leading to total government control of information. Bjorn Landfeldt, an associate professor with the University of Sydney Australia, said, "In effect, this could be interpreted by some as a government sanctioned hate list." Google said implementing mandatory filtering across Australia's millions of internet users could "negatively impact user access speeds." "We have a number of other concerns, including that filtering may give a false sense of security to parents, it could damage Australia's international reputation and it can be easily circumvented," Conroy went on television to take his shot at Google sighting recent problems with the Buzz web offering by Google which ran into difficulty as patrons complained it was private information being published. "This is a debate about freedom of access to information for all Australians, an issue of national importance. Let's focus on that," Google reacted. Debate over the issue of filtering and the addition of the web site blacklist continues in Australian parliament and is expected to continue into June of 2010 with a possible continuation after that. US President Barack Obama has also expressed concern over Conroy's intentions which brought a great deal of negative attention to the Conroy proposition.




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