July 25, 2006

Google Germany Censored Sites vs. Germany's Voluntary Self-Monitoring Blacklist

Philipp Lenssen asks Why Is Stormfront.org Missing in Google Germany?, discussing Google censorship:

How does Google know which sites they need to censor? One thing Google and others in Germany do is to access blacklist data on a server by the Association for the Voluntary Self-Monitoring of Multimedia Service Providers, FSM("Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Multimedia-Diensteanbieter eV") ... Stormfront.org, however, is not on this BPjM blacklist module, according to the BPjM.

My comment on this was that he hasn't found a bug in Google's censorship, he's found a bug in the "BPjM blacklist" :-).

The response he got from Google was unhelpful as usual.

One of the reasons I've opposed censorware is that secret blacklists preclude judicial review. This may be a commonplace now, but it's acquiring new resonance with, let's say very prominent cases involving claims of secrecy and national security:

pp.39-40, "If the government's public disclosures have been truthful, revealing whether AT&T has received a certification to assist in monitoring communication content should not reveal any new information that would assist a terrorist and adversely affect national security. And if the government has not been truthful, the state secrets privilege should not serve as a shield for its false public statements. In short, the government has opened the door for judicial inquiry by publicly confirming and denying material information about its monitoring of communication content."

But then, we're back to the same problem - I'm preaching to choir here, and marginalized to anyone else :-(.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware , google | on July 25, 2006 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Can you elaborate on the meaning of the pages 39-40 paragraph quoted?

Posted by: Philipp Lenssen at July 26, 2006 12:07 PM