Google have announced the launch of a government censorship tool that shows requests made by the world governments to remove websites and content. The tool also shows any freedom of information requests made for personal user data.
Google made the announcement while delivering a poignant message to the governments of the world – that freedom of opinion and expression are not liberties to be trifled with. Quoting article 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Google warns of the alarming growth of censorship on the Web:
…”‘everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’ Written in 1948, the principle applies aptly to today’s Internet — one of the most important means of free expression in the world. Yet government censorship of the web is growing rapidly: from the outright blocking and filtering of sites, to court orders limiting access to information and legislation forcing companies to self-censor content.”
Here at the Manchester SEO blog, we are delighted at the move, and wanted to take this opportunity to openly thank Google for their protective gaze. Recent revelations over our MPs expenses have demonstrated just how unfit our leaders are to police themselves. At the very least, this tool will prove a highly effective safeguard against further abuses of power. With the controversial passing of the UK’s Digital Economy Bill, the timing couldn’t have been better.
Above all, this message reminds us that intellect will always triumph over tyranny. I would not trust our government to decide what search results I see. But if Google stood for parliament, I would vote for them.