Rather Than Respond To Criticism Of Aussie Censorship Plan, Conroy Attacks Google
from the that'll-win-them-over dept
With more and more complaints coming in about Stephen Conroy’s plan in Australia to start censoring the internet, it appears that Conroy, rather than responding to the critics, has decided to just lash out at them. For example Google recently filed comments with the Australian gov’t suggesting that the plan was “heavy-handed” and raised “genuine questions about restrictions on access to information.” Now, these seem like legit concerns — and from what we’ve heard, many citizens in Australia agree. So you might think that Conroy, the main backer of the plan and Australia’s Communications Minister would take the complaints seriously and respond to them.
Instead, he just starts trashing Google over a variety of totally unrelated issues and taking quotes totally out of context:
“Recently the founders of Google have got themselves into a little bit of trouble because notwithstanding their alleged ‘do no evil’ policy, they recently created something called Buzz, and there was a reaction, and people said well look aren’t you publishing private information?,” Senator Conroy said.
“[Google CEO Eric] Schmidt said the following: ‘If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place’. This is the founder of Google. He also said recently to Wall Street analysts, ‘we love cash’, so when people say, shouldn’t we just leave it up to the Googles of this world to determine what the filtering policy should be….”
Of course, none of that has anything to do with the censorship plan. With the Buzz controversy, it’s also worth noting that within hours of the controversy coming out, Google changed its plans and corrected its mistakes. Has Conroy done that at all? Nope. The Schmidt quotes are then both taken totally out of context and also have absolutely nothing to do with filters. No one is saying that it should be Google who determines what the filtering policy is, but Google did raise important questions, which Conroy doesn’t even bother to address.
And it’s not just Google. As the article notes, these comments were made on a radio program where the majority of phone calls were against the censorship proposal. And yet Conroy wants to “defend” the proposal by attacking Google? On the whole, it seems like a lot more people are willing to trust Google than trust Conroy to tell them what they can and cannot do with their internet connections.