Feeds

Google weighs in to Aussie firewall row

Not so vocal on China, lads?

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Google has criticised the Australian government's forthcoming mandatory ISP censorship system for targeting a "too wide" a range of content.

While supporting blocking of child abuse material, Iarla Flynn, Google Australia's head of policy today wrote that "moving to a mandatory ISP 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".

Google said its intervention was motivated by its "bias in favour of people's right to free expression".

The Australian government yesterday announced laws to impose the filters, following trials.

As well as child abuse material, the Australian filters will block "bestiality, sexual violence, detailed instruction in crime, violence or drug use and/or material that advocates the doing of a terrorist act". The blacklist will be drawn up by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which also regulates broadcasters.

Citing instructions for safer drug use and sites about euthansia as examples of content that may be blocked, Flynn wrote: "This type of content may be unpleasant and unpalatable but we believe that government should not have the right to block information which can inform debate of controversial issues."

Google's influential voice adds to opposition to the laws, which has united civil libertarians, ISPs and the Australian Sex Party.

Commmunications minister Stephen Conroy, who has driven the filtering scheme, has so far dismissed concerns however. He is backed by Christain groups.

Conroy said popular comparisons with China's Great Firewall, which is used to suppress dissent online, are "baseless". Google's principled criticism makes no such comparison, despite the fact that China is a massive emerging market for its search engine. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.