Internet censorship efforts becoming more blatant

“(Google) said it had seen a troubling increase in (government) requests to remove political content.  Many of these requests came from western democracies not typically associated with censorship.” 

“When we started releasing this data, in 2010, we noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services.  We hoped this was an aberration.  But now we know it’s not.” – Dorothy Chou, Google’s senior policy analyst.

Ms. Chou is being perhaps a tad generous when she suggests that Western democracies are not normally inclined towards censorship.  Although her statement could be taken as allowing that some western countries are indeed guilty, the use of the word “democracies” renders that thought contradictory.

Google has a pretty good track record of not blocking material from their search results, but that situation could change rapidly.  Think of Google’s experiences in dealing with China on such issues.  Google has stood firm to the best of its ability, but as the Daily Mail reports in an article also of today’s date, “Google already closed its China-based search engine – but users in China can still access Google searches in Hong Kong… China censors the results – but Google has now added a feature that suggests alternatives for search terms that might result in blocked results”, see here.

In Canada, we could potentially find ourselves in a similar situation if the federal government decides to start ordering Google to filter out unwanted websites and opinions, and backs that up with punitive legislation.  The bill repealing the notorious “Section 13” legislation now merely needs Royal Assent to take effect, but every one of the provinces and territories has its own “human rights” legislation and accompanying parasitical “industry”, and we can expect the forces of multiculturalism and uncontrolled immigration to resort to that now.  There will be a price to pay before we can dispose of them also.

And although the federal government removed the so-called “lawful access” provisions from its just-passed “omnibus bill”, there is speculation that such provisions are being revamped and re-branded for a further attempt at a later date, see here.   

In all this excitement I don’t know if the “link to a hate-site and go to jail” provisions were included in the omnibus bill, and although such legislation would be extremely difficult to enforce, there are powerful interests in this country that would very much like to see that happen, such as the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (successor to the Canadian Jewish Congress), and others determined to stamp out criticism of Israel and to criminalise White resistance to the ongoing dispossession of the  British, French, and other European founders of this country.

We have won a battle, but we have by no means won the war yet.

Jeff Goodall.

Google reports ‘alarming’ rise in censorship by governments

The Guardian
Dominic Rushe: June 18th, 2012

Search engine company has said there has been a troubling increase in requests to remove political content from the internet

There has been an alarming rise in the number of times governments attempted to censor the internet in last six months, according to a report from Google.

Since the search engine last published its bi-annual transparency report, it said it had seen a troubling increase in requests to remove political content. Many of these requests came from western democracies not typically associated with censorship.

It said Spanish regulators asked Google to remove 270 links to blogs and newspaper articles critical of public figures. It did not comply. In Poland, it was asked to remove an article critical of the Polish agency for enterprise development and eight other results that linked to the article. Again, the company did not comply.

Google was asked by Canadian officials to remove a YouTube video of a citizen urinating on his passport and flushing it down the toilet. It refused.

Thai authorities asked Google to remove 149 YouTube videos for allegedly insulting the monarchy, a violation of Thailand’s lèse-majesté law. The company complied with 70% of the requests.

Pakistan asked Google to remove six YouTube videos that satirised its army and senior politicians. Google refused.

UK police asked the company to remove five YouTube accounts for allegedly promoting terrorism. Google agreed. In the US most requests related to alleged harassment of people on YouTube. The authorities asked for 187 pieces to be removed. Google complied with 42% of them.

In a blog post, Dorothy Chou, Google’s senior policy analyst, wrote: “Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data, in 2010, we noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not.

“This is the fifth data set that we’ve released. Just like every other time, we’ve been asked to take down political speech. It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect – western democracies not typically associated with censorship.”

Over the six months covered by the latest report, Google complied with an average of 65% of court orders, as opposed to 47% of more informal requests.

Last month Google announced it was receiving more than one million requests a month from copyright owners seeking to pull their content from the company’s search results.

Fred von Lohmann, Google’s senior copyright counsel, said copyright infringement was the main reason Google had removed links from search terms.

He said the company had received a total of 3.3m requests for removals on copyright grounds last year, and was on course to quadruple that number this year. The company complied with 97% of requests.

See original here.

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