Dirty work comes cheap

The OpenNet Initative recently reported the following disturbing development in relation to Google:

YouTomb, a project of the MIT Free Culture group that studies takedown notices by the video-sharing website YouTube, has identified a mechanism used by Google to restrict video content in specific countries. This appears to be the method YouTube is using to filter videos on behalf of governments and private actors that request it.

And now this latest news from Indonesia:

Indonesian Internet providers have started blocking websites or blogs posting an anti-Islamic film that has sparked widespread protests, a report said Saturday.

Internet Service Providers Association chairwoman Sylvia Sumarlin told news website detikcom that access to YouTube has been blocked but could not guarantee it would be totally unavailable for national viewing.

She said there were other routes that Internet service providers (ISPs) could access that were currently not being used.

The film, “Fitna”, could still be accessed on YouTube from some providers on Saturday.

Earlier this week, the government wrote to YouTube asking it to take down the film, made by the far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders.

Is Google assisting the Indonesians in its request? Like in China, it appears increasingly likely that YouTube is more than happy to keep certain, major markets happy (not the people, mind you, but the authorities.)

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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