Google wants U.S. help fighting censorship

Once relatively indifferent to government affairs, Google Inc. is seeking help inside the Beltway to fight the rise of Web censorship worldwide. 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. Google sees the dramatic increase in government Net censorship, particularly in Asia and the Middle East, as a potential threat to its advertising-driven business model, and wants government officials to consider the issue in economic, rather than just political, terms.

"It's fair to say that censorship is the No. 1 barrier to trade that we face," said Andrew McLaughlin, Google's director of public policy and government affairs. A Google spokesman said Monday that McLaughlin has met with officials from the U.S. Trade Representative's office several times this year to discuss the issue. "If censorship regimes create barriers to trade in violation of international trade rules, the USTR would get involved," USTR spokeswoman Gretchen Hamel said. She added though that human rights issues, such as censorship, typically falls under the purview of the State Department.

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News source: CNN

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5 Comments

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ya...why they need the gov to make some alternate arrangements to make Google bussiness more profit?...Gov doesnt have any other work or wat?

so, google's ****ed they're losing money ..... big whoop!
i personally don't agree with censorship, but it's their business, not ours!

Is this a joke?

They censor their own results in China etc, to comply with the Chinese government and now want others help to fight this censorship.

You look at it, and are confused. The explanation is very clear.

They comply with Chinese laws regarding censorship. You and I see this as a bad thing. Google may, too. Or they more likly just don't care much about the ethics.

But censorship and local country laws do make it difficult for them to do business, having to walk the tightrope of what is allowed and what is not, and setting up country-specific filters for these places. Then dealing with the capricious nature of these individual government rules.

The cynic in us can look at this as a way for Google to make their own business easier and cheaper, and you can even view them as doing this to evilly maximize their bottom-line cash they rake in, if you like.