back to article Google takes China-buffed halo to Oz

Not content with taking on China, Google were today squaring up for another fight over internet censorship, this time with the Australian government. Google, in a submission to the Australian government, said it was worried that: "the scope of content to be filtered is too wide". The Australian proposals went "well beyond" …

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Anonymous Coward

I reckon...

Google knows that their data hogging has been so voracious that the "do no evil" mantra has become a joke ... so they're desparate to try and repair the damage.

yeh ... as if trailblazing the human rights flag will EVER give them the right to hoarde my data.

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Thumb Down

Yeah, but...

... Google are all very well saying "you shouldn't censor the internet", but whilst they're amassing huge amounts of information on everyone and everything, they can't exactly claim to be "doing no evil"...

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Badgers

I for one cheer for google !

At least Google is putting it's money where its mouth is.

While not totally out of China, they have dropped censorship and moved out of mainland China, rather than paying lip service to anti censorship and then bending over forwards for the local despots (Ya-bing.. I am looking at you)

Now they are taking up the good fight against censorship in Australia and I applaud them for it.

People complaining that google is hoarding their data. They may well be. I am not saying Google is the paragon of virtue, but if you don't want your data horded. Don't put it on the internet!

While this is difficult when it's business and govt doing it for you, you can take personal responsibility and look after your own data.

I pisses me off when people whine they lost a job because the posted a LJ blog slagging off their employer, under their own name. They blame google because their stupid post got indexed.

If you wouldn't post it in a public street.. don't post it on the internet....

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I will believe Google "do no evil..."

...when they anonymise the data as it is stored; not months down the line. An additional requirement is opening their systems to objective regulators to verify that this is happening. Preferably with a randomised schedule, so Google can't predict the arrival, and anonymise ahead of time.

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Anonymous Coward

So now Google is fighting the same fight as Anonymous?

Mind you, even Anonymous isn't stupid enough to get into a fight with the Chinese

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Oz gubmint bin takin' lessons.........

from The Clunking Fist then?

"We'll decide what's good for you but we're not going to tell you what you can't see as that might make you think that you want to see it."

In reality, all of these control-obsessed governments - China, North Korea, Britain, Australia and the like - would like to find and prosecute the creators of child porn, rape porn, bestiality porn, etc. (freedom porn next?) but they can't - it would require an effort and an ingenuity beyond theirs - so they slap controls on their bovine populations and then strut the world, preening, and crowing, "I'm doing my part."

Politics as farce. Again.

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Big Brother

Somehow I doubt that.

"these control-obsessed governments would like to find and prosecute the creators of child porn, rape porn, bestiality porn, etc"

Nope, no they wouldn't. Without these filthy pornmongers the government would have to look elsewhere for a pretext (oooh, look terrorists!) which they can use to sneak their Nazi style controls of the citizenry into legislation.

It's not *that* hard to trace internet transactions via server logs and credit card transactional data. If they really wanted to clean this sort of stuff to a much greater degree than they do currently.

And besides, it's not as if these filters are gonna hamper the kiddie fiddlers. In fact they will just force them further underground where it will be arguably *more* difficult to dig them out.

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FAIL

> French organisation Reporters Without Borders

> Last week, it was the turn of French organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to put

> the boot in, as it listed Australia, along with South Korea, Turkey and Russia, as

> countries "under surveillance" in its "Internet Enemies" report.

Aw no really, well dammit, that's got the old roos quaking in their boots...

No worries, say the Aussies, we'll change our government policy on the say so of a few self-appointed frogs we've never heard of...

French organisation reporters without borders... anyone spot the irony? But honestly, who's going to give a stuff what *they* say?

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Is the list RC material?

"The government does not support RC content being available on the Internet."

And they also refuse to publish the list of banned sites, so presumably it is more than just a text file. The mind boggles. Perhaps they are worried that someone will treat it as ASCII art and claim it is a cartoon depiction of child sex. Perhaps they are just lying control freaks.

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Big Brother

"Perhaps they are just lying control freaks"

There's no perhaps about it. They are blatant liars and want to control every aspect of the lives of their subjects. Oh, sorry, I mean "citizens."

And I thought when we got rid of John Howard things might have actually improved. :-(

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WTF?

What the hell?

Google makes several excellent moves with human rights, screwing the Chinese government and telling the Australian government that they wont cooperate, and most people here are just crapping on them.

If you dislike the way they keep your data private and secure, and never give it to third parties, then stop using Google and stop whining.

Some of us actually like quality free search results from a company who still has some morals.

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Anonymous Coward

Most people here are suspicious of Google's motives

and the robustness of those morals

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Anonymous Coward

"Most people"

"Most people here are suspicious of Google's motives"

And you speak for most people how exactly?

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Big Brother

KRuddy Curtain

It would be nice if Conroy would listen to Google.... but he hasn't listened to anyone else regarding it... Will Conroy's Kruddy Curtain keep Google out?

I can think of one use for a content filter...... stopping data going out to Google servers.....

"Don't be evil...."

Theres a phrase about Kettles and pots....

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aussie pollies closet commies?

"This appears to be based on the principle that the same standards of censorship should be applied evenly across different media, including films, books and DVDs - although the legal model in other countries such as the UK has tended towards setting up different censorship regimes for each medium."

how does this work, there is no R18+ for games in australia, so that cant be an excuse.

I think blocking kiddie porn is a good move, but should it come at the cost of freedom of information, freedom of speech and freedom of expression

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Normalising censorship

Just responding to Matthew Pinches here.

It struck me that Conroy's attempt to play the old "just closing a loophole" card and to argue that they are aligning net standards with those for other media is a good example of distraction in play, along with a rather odd logical ellipse.

Most countries develop different censorship regimes for different media. This is because it tends to be argued that media get used in different ways. There is also an element of snobbery in play (good, middle-class theatre vs. bad lower-class cinema), but that is beside the point.

An obvious difference is between film and dvd, where censors have long argued that you can be slightly more relaxed over general release versions of films, on the grounds that nasty details appear and then are gone as the film unwinds - whereas stuff on dvd's can be played and replayed ad nauseam.

Anyway, the point is that this whole idea of standard censorship is a red herring - but it hasn't stopped Conroy running with it big time. If you don't examine it too closely, it sounds plausible. It just isn't.

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On par for the ALP

The Australian Labor party may present itself as moderate, but it has always had the inclination to take control of the proles.

Their desire to censor the Internet beyond what is really necessary, in order to mold the minds of the masses comes as no surprise to Australians. What is a surprise is how many Australians who oppose mid control put the Government there in the first place.

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Pirate

Like that will phase them.

Google: "The governments of many other countries may justify, by reference to Australia, their use of filtering, their lack of disclosure about what is being filtered, and their political direction of agencies administering filtering."

Stephen Conroy: "OK. Your point being . . . ?"

Conroy, Krudd and all those other raving right wing god fearing nutjobs (Hi Tony, nice budgy smugglers!) couldn't care less about being pointed to by other governments as being leaders in the fine art of citizen subjugation.

In fact they'd probably get their jollies from it.

Time for the revolution I say.

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Grenade

Google is NOT the government of the world.

It's up to China to make the laws that apply in China. It's up to Australia to make the laws that apply in Australia.

It's up to the citizens of those countries to judge if their lawmakers are doing a good job.

It's up to Google to obey the law in the countries in which it operates. Simple as that. That Google is unwilling/unable to do so is an attempt by Google to place itself above the law - a dangerous place for any corporation to inhabit.

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Anonymous Coward

Nope

"That Google is unwilling/unable to do so is an attempt by Google to place itself above the law"

No it isn't.

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Comendable

I commend Google for taking this stance, once you create a precedent of behaviour then you will find the majority of countries will want their own filters imposed (they just don't have the guts to be so blatent about it).

While I in no way aprove of child abuse I don't think targeting search engines is the right approach - I don't honestly believe that someone types "I want kiddie porn" into Google without the first 10000 results being police honey traps or spyware holes, which is good because they deserve all they get. Perhaps I'm being naive here.

Regarding the acquisition of data, well as I buy and trade data with companies like Google their data pool is big but not great quality compared to the marketing and goverment data for sale out there for 50p - £5 per person - big brother is not only watching you but is making a profit on you :)

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Go

Geeks believe in open communication

Google's position is actually a good union between geekery and a solid business plan. Geeks believe in open communications and freedom of information. Google's business plan is to be a vital tool for people to find the information they need.

So yes, you can always be cynical and say that Google are only doing this for the money. But you can also say that it's one of the last IT mega-companies that's still ruled by geeks on geek principles.

As for "Do no evil" - something as broad as that is always going to be meaningless. Who defines evil?

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Gold badge

Who defines evil?

Why whoever has the most to gain from funding an industry focus group to standardise a definition.

Who else?

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Jobs Horns

Conroy the christians secret list - match list A with List B - pick the Diff.

Just a thought.... I tend to spend much of my time doing what amounts to in effect "code breaking" and by that I mean I take on really complex undertakings and make them work together... so I tend to have to sit there and think many things through before I start on it and as I do it...

What just occoured to me then is how to code break Conroy the Christians code, to a reasonably high degree.

Use a proxy server outside of Australia, to collate a list of all the available web address's - at a particular time and same date., and then to match that list against a list produced from inside Australia - at the same time and same date - and then produce a list of ONLY the sites that are in the mismatch.....

That would enable one to produce a pretty fair replication of Conroy the Christians "black banned list".

Bit of a no brainer really.

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