back to article 'Internet censorship is trade barrier', says Google exec

Google's top legal man wants to see pressure applied to governments - such as China's and Turkey's - that have strict internet censorship rules in place. According to Reuters, David Drummond argued at a public meeting with US Trade Rep Ron Kirk and other Mountain View wonks at the Googleplex on Wednesday that such behaviour by …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    "Internet censorship is really a trade barrier, and is operating that way for US companies that are trying to do business abroad,"

    this is really strange, as I am trying to do business with US companies, but they are the ones refusing to sale to me. Almost every digital store won't sale to me because I live in Africa right now (ie. iTunes, Amazon digital store).

    So what is Google talking about?

    1. JaitcH

      To the less well informed ...

      Africa means NIGERIA the biggest word for FRAUD in the West.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Maybe to the very ill informed.

        Every time I think of Africa I generally think of the African Union ( and the phrase "maybe there's hope yet..."

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nonsense argument

    Is Saudi Arabia's ban on the import of porn magazines a trade barrier? Is Europe's ban on food additives that are allowed in America a trade barrier?

    The answer is literally yes but legally no. There is only a problem if countries give preferential terms to domestic businesses; banning everybody from carrying out an activity is not a problem.

    If Chinese search engines were not subject to the same restrictions as Google then Google would have a point. But they are.

    1. Richard 120

      I thoroughly agree

      Could the same argument not also be applied to internet gambling?

      America has decided to make gambling online illegal, whilst domestic casinos are okay?

      Protectionism maybe?

      From what I can gather the prohibition isn't working anyway, perhaps it's time they got their own firewall to protect them from the dangers of free trade.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes it could

        "Could the same argument not also be applied to internet gambling?"

        Yes, which is why the WTO found in favour of Antigua against America in 2004. However, the case doesn't seem to have reached a conclusion. As of July last year negotiations were ongoing (second from last paragraph):

  3. Bernard M. Orwell


    "But also that if you want to be part of the community of free trade, you are going to have to find a way to allow the internet to be open."

    erm... Isn't Turkey applying to be part of the EU? How will that affect their internets I wonder?

  4. EvilGav 1

    This . . .

    . . . from the country that has *actively* banned foreign gambling sites from operating within it's borders and even had one state illegally seize domain names.

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    "If this were happening with physical trade and manufacturing goods, we'd all be saying this violates trade agreements pretty fundamentally."

    Cool so Japan and China can now export as many goods as they want into US as they want, without massive taxes?

    Or maybe 3rd world countries export unlimted food to the EU and US?

    Or maybe our company can set up a Cuba branch, one in Iran and one in USA and freely trade between them?

    Now being quiet Mr Pot, the kettle is calling.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Fsck off Google

    While I don't agree with any censorship Google's revolting attempt at preaching free-speech is sickening. The only reason they care about censorship is because it affects their precious bottom line, that and the fact there are still vast swathes of the global population Segey and co. can't tell what to think...

    If you are being censored at least there is an upside, freedom from Googlefication!

    Mine's the one with the Turkish Air tickets in the pocket...

  7. JaitcH

    Some censorship is a trade barrier

    I disagree with any form of censorship but I hardly thinking blocking pornography or churches advocating Koran burning does much for trade.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    The Yanks whining about trade barriers?

    ""Internet censorship is really a trade barrier, and is operating that way for US companies that are trying to do business abroad," he grumbled."

    The Yanks whining about trade barriers?

    Oh, them master hypocrites.

    Fortunately Google is clarifying:"US companies that are trying to do business abroad" as heaven forbid that any company from abroad would be allowed to do any business in US without local partner.

    Very similar concept than in China: "Free trade" means "free to _us_, not to you."

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