Google and Yahoo Do Battle With Australian Government over Censorship

Google and Yahoo are contesting the Australian government's proposal to install internet filters that would block access to unrated books and movies, which the government refers to as Refused Classification (RC.) In conjunction with organisations such as the Systems Administrators Guild of Australia and Electronic Frontiers Australia, the search engines have objected to what they believe is an overly broad proposal. They feel that educational and social materials would also be compromised under this new system. Sue Hutley of the Australian Library and Information Association noted that one-size-fits-all bans on material through filtering have been "shown to trap legitimate information and adversely affect valid internet access and performance".

There are also technical issues to consider. The RC filter has been reported as being extremely slow in filtering high-traffic sites such as YouTube, which could cause a performance bottleneck. Proponents defended RC by stating that it protects children from internet abuse. Critics responded that the majority of child internet abuse occurs in chat rooms, which aren't filtered.

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