Australia: Google refuses government request to censor videos
Date: 11 Feb 2010
Google has refused to block access to videos that fall foul of the Australian government's 'refused classification' category, arguing that to do so would mean the removal of a number of harmless pieces that are considered to be politically controversial.
The government's measures will bring in new legislation that will force internet service providers to block websites that fall onto the government's blacklist, which it says is focused on sites that feature pornography and sites used to break the law.
Such areas would already be banned from Google's YouTube service, but more controversially the government's list could include euthanasia, drug use and even graffiti. Google said that exposing such topics to debate is a key tool for democracy.
The Australian minister Stephen Conroy said that Google should comply with Australian laws in serving users in Australia.
The debate has a great deal in common with recent discussions over Google's role in China.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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