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Google, U.S. Government Could Take On Censorship

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As businesses go, establishments don’t get much bigger than Google.  But even the Mountain View-based corporation needs a little help now and then, and in its war on censorship, Google is seeking assistance from the United States government.

“The online search giant is taking a novel approach to the problem by asking U.S. trade officials to treat Internet restrictions as international trade barriers, similar to other hurdles to global commerce, such as tariffs,” explains Christopher S. Rugaber in an article for the AP.

Rugaber then goes on to quote a Google spokesman, a U.S. Trade Representative spokeswoman, a legal expert, and an EFF authority, and after all that, it’s still hard to say if the plan would work.

The main problem is that there are a number of legal loopholes; it might even be more accurate to think of them as loopchasms, considering that “countries can limit trade for national security or public moral reasons,” and these are “exceptions that authoritarian governments would likely cite when filtering politically sensitive material.”

The cynic in me wants to point to the PR angle of this endeavor, then – perhaps Google is just hoping to get some positive press out of its crackdown on censorship.  After all, the company does have some making up to do in that department.  As reported by Rugaber, however, “Human rights groups say Google’s censorship efforts seem sincere, albeit motivated by bottom-line incentives.”

Google, U.S. Government Could Take On Censorship
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