News Burst: Free-speech group blasts Net rating system

Restrictions on Net content proposed at an international conference this week have drawn fire from free-speech campaigners.

The international Net community is to meet Thursday through Saturday at the Internet Content Summit in Munich to discuss rating schemes for Net content. Advocates of content rating are hoping a global framework for filtering out pornography, hate sites and other online material will be adopted as an alternative to government regulation.

But the Global Internet Liberty Campaign has serious concerns about how the proposals could damage the freedom of the Net. "Contrary to their original intent, such systems may actually facilitate governmental restrictions on Internet expression," the group said in a statement.

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