About one month ago, Google and Yahoo joined the Australian Library and Information Association and the Inspire Foundation in protesting an Internet filter that’s meant to affect all of Australia. Now, the country’s government has processed their submissions, and the situation has started to receive a lot more attention.
The Sydney Morning Herald published an article today titled "Google, Yahoo slam web filtering plan." The article quoted Google as stating, "[M]oving to a mandatory ISP level filtering regime with a scope that goes well beyond such material is heavy-handed and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information."
Still, it’s hard to ignore such language given what’s happened in China, and the Australian government may now feel compelled to take Google’s complaints more seriously. Even if there’s no chance that Google would do something like redirect searchers to Google.com.hk, the search giant could use an unbuilt data center as a bargaining chip.
Australia’s elected officials should hardly want to get lumped in with China’s leaders, anyway.