Google to leave Australia over 'evil' filter

Google to leave Australia over 'evil' filter

Summary: Google will close its Australian operations, effectively blacklisting the country in response to the Federal Government's "evil" plan to filter the internet.

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Note: This article was an April Fools Joke. Google is still operating in Australia.

Google will close its Australian operations, effectively blacklisting the country in response to the Federal Government's "evil" plan to filter the internet.

Goooone

Gooooone for good
(Credit: ZDNet.com.au)

ZDNet.com.au has confirmed that the search engine giant will close its doors on Australia for good, effective immediately, marking the end of four years of its operation here and a long-running battle with the government over its plan to filter the internet.

Known for changing its famous logo to commemorate special occasions, Google's Australian site this morning featured a somewhat blunt statement on how the company viewed its place in the local market (see screenshot).

"We've already left China. That was clearly not a bluff and besides I couldn't take the food anyway," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt. "Oh yeah, and our company motto is always... I mean never ... wait, it's 'Don't Be Evil'. So we just can't be part of it."

Schmidt did however concede that it would be harder to leave Australia than China.

"It's a shame because our Sydney office has really nice views of the harbour. And have you seen our kitchen? I suppose Fairfax will want it now. Well, what's left of it anyway."

When asked for comment, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was silent for a moment before shouting, "They can't blacklist us ... we've already blacklisted them!"

Stephen Conroy

Conroy was stunned (Credit: Ben Grubb/ZDNet.com.au)

Some Microsoft representatives were on hand outside Conroy's office to offer their thoughts on Google's departure — and to hand out the many "Bing" T-shirts they had brought along.

"Look, we believe in competition, and now that Google is leaving Australia we will be able to compete," a Microsoft spokesperson said.

While it's goodbye to Google for Aussies, the company will retain a local presence, according to Schmidt.

"We expect to continue operations in the region — just not in Australia", said Schmidt. "We'll probably move to another nearby country, like Tasmania or something."


Topics: Google, Censorship, Government AU

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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Talkback

15 comments
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  • April Fooooooool !
    Sbezzy
  • This made my day already. But like all good satire, kind of gets you thinking though...!
    gbutler2
  • very amusing!
    julie.hodgson
  • I think you've missed the bigger story here. In the photo Conroy is clearly on drugs. Maybe he wants a filter so he can smoke it.
    WinstonChurchill-723d4
  • April Foooools day..!!!
    safetrac
  • Duuhhh- had me for a second!! Conroy looks a bit like a gumby Easter Bunny!
    Techmurf
  • MMMM... had me there for a few seconds. But then again would have been a nice way to show what a stuid idea "Conroys Filter" is.
    brucemills
  • Nice try. I wish they would though.
    Mel Sommersberg
  • And in more FAST-BREAKING NEWS, Communications Minister Senator Conroy has announced that his filter idea was a big mistake and will be withdrawn immediately.

    He said "I have realised that the preservation of democratic free speech is more important than a grubby little political scam to fool the well meaning but technically ignorant into thinking that my filter will save all the children.

    It would have been nice to have all those votes the ACL promised to deliver, but it is time to be honest and admit that the filter would have done nothing to stop pedophiles.

    The government regrets misleading the Australian people, and regrets even more the fact that now we won't be able to secretly censor Opposition statements."
    .
    gnome-8be8a
  • Gnome, NOW that was /is a joke & a very sick one at that !!
    Lord Stockton
  • I knew this was too good to be true!
    HackWraith
  • And the first prize goes to "I think you've missed the bigger story here. In the photo Conroy is clearly on drugs. Maybe he wants a filter so he can smoke it."
    Vasso Massonic
  • lol. I'm a big sucker. i only saw google was pulling out in a headline somewhere and now i find it was an april fools joke. to my credit if i had have read the article back then i would have clicked.
    thanks for the laugh, only 8 days late. you got me a beauty. keep up the good work.
    requiredto
  • Shame I didn't get the notice on the day in question!

    I had heard such rumors PRIOR to April that Google wasn't going to co-operate on the filter, but withdrawing from Australia? Even I smelled a rat there.
    Treknology
  • This is not an April fools joke. The thinking for Google started out in Sydney before it was stolen by two insiders and transfered to the US.

    read www.googlebeginnings.com
    neohippy