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Google Rejects Australian Censorship Proposal 197

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-blame-hormes dept.
Xiroth writes "Google has rejected overtures from the Australian government to censor YouTube clips that had been given an RC rating by Australian classification authority, the OFLC. According to a Google spokesperson: '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. The scope of RC is simply too broad and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information. RC includes the grey 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.'"
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Google Rejects Australian Censorship Proposal

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  • by openfrog (897716) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:14AM (#31099770)

    Now that the Australian government finds itself to be on the same side than China on censorship, I hope their legislators take a second look on the path they have taken for a while, and this apply to a few other Western parliaments as well...

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by ircmaxell (1117387)
      News at 10: Australia, the new China... Just with a crapload less people, better living conditions, democracy (well mostly) and well, pretty much everything else...
      • Australia, the new China... Just with a crapload less people, better living conditions, democracy (well mostly)

        Give 'em time. They'll fix that when the need arises.

    • by MrNaz (730548) * on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:33AM (#31100028) Homepage

      Also worrying is the fact that YouTube considers itself infrastructure for "free speech". What if they decide to broaden their definitions of "hate speech" and "pornography"?

      The Internet is supposed to be free. It is supposed to allow equal access to data by equal parties. The existence of megacorporations in this space undermines the original spirit of the Internet, and provides just another way to turn the once-egalitarian Internet into just another tilted media outlet like Fox News.

      This brings about a good discussion point: I remember the days of usenet, when IRC was the main form of IM, when gopher provided beautiful cruft-free content and I pine. No really, I still use pine. How could we, as citizens of the global Internet connected society, go about moving back towards an egalitarian Internet? I recognize that technology has moved forwards, however, I am left wondering how would we move the *values* back to what they were? Was it the massive influx of average people that did this to the Internet community? Or was it the megacorps who eventually found ways to monetize Internet users?

      • Eternal September (Score:5, Interesting)

        by sakdoctor (1087155) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:46AM (#31100214) Homepage

        You're looking at it through rose tinted glasses. There have been walled gardens such as AOL practically right from the "start". The value of the internet grew with popularity, and popularity brought in the noobs, who dived head first into the most convenient bucket provided by megacorps.

        This is the status quo.
        This is what happens when average people interact with megacorps on a mass scale, so nobody is to blame per se.
        Whilst some very clever people were involved with the building blocks of the internet, the values and ideology, like everything in this world is completely up for negotiation.

        • by whoever57 (658626) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @12:18PM (#31100644) Journal

          You're looking at it through rose tinted glasses. There have been walled gardens such as AOL practically right from the "start".

          The AOL example is not appropriate. People may have chosen to use AOL, but they had a choice. While other, uncensored, alternatives exist this is very different from what the Australian government want, which is to remove the choice of uncensored access to the Internet.

          • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @12:36PM (#31100854) Homepage

            No, it's completely appropriate. Much of the government censorship is aimed at web 2.0 type constructs, which people willingly choose.

            But these are completely centralised, and much less censorship resistant than the older internet technologies that GP was lamenting the loss of.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Not to mention, the same idiocy that allows AOL to exist is, fundamentally, the same process that drives democracy--individual choice. Whether my purchasing or voting, there's a similar result--the idiots help set up the only (terrible) game in town.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Hadlock (143607)

          You're looking at it through rose tinted glasses. There have been walled gardens such as AOL practically right from the "start". The value of the internet grew with popularity, and popularity brought in the noobs, who dived head first into the most convenient bucket provided by megacorps.

          A slight tangent here, but the number of obscure and/or interesting films available on bit torrent really dropped after bit torrent became main stream. Sure, you can find movies like Avatar a week before their release date,

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by maxume (22995)

        Expect a corporation to look after its own interests.

        Take it as a happy surprise when one looks after yours.

        Don't rely on the corporation to look after your interests.

        It isn't much of a puzzle.

      • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:57AM (#31100360)

        Lots of people complain about Endless September.

        But those communities are still there. at least many of them are.
        they just look small and puny next to the megacorps.

        • by julesh (229690)

          But those communities are still there. at least many of them are.
          they just look small and puny next to the megacorps.

          Yeah, some of still BBS. Occasionally.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cgenman (325138)

        Yes. Clearly the internet is lacking in pornography because of Google's efforts. There's just wave after wave of nothing out there.

        Personally, I wouldn't mind uncensored content in a walled off room of YouTube. But I understand that would be a hard sell for investors. And quite frankly, vomiting up a video of racist, homophobic, sexist viewpoints to a private server is pretty cheap and easy to do these days. It just isn't needed.

        In this case, I applaud Google's efforts. Australia's BS Refused Classifi

      • by biryokumaru (822262) * <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Thursday February 11, 2010 @12:34PM (#31100832)

        I think the central issue here is that people view the internet as a commodity, and use it as they would a tool. They don't see their usage as part of a message, or to have intrinsic meaning.

        As an analogy, let's talk about my car buying habits. I buy American. I've had 4 Chevys over the past 4 years. They didn't break down, I just went through them for various reasons. And I loved them all. In particular I miss the Cobalt, it was nice.

        But then there are people who have been driving the same Volvo for the past 30 odd years. Or have cars that they've personally put 300,000 miles on. That's great. That was a sound economical investment.

        But what was the message? It was just a tool to them. How far can they drive for their investment? How many years and how many miles can they go before they need to put in more money? Their message was that the car was a tool, just a means to an end.

        My cars were the ends. I could work on them (I miss the old Corvette, spewing coolant like some B movie gore flick), they were fun to drive, and they were each a learning experience. I didn't buy them to get me any further than into the driver's seat.

        Now look at the internet. For many of the people here, it's the ends. They work in an online business, or they have a vested interest in the underlying technologies (hardware or software) and furthering their knowledge of the internal workings thereof is their real intent. Honestly, how many of us have internet to check Slashdot? Slashdot is a nice bonus, but we don't have internet just to check Slashdot. Slashdot is not our ends.

        But that's what the internet is to "normal people." It's just a tool they use to check Facebook or Twitter or their AOL email. They use the internet like some people use their cars, to get where they're going. They don't buy the car because it's American made and it'll support their fellow countrymen and they can work on it themselves and so on and so forth. They buy the car because they want to get to work, or school or the football game. It's just a car.

        And that's the problem. To some people, it's just the internet. It's not a technology that has revolutionized the entire world. It's just the way to get where they want to be. Like a car.

        • by vadim_t (324782)

          IMO, a tool must do whatever I want it to do.

          The Internet should transfer data whatever data I want, when I want, between endpoint A and endpoint B. If governments and companies start getting in the way of that it stops being a good tool.

        • I've had 4 Chevys over the past 4 years. They didn't break down, I just went through them for various reasons. And I loved them all. In particular I miss the Cobalt, it was nice.

          Four in four years, without breakdowns? One was hit by a meteor, one was destroyed by a UFO when you were abducted by aliens, one was sucked into an interdimensional vortex, and one was stolen by Neil Patrick Harris?

        • by Kjella (173770)

          To some people, it's just the internet. It's not a technology that has revolutionized the entire world. (...) Like a car.

          And the wheel was not a revolution, you could always walk and carry what you needed. If neither Internet nor cars is a revolution, despite affecting more than a billion people of all ages in almost every profession, then I'd like you to list all the technical revolutions in human history. Will that require one hand to count or two?

          • Just FYI, I'm on the side of internet being a revolution. In case you couldn't tell, what with the whole "my cars aren't tools" thing.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ultranova (717540)

          And that's the problem. To some people, it's just the internet. It's not a technology that has revolutionized the entire world. It's just the way to get where they want to be. Like a car.

          The Internet is not a car. The Internet is the very concept of a road itself.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tehcyder (746570)

        Also worrying is the fact that YouTube considers itself infrastructure for "free speech". What if they decide to broaden their definitions of "hate speech" and "pornography"?

        Who cares? If you can't find enough hate speech and pornography elsewhere on the internet, you're really not trying.
        Just because YouTube is big and popular doesn't mean it's the whole internet. It's like complaining that the Disney Channel is engaging in censorship by not showing hard core pr0n and horror movies. They're commercia

        • by zolltron (863074) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @01:03PM (#31101124)

          This is completely right. Just because a particular vehicle for speech doesn't allow *all* speech doesn't imply that it's not a vehicle for public debate about certain topics. The newspaper doesn't print porn, does that mean that newspapers are not involved in an active democracy? Or that any attempt to censor a newspaper doesn't effect free speech because the newspaper doesn't allow a totally unvetted expression of ideas?

          Thinking about free speech in this all-or-nothing way is not productive, and it tends to alienate people from supporting free speech because they feel like they have to support porn.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eiMichael (1526385)

        How could we, as citizens of the global Internet connected society, go about moving back towards an egalitarian Internet?

        We as citizens simply cannot. We have very little control of the infrastructure of the Internet. It just takes 1 popular politician, and we could have a great big firewall.

        The only way to avoid and/or remove censorship from the Internet is to remove the idea that censorship is acceptable. But that idea is just too radical for the average schmuck who thinks he shouldn't have to even be aware that other people think differently than him/her. It has become okay to censor. From "hate speech" to "pornography"

        • by Zerth (26112)

          You're right, I'm going to find a gopher server and put up some racist furry cookbooks, the noobs will never look there. /I know, the furry bit was too much. I'll just go censor myself, OK?

      • by Dog-Cow (21281)

        You're supposed to be more intelligent than you prove yourself to be, but, well, you're not. You actually come across as a complete imbecile.

        Youtube can censore whatever the Hell it wants. It has zero responsibility to ANYONE in this regard. Your misguided desire to use Google's resources for yourself not-withstanding.

        The Internet is not "supposed to be" anything except a network of networks. Each network is free to police itself as desired.

        You are an idiot and should be censored from the Internet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by element-o.p. (939033)
        I think you are confusing the issue here. Google (and therefore YouTube), as a private entity, has the right to say what they will and will not allow on the forums they create. Don't like their censorship? Then build your own forum. I have, and found myself forced to censor the forum because of the spammers -- in fact, I ended up shutting it down because it was just too much work to maintain. A completely free forum is anything but the "cruft-free content" for which you pine nowadays. Back w
      • I remember the days of usenet

        If people keep breaking the first and second rules like you just did, then sooner or later they're going to find out about it. And slightly less soon or slightly more late they'll shut it down.

    • Now that the Australian government finds itself to be on the same side than China on censorship, I hope their legislators take a second look on the path they have taken for a while, and this apply to a few other Western parliaments as well...

      Maybe they have the same agenda...

    • For western civilisations, Australia has, imo, always been closer to China than the US in regards to freedom or at least in recent years.
    • by bug1 (96678)

      It is said that the only thing that has protected Australians from oppressive censorship over the decades has been the incompetence of the government in implementing it.

      Could it be that Australia finally has a competent government, oh the tragedy....

  • by hey (83763)

    They're probably trying to avoid work more than anything else.

  • How do I get that job?

  • Too bad Google didn't tell the Chinese govt. to frak its self in the beginning as well. Then again It'd be like Google saying that the govt. was being unreasonable because Google already prohibited anything on Tiananmen Square anyways.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Exactly, Google is grand standing against the much less menacing Australian Government. The only reason pulled out of China was a) they were the kings of the internet like they are back home and b) an attack that came from China (potentially). PR move in my mind
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dangitman (862676)
      You actually wrote "frak"? In a post about government censorship?
      • by metlin (258108)

        I dunno, man. Some people don't like to fucking cuss, alright? Give the douchebag a break, for cryin' out loud. And stop being such an asshole. Now fuck off.

      • I can say fuck whenever I like I just prefer Frak. Also I'm a big BSG fan :)

  • by N3tRunner (164483) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:22AM (#31099892)

    As Google grows and expands into different markets I personally am more and more suspicious of their activities, especially the tracking that is inherent in their Chrome browser. However, there are constantly things like this were Google seems to be standing behind its principle of "Don't be evil". I hope that they never forget it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nerdfest (867930)
      Tracking the information is not evil, it's what they do with the information once they have it.
      • by jgtg32a (1173373)

        True but rarely does anything good come of it.

      • Tracking the information is not evil, it's what they do with the information once they have it.

        No, the act of tracking the information itself is evil. The reason is that a company is not a single person with a single goal, so you have to factor in that, each time there is an employee restructuring or a change of ownership, this information can be misused, and sooner or later will be.

        It's like giving a blank cheque to a friend, and he gives it to one of his kids to play with. Never do that.

        The only

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by garcia (6573)

      However, there are constantly things like this were Google seems to be standing behind its principle of "Don't be evil". I hope that they never forget it.

      I think there's a difference between "doing no evil," and deciding that they don't want to police the Internet for specific countries. I have a feeling that while their words say one thing, this has less to do with their mantra than the simple fact that they have better things to waste their time doing than the bidding of Australia's ridiculous government.

    • by Yaa 101 (664725)

      Google will be evil as soon as the original people are ousted at some point, then in comes the new psychopath overlords that have only eye for the next 3 month financial statement.

  • by wiredog (43288) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:22AM (#31099906) Journal

    Australia, just like China.

  • by gravyface (592485) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:30AM (#31100000)
    explain to me what a) brought on these draconian laws/ideals b) what the opposition is doing against it? I've always (maybe naively) thought of Australia as a laid-back and liberal kind of a place. This censorship movement seems... odd.
    • by Kratisto (1080113) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:34AM (#31100046)
      They're so laid back that they forgot to keep an eye on the kinds of people that like to go into politics.
    • by twidarkling (1537077) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @12:29PM (#31100780)

      According to Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation, the Australian government passes it off as "not censorship" because all they're doing is "refusing classification." Unfortunately, anything without a classification cannot be sold in Australia. So, they're not banning it, technically, they're simply making it impossible to sell in a legal manner.

      It's a shit politicians' trick, and it's worked for a while. Fortunately, much of the citizenship there seems to finally be waking up, if the repeal of the law that made it illegal to anonymously comment on politics due to public outcry is anything to go on.

      • by epp_b (944299) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @01:50PM (#31101668)

        So, they're not banning it, technically, they're simply making it impossible to sell in a legal manner.

        So, exactly, how gullible are the Australian people and/or how stupid are their politicians for anyone to think these two things are different from each other?

        • Apparently, very gullible.

        • by julesh (229690) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @03:17PM (#31103202)

          So, exactly, how gullible are the Australian people and/or how stupid are their politicians for anyone to think these two things are different from each other?

          Of course they're different. You can give it away free. You can import it yourself. Posession isn't an offence. All three of these would be illegal if it were actually banned.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Zerth (26112)

            Unless you live in Western Australia, where mere possession is illegal as well since 2008.

          • You can import it yourself.

            I'm guessing you're just being stupid, or ultra subtle, or something else I'm not picking up on yet because I haven't had coffee.

            I imported a copy of GTA3 on PC from the UK and it was subject to a 'random' customs search (or the idiots I bought it from put a detailed invoice on the outside, I'll never know), and I got a nice polite customs form letter saying that the game was RC in it's non-Australian form and thus was illegal to have anything to do with, and as such has been 'surrendered to the crown'. I w

      • Stupid question for you, then...if it isn't being sold, but is being freely given away, does it still run afoul of the law?
        • Being a stupid law, and not having the exact phrasing to hand, I cannot answer for certain, but I'd have to guess that probably the law is phrased "it is illegal to make available any materials not having received a classification." That'd cover selling, giving away, loaning, etc, but leaving the ability to import, since that seems to be a popular option there.

      • by Dan541 (1032000)

        According to Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation, the Australian government passes it off as "not censorship" because all they're doing is "refusing classification." Unfortunately, anything without a classification cannot be sold in Australia. So, they're not banning it, technically, they're simply making it impossible to sell in a legal manner.

        However youtube does not sell access to it's video's.

        • Check the other replies, someone provided a link to the actual Australian laws that say even *possessing* something RC can get you in shit. Selling isn't a prerequisite in all areas there.

    • by Asic Eng (193332)
      Australia is missing constitutional protection against these sort of things. Apart from that they are suffering from too many politicians who believe they know better than the "common people". Unfortunately that's a problem which they have in common with ... well, any other country in the world.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Zarath (1743202)
      Back in 07 when Australia was deciding between our two primary parties, the current government (Labor) used a policy of an opt-in filter system. This system was going to replace the method used by the old government, which didn't work at all (computer-side filters) because people could bypass them fairly easily. Not as easily as this though. Moving on about 1 yeah from when they were elected in, their policy suddenly changed. No longer was it an opt-in system, it was now compulsory for -everyone- to be fil
    • by stimpleton (732392) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @03:11PM (#31103100)
      Don't confuse laid-back with liberal. Australia is laid back, but is also one of the most conservative populaces. There are oasis of left wing attitudes in say Melbourne.

      In the US, the Rosa Parks seat-on-a-bus incident took place in the 50's. In Australia the film Romper Stomper [wikipedia.org] is based around events in the 1990's. Consider that film and the Cronulla Riots where average joe office workers left their desks and stormed a Sydney beach all because of an altercation between some immigrants and some life guards. The Cronulla beach riots [wikipedia.org] happened in 2005.

      Australia is conservative, not just its adminsistration.
      • This is correct. Australia is not liberal, and definitely not the lucky country, nor the smart county that I believe is/was attempted to be portrayed in the ads of old. When it's described as laid-back, what most of us mean is that it's full of apathetic retards who neither know nor understand what's going on most of the time. But what a lot of people here do know is that they want their government to do their thinking for them, and to protect them from themselves. They're happy to introduce a secret blackl

    • I was always taught in school that because we were founded as a prison colony, the laws in place from the start were very strict. Everyone just got used to that being the way things were and no one has really produced a compelling argument to change it.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:34AM (#31100040) Homepage
    Google are just playing the coquette. They'll give it up all right, they'll give it up hard, but for the sake of their reputation, they want three dates, flowers, and a subpoena first.
  • This Conroy guy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:49AM (#31100254)

    Fuck him. For any public official in a western democracy to be openly clamoring for things to be more like China is a disgrace, to say nothing of the corrosive effect it has on liberties elsewhere. Here's hoping that the good people of Australia will feed him to the sharks.

    • by abdulla (523920)
      It's an election year, we Australians need to ensure he is not re-elected. I'm not sure how to go about this, but anyone who has an idea, I'd be willing to help.
  • Man, the only thing Australia would have needed to ban would have been the third Crocodile Dundee Movie and the third Men at Work Album, and all would have been absolutely fabulous. Instead, it seems like they are banning everything but the third Men at Work album, and that's just tragic.

  • Isn't any attempt to ban a clip just going to send the view count for that clip way up? Where is the list of clips that the Australian government doesn't think I should see, I want to watch them all... over and over again!
  • by howardd21 (1001567) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:59AM (#31100394) Homepage
    I am not a member or supporter in anyway of the KKK, Nazis, etc., but why is certain speech categorized as "hate" and therefore not allowed to be even stated? Who decides what is hate? That whole movement makes me nervous...

    And will this be like the porn guy that was convicted in Florida, though he lived in California, for distributing videos via the internet. If I complain about Barak Obama and make a statement that includes his race, am I suddenly guilty somewhere on some level? If I am a religious leader and have a youtube video that states a conviction homosexuals are in danger of hell, am I guilty of hate speech? If not now, how about 5 years from now when the social winds change?
    • I would say that hate speech should be considered any speech that advocates the attack on another person's rights based on a more generalized idea such as their race, sexual orientation, etc.

      So, saying that you don't want illegal Mexican immigrants into the country wouldn't be considered hate speech, as it doesn't interfere with their rights; they don't have the right to enter our country illegally.

      But saying that you want all Mexican's out of the country regardless of their citizenship because "the
      • I would say that hate speech should be considered any speech that advocates the attack on another person's rights based on a more generalized idea such as their race, sexual orientation, etc.

        What about economic status? Why not?

        So, saying that you don't want illegal Mexican immigrants into the country wouldn't be considered hate speech, as it doesn't interfere with their rights; they don't have the right to enter our country illegally.

        They don't? Says who? There are 30 million of them here now. And in plac

        • by dangitman (862676)

          Take the word "Retarded", which used to be a perfectly acceptable word to describe someone who was less intelligent than average. Now that word is nearly forbidden, because of people using it in a negative way

          Sorry, I didn't get that memo. I'm not sure what part of the Universe you live in, but I hear it used all the time. Surely, as an avid internet commentator, you frequently see it written on the internet as well.

          For a word that is "nearly forbidden," you didn't hesitate to use it.

    • by copponex (13876) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @12:57PM (#31101066) Homepage

      Most of the western world has a sufficient police force to allow all kinds of backwards hate speech to exist. Some people are bigots, and there's not much you can do about it. Providing a passion for their narrative, by trying to suppress their free speech or incarcerating them for saying something, helps them more than it hurts them. It gives them the attention that they crave, an in some ways legitimizes their "struggle."

      Here in the states this is one thing we get mostly right. You can parade around in white sheets, and say nigger and kike all you want. The rest of us will be over here, chuckling at your foolish costume and face tattoos, while the FBI continues to build a profile of your idiocy.

      Then, if you actually follow through with the nonsense, hate crime laws will put you away for a few decades. In essence, you're welcome to continue acting like an idiot, but if you actually hurt someone you're going to pay dearly for the crime.

      I only wish we could apply the same principles to drug users and other non-violent criminals.

    • by canajin56 (660655) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @01:05PM (#31101138)

      Google's policy defines it as anything inciting or advocating violence, or making insulting stereotypes or generalizations about any group. Anyways, YouTube only has this policy due to constant harassment by Lieberman demanding they censors Muslim videos. But yeah, you can't use THEIR OWN PERSONAL SITE to spew various retarded stereotypes about Mexicans (Look out Mencia!), it's the end of the world. Free speech means the government can't interfere (Like in Australia) it doesn't mean Google has a legal obligation to carry your hate speech. Oh yeah, in the announcement where Google added this to their policy, they said "We don't expect you to treat everybody like nuns, the elderly, or brain surgeons." Amazingly, some catholic nutbars started posting about down with Google the great satan, for picking on nuns like that, saying Google's announcement itself was hatespeech! The nerve, implying nuns should be treated with respect, how dare they!

      And what the fuck are you talking about, guilty? Google doesn't make laws, you're not guilty of any crime. They delete your video because they find it tasteless. Did you scream with such rage when Kramer got shitcanned for screaming racial slurs over and over and over and over? Clubs stopped hiring him so basically he was found guilty of hate speech and banned, just like youtube does! OH NO SLIPPERY SLOPE. You can say how you hate black people and gays all you want. You can't force Google to say it for you.

      If you're referring to countries like Canada that actually DO have hate speech laws, it's a lot more rigidly defined than Google (Except Manitoba, but even their own courts throw all those cases out as unconstitutional, and make (unheeded) demands that the provincial government fix them). As in, to be hate speech, your speech has to be speech that will cause violence or hatred of the group you are targetting. And judges have interpreted that quite narrowly. As in, if you say "GOD HATES FAGS, BURN IN HELL HOMOS" that has time and again been affirmed as not hate-speech, as nobody hearing that would start hating gays if they didn't already, and nobody would read it and go beat up a gay person if they weren't going to already. It's also been held as allowed because the hate speech law has exemptions for anything that is true, or said in good faith. A preacher believes what he says, and so it's protected speech. If he actually calls for violence though, that's a different beast, and it doesn't matter if he believes beating gays to death is God's will or not.

      As for the Australian law, the Australians have passed a law banning porn that features cartoons (because you can't tell how old a cartoon is so basically its all child porn), female ejaculation (because it's obscene) and women with small breasts (As underage teens also have smaller breasts, and so seeing women with less than a D cup may cause people to turn into pedophiles). There is currently no word on if they eventually plan to ban having actual consensual sex with adults with small breasts, or if you will be OK as long as you don't film it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Trepidity (597)

        It's possibly worth noting that Google takes a pretty expansive view of a historical/educational exception to their "hate speech" restriction as well, in contrast to some countries. For example, there are plenty of Nazi propaganda videos up on YouTube.

      • by dangitman (862676)
        I don't know about hate speech, but your post should be banned for violating the laws of coherent writing.
    • by Bengie (1121981)

      I agree, there's a large grey area on this subject, but a lot "hate speech" seems quite clear. Most people who do hate speech have an agenda and have VERY biased info or out right falsehoods about a person/persons.

      Your "religious leader" example wasn't a good one, but I know what you were getting at. Hate speech is very contextually dependent, so it's hard to make a law that would be perfect.

      Here's a snippit from wikipedia

      "Hate speech is speech perceived to disparage a person or group of people based on th

    • by Kjella (173770)

      I am not a member or supporter in anyway of the KKK, Nazis, etc., but why is certain speech categorized as "hate" and therefore not allowed to be even stated? Who decides what is hate?

      If you want it in US lingo, think of it as class action libel/slander. There's usually some rather blatant accusations and dehumanizing insults involved, it's just not aimed directly at one person. Usually it's followed shortly by a call to take away rights that one in the US would call "unalienable", sending Europe back to where the US was before the civil rights movement. sometimes I think even before the Civil War. One set of rules for the white people, another set of rules for everyone else.

      To really un

    • I am not a member or supporter in anyway of the KKK, Nazis, etc., but why is certain speech categorized as "hate" and therefore not allowed to be even stated? Who decides what is hate? That whole movement makes me nervous...

      It's a perfectly rational response to the evils of WWII. The Nazi movement(s) are outlawed in many countries to prevent sympathisers from re-organizing. After WWII, many fascists simply blended in with the population, and could not be prosecuted, but they still exist (and teach t

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      When we deny free-speech to one particular group of people we eradicate the justification for our own and the downward slide towards totalitarianism begins. First we block the neo-nazi's then the white supremacists and who's next?

      Who is going to decide what should or should not be added to the blacklist? What if the person adding sites to the blacklist has an opposing opinion to that of your own, what if they are a Muslim and you are a Jew, what if they find violent video games offensive but you enjoy playi

  • by BountyX (1227176) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:59AM (#31100408)
    I know many people on slashdot have mistrust for Google becuase the sheer amount of data they possess is a looming liability and their "don't be evil" mantra may not always pan out. One thing I wanted to point out is that Google at least makes an effort and a global effort at that. They are probably one of the few companies to have a Chief Culture Officer whose job is dedicated to issues of morality, culture, and ethics. I'm not saying anyone should "trust" Google, I'm just saying that the company deserves a little praise for its effort. An effort that most companies here in the US don't even attempt to make. Although in the long run Google may in fact be a liability, it doesn't change the fact that they represent a cultural step in the right direction for corporate ethics, especially given their size and power.
    • by syousef (465911)

      I know many people on slashdot have mistrust for Google becuase the sheer amount of data they possess is a looming liability and their "don't be evil" mantra may not always pan out. One thing I wanted to point out is that Google at least makes an effort and a global effort at that

      Please stop drinking the coolaid and smoking fairy dust. Google does whatever is in Google's best interests. If that's playing on the "don't be evil" propaganda, they'll milk it. If not, they'll cite external pressures. To think otherwise is naive.

  • Happy Valentines Day Google. Thank you for the gift. I <3 U TOO!
  • “Censorship is a crime, forbidden by your most fundamental laws. Ladies and gentleman, you are engaging in criminal behavior. Do you wish to continue, and go to jail for it?”

    And then when they do continue, launch a huge campaign, causing the government to be overthrown.
    I am sure Google can do that.

  • So, this sentence works, "The scope of RC is simply too broad and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information." But this sentence doesn't, "The scope of DMCA is simply too broad and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information." Weird.
    • by russotto (537200)

      So, this sentence works, "The scope of RC is simply too broad and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information." But this sentence doesn't, "The scope of DMCA is simply too broad and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information." Weird.

      The appeal to force is not a valid rhetorical device, but it works quite well in the real world. That is, Google is in the US and standing against a US law is not practical for them.

    • > The scope of DMCA is simply too broad and can raise genuine questions about
      > restrictions on access to information.

      Please explain in what way the DMCA limits Google's ability to provide access to information.

  • After the Chinese office of Google told the Chinese government to get stuffed, the Australian office had no choice but to follow along. There are some seriously ballsy people in the Chinese offices of Google. They have a substantial possibility of being hauled off in chains and locked up, and a non-zero chance of being shot to death. What's the worst the Australian government is going to do? Send a harshly worded letter? Demand a hearing before Parliament? If the Australian offices had caved in, they'

  • google is facing pressure in europe too to conform to national policies, lets see if they push back there too

    basically, we are seeing the end of sovereignty, and the emergence of a global decision making body, that is not consensual and hamstrung like the UN

    personally, i'm not one of those wackjobs that thinks one global government is bad, i actually view nationalism to be the real evil in this world. fuck sovereignty, its so much tribal posturing and it excuses crimes and war making. far better that the wo

    • personally, i'm not one of those wackjobs that thinks one global government is bad, i actually view nationalism to be the real evil in this world. fuck sovereignty, its so much tribal posturing and it excuses crimes and war making. far better that the world someday be a federalist conglomerate, like the united states and its states

      I'd go so far as to say that 'the nation state' is the worst thing to ever happen to the human race.

      Pitting human beings against one another on the mere basis of some fraudulent, fictional 'difference', carving the globe up into blocks that have no relevance outside the fictional nation-states, has been a shameful phase of the development of civilisation.

      Personally, I am opposed to ALL nations and would like to work toward the downfall of ALL of them. And at the same time... I am not an 'Anarchist'.

      • you are espousing anarchy, no matter at your dislike of the word

        enjoy somalia, idiot

        for all the crimes of a nation state, a world of mad max style warlords like in somalia is far worse

        i look forward to one world government

  • Awesome, it's nice to see finally someone able to not only tell the chinese where to go, but any country willing to try and censor
    their population's voice.

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