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Gutsy Google gets Greens' envy

The Australian Greens has released a glowing response today to Google's recent decision to stop censoring its search service in China, calling it "bold" and an example that other companies and governments around the world should follow.

The Australian Greens has released a glowing response today to Google's recent decision to stop censoring its search service in China, calling it "bold" and an example that other companies and governments around the world should follow.

Scott Ludlam

Senator Ludlam
(Credit: Scott Ludlam's office)

The Greens also slammed the Labor Government, which is planning to implement a mandatory internet filter in 2011.

"Google has made the first move in acknowledgement of the long-term futility of internet censorship. We commend Google's initiative, which is quite a contrast to the Rudd Government's meek approach to China," said Greens Senator Scott Ludlam. Ludlam also called Rudd's filtering plan a "ridiculous censorship proposal".

"Abandoning this ridiculous censorship proposal might also give our arguments more weight when trying to redefine our relationship with China," said Ludlam.

The Greens senator also sung his praises for Google's submission on the filter, which criticised the scheme.

"Google's move in China has been followed by a highly critical submission on the Australian Government's own plan to censor the internet, saying parents around Australia have the strong view that 'the government's proposal goes too far and would take away their freedom of choice around what information they and their children can access'," said Ludlam.

Google's submission stated that the filtering plan could "damage Australia's international reputation", give "a false sense of security" and called the scope of what was being filtered "too wide".

"Some limits, like child pornography, are obvious. No Australian wants that to be available — and we agree. But moving to a mandatory [internet service provider] 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," Google said.

The Greens has previously called on the Australian Government and businesses to boycott China after attempts to hack into internet giant Google.