Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Apr 2010 21:24 UTC
Google "The Internet is one of the world's most important means of free expression. Yet censorship of the Web is growing; more than 40 governments censor information today, up from about four in 2002. And some governments are blocking - or proposing to block - content even before it reaches their citizens. Authoritarian countries are building firewalls and cracking down on dissent, dealing harshly with anyone who breaks the rules. We at Google believe that greater transparency will lead to less censorship online. That's why we are launching a tool that will give people information about the government requests for content removal and user data that Google receives from around the world." Biggest problem I've seen: figures are absolute, not relative (i.e., they are not comparable per country).
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Excellent...
by cefarix on Tue 20th Apr 2010 21:39 UTC
cefarix
Member since:
2006-03-18

This tool is really useful in seeing which countries may be threatening Internet content the most, especially with regards to copyrights and the like.

On the whole, I agree that the Internet should not be censored in any way. The most freedom should be given to political content on the web, followed by journalism (e.g. wikileaks etc). The only category where I can agree with censorship is immoral content (e.g. pornography), although any such system needs to be designed very carefully to limit points-of-failure and the potential for abuse. In other words, the Internet should be policed in much the same way that speech is policed in the physical world, with restrictions or ban on pornographic materials, shutting or raiding locations that do things like deal drugs, prostitution, money laundering, scams, etc...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Excellent...
by mrhasbean on Tue 20th Apr 2010 23:21 UTC in reply to "Excellent..."
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

The only category where I can agree with censorship is immoral content (e.g. pornography), although any such system needs to be designed very carefully to limit points-of-failure and the potential for abuse.


But is legal pornography not a legitimate method of expression for some people? There are many effective methods for catching people dealing in any illegal forms of information, be it pornography or anything else. It isn't just illegal content these filters are targeting either. For example some politicians are already wanting to filter all LEGAL pornographic content where the females have small breasts - like A cups - because it can make the "models" seem very young and therefore somehow encourage pedophiles. (http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/01/29/has-australia-really-banned-sma...)

In other words it doesn't have to BE illegal, it just has to LOOK illegal. So if you and your partner have a thing for dressing up in old school uniforms and getting it on, whatever you do DON'T make a video of it! ;)

And lets be real about this, there are many more children significantly impacted in a negative way each year - even to the point of suicide - through exposure to physical and psychological abuse, than there are to any other form. Yet there's very little if anything done to rectify those issues in comparison to say sexual abuse, which is the main reason being put forward by governments for censorship. When they start devoting the same time, effort and resources to fixing those problems as they are to this "sexual abuse / sexual predators" bandwagon they'll convince me it's about the kids, until then it's an excuse for more control.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Excellent...
by cefarix on Wed 21st Apr 2010 04:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Excellent..."
cefarix Member since:
2006-03-18

I agree I should have worded that differently. I really mean two things by what I said: That content that is illegal in everyday life in a country should be filtered on the Internet as well by that country, and (but this is OT) that all porn *should* be illegal.

As for what's happening in Australia, I say to them: define what porn is legal and what isn't, then stick to filtering it consistently in the real world and on the net...

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Excellent...
by Laurence on Wed 21st Apr 2010 13:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Excellent..."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

In other words it doesn't have to BE illegal, it just has to LOOK illegal. So if you and your partner have a thing for dressing up in old school uniforms and getting it on, whatever you do DON'T make a video of it!


I liked that point as it reminds me of how some innocent baby photos that you'd expect parents to take are could be classed as child pornography (eg pictures of your baby son in a paddling pool on a hot summers day)


Personally I get sick of governments constantly trying to regulate the activities of consenting adults. Sure, if activities happen without consent or with subjects that are under age, then I completely agree with government intervention. However these days there seems an alarming trend (particularly here in the UK) of legislation to protect people from themselves.
</rant>

Reply Score: 4

v RE[2]: Excellent...
by danhhong on Wed 21st Apr 2010 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Excellent..."
RE: Excellent...
by kragil on Tue 20th Apr 2010 23:24 UTC in reply to "Excellent..."
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Not censored, but porn banned? IMO that is a logic fail.

It is interesting and kind of sad to see that Germany is pretty high on that list. I guess that is because we have strong laws against hate speech etc.

Brazil is probably up there because a lot of Brazilians use Googles Orkut. It would be cool to see those numbers from Facebook.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Excellent...
by jack_perry on Wed 21st Apr 2010 00:36 UTC in reply to "Excellent..."
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

I dunno, I'd rather give journalism higher priority than political content, with the caveat that a lot of journalism is, by its very nature, political content. I'd bet there's pornography that's political in nature, or at least someone will claim it is.

I personally find the tool wanting. What were the precise requests, what were the reasons given, who or what agency precisely made the request? Without that information it seems rather gratuitous.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Excellent...
by BluenoseJake on Wed 21st Apr 2010 09:57 UTC in reply to "Excellent..."
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Who decides what's immoral? You? The American government? The Chinese? The Australian? Declaring something immoral is not easy in a multicultural system like the Internet.

Christ, the Australians are even against small breasted women!?!, and some countries that are muslim might think a woman showing her her face is immoral.

I think in a situation like the content on the internet, it's up to individuals to decide what they want to view and when, because if we leave it up to the various governments, we won't be able to watch anything, except in NA, where we won't see any boobies, but we'll be able to watch explosions and shootings till the cows come home.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Excellent...
by cefarix on Wed 21st Apr 2010 14:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Excellent..."
cefarix Member since:
2006-03-18

The government obviously decides what is moral/immoral in terms of legal/illegal, since they have the power to do so. No government can have 100% control over what information gets to its citizens, but I think a government is obligated to do as much as it can to shutdown illegal activities without encroaching upon the rights of people engaged in legal activities. A website hosting illegal content or allowing the participation of country A's citizens in illegal activities (as deemed by country A's government), should not be allowed to be hosted within country A, or should be blocked by country A.

Now as for what constitutes legal/illegal, different people around the world have different ideas of that, and I have my own ideas about that.

As for your sarcastic comment on Islamic countries... Please, keep your ignorance to yourself. I happen to be Muslim and that just sounds downright ridiculous and hateful.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[3]: Excellent...
by bob_bipbip on Wed 21st Apr 2010 14:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Excellent..."
RE[4]: Excellent...
by Hiev on Wed 21st Apr 2010 15:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Excellent..."
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

And atheits have never raped a child.

Note: Im not islamic.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Excellent...
by bob_bipbip on Wed 21st Apr 2010 15:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Excellent..."
bob_bipbip Member since:
2009-04-28

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Muhammad#Aisha

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Excellent...
by BluenoseJake on Thu 22nd Apr 2010 09:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Excellent..."
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

The government obviously decides what is moral/immoral in terms of legal/illegal, since they have the power to do so. No government can have 100% control over what information gets to its citizens, but I think a government is obligated to do as much as it can to shutdown illegal activities without encroaching upon the rights of people engaged in legal activities. A website hosting illegal content or allowing the participation of country A's citizens in illegal activities (as deemed by country A's government), should not be allowed to be hosted within country A, or should be blocked by country A.

Now as for what constitutes legal/illegal, different people around the world have different ideas of that, and I have my own ideas about that.


and your ideas aren't my ideas, and your countries ideas are not my countries, and I would prefer that a more international, and perhaps intelligent group of people make such determinations


As for your sarcastic comment on Islamic countries... Please, keep your ignorance to yourself. I happen to be Muslim and that just sounds downright ridiculous and hateful.


Are you really trying and say there aren't Muslim societies where women's faces are required to covered in public? I'm not judging it, and how it sounded hateful, I have no idea, it was a simple statment. It wasn't sarcasm, it was just a fact.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Excellent...
by twitterfire on Thu 22nd Apr 2010 02:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Excellent..."
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

it's up to individuals to decide what they want to view and when, because if we leave it up to the various governments, we won't be able to watch anything[


We will be able to watch ads, though. And some government/interest groups propaganda.

Reply Score: 2

more info, please
by seanpk on Tue 20th Apr 2010 23:37 UTC
seanpk
Member since:
2009-11-17

this is a good start ... I'd really like to see a table with info of each request, not just aggregate numbers

while I'm wishing, it should really be a database that can be queried and examined for relationships between actions of different countries ...
actually, if they went that far, I'd start trusting google a little again in spite of "fool me twice ... um ... you can't fool me twice"

Reply Score: 1

No surprise...
by Tuishimi on Wed 21st Apr 2010 02:31 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

Youtube for the USA. And adwords?

I am guessing that most internet censorship here has to do with the almighty dollar.

Reply Score: 2

Give back my privacy
by Karitku on Wed 21st Apr 2010 11:48 UTC
Karitku
Member since:
2006-01-12

How about giving tool to erase my data from Google servers! I guess ad sale on pedo sites is going down, oh noes safe the intarnutz!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Give back my privacy
by terrakotta on Wed 21st Apr 2010 14:14 UTC in reply to "Give back my privacy"
terrakotta Member since:
2010-04-21

www.dataliberation.org sponsort by google, the intent is to include facebook and the like as well :-), don't know what I have to think of it :-S.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by _xmv
by _xmv on Wed 21st Apr 2010 13:24 UTC
_xmv
Member since:
2008-12-09

seems to be some bot spaming in the comments ;)

otherwise.. Google has been doing quite a lot "non evil" stuff lately, maybe to counter the trend that has been to see them as "evil after all"

Sure, sometimes its because of money, but hey even having a good image is a matter of money. In the end when it's not evil, it's good for all us anyways.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by _xmv
by Earl Colby pottinger on Wed 21st Apr 2010 17:08 UTC in reply to "Comment by _xmv"
Earl Colby pottinger Member since:
2005-07-06

I think a lot of people miss that point.

In the real world Google is not about being evil or non-evil, it is about getting you to trust them with as much data as they can get from you.

The more you can trust them, the more data they get, the more data, the more money they make.

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Wed 21st Apr 2010 14:50 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

Google = Attention whore.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by Valhalla on Wed 21st Apr 2010 20:55 UTC in reply to "..."
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Google = Attention whore.


Takes one to know one I guess.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ...
by Hiev on Wed 21st Apr 2010 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

You just noted it, right?

Reply Score: 2

Woohoo
by jackastor on Wed 21st Apr 2010 20:22 UTC
jackastor
Member since:
2009-05-05

Iceland, Greenland, and Antarctica, the future of Internet Liberalism!

Reply Score: 1