Google threatens to pull out of Australia

By John Nixon 01/04/2010

This story just came in on Australian IT News.
In the past I have argued against net censorship here, and was ready to do so again.
The story makes quite alarming reading:

“Google threatens to close Pyrmont office in response to Conroy’s filter.”

Internet search giant Google is planning to close down its Australian office in response to the Federal Government’s plans to filter the internet, according to an internal memo sighted by iTnews.

According to the leaked memo, Google CEO Eric Schmidt [pictured] canvassed the option in discussions with the US State Department on how to take an appropriate international stance on censorship earlier this month.

“We can’t be compromised by the Australian situation,” the memo reads. “We pulled out on the Chinese over their filter – it won’t go unnoticed if we remain in Australia.”

Tensions between the Federal Government and Google escalated on Monday evening, when Communications Minister Stephen Conroy told ABC Radio that the search giant should consider its own privacy policies before criticising those of elected governments.

Conroy said Google’s motivations could be summed up in one alleged Schmidt, quote: “We love cash!”

The memo canvasses the option of Google moving its handful of local switches and cache kit to New Zealand, mirroring the approach taken in China, where racks were re-located to Hong Kong.

But wait a minute! New Zealand also has a filter policy, the terms of which have raised little discussion or demonstrated interest here so far.

Then I reached the end of the article and read “We can’t help but wonder if this means Google is somehow pro-bestiality.”

“Representatives from Google were too busy enjoying April Fools Day!!! to make comment.”

So yes, I’m an April fool! Serves me right!

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