Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Senator Lieberman objects to terrorist video on YouTube

We saw earlier that al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades were using Google Earth to site targets. Terrorist organizations also use the Internet for recruiting, logistics, propaganda, etc.

Joseph Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, asked Google, the parent company of the YouTube, to "immediately remove content produced by Islamist terrorist organizations" from the site and prevent similar content from reappearing.

Google, refused stating “While we respect and understand his views, YouTube encourages free speech and defends everyone's right to express unpopular points of view.”

A spokesperson for Lieberman then stated that the senator found the response unsatisfactory and was troubled that the company "does not appear willing to change its guidelines to prevent foreign terrorist organizations (as designated by the State Department) from posting videos used to radicalize followers and incite them to violence."

Evidently Lieberman feels that the Islamist organizations have a right to free speech in the US, but that Google does not have the obligation to publish their speech.

Every nation makes some attempt to control Internet content. Some ban pornography, others the sale of Nazi memorabilia, etc. Do you think Google should comply with Lieberman's request? What are the moral considerations? The practical business considerations?

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