Google cold on voluntary YouTube filtering

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Google cold on voluntary YouTube filtering

No assurances given to Australian Government.

Google Australia could not give the Government an assurance it would voluntarily remove all refused classification content from YouTube, its policy head said today.

The search giant was responding to comments by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to a Senate Estimates Committee yesterday that the Government was reaching out to Google to filter out refused classification video content on YouTube.

"YouTube has clear policies about what content is not allowed, for example hate speech and pornography and we enforce these, but we can't give an assurance that we would voluntarily remove all Refused Classification (RC) content from YouTube," Google Australia's head of policy Iarla Flynn said.

"The scope of RC is simply too broad - going well beyond child sexual abuse material into the grey realms of the socially and politically controversial as well as material instructing in any crime."

Conroy had said that it was not possible to apply ISP-level filtering to YouTube because it would introduce performance issues for the website's users.

Flynn also refuted suggestions by the Minister that the company used deep packet inspection technology to filter video content out elsewhere in the world.

"We have a bias in favour of freedom of expression in everything we do," Flynn said.

"We're also committed to complying with relevant laws, regulations and policies of the countries where we operate and we are transparent about this.

"We don't believe that comparisons between how Australia and China deal with access to information are helpful or relevant."

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