Google opposes govt. move to block unlawful file sharing sites
The Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt said while speaking to reporters in London that the govt. move to restrict access to illegal file sharing sites could act as a “disastrous precedent” for the freedom of speech on the internet.
He was talking to reporters after delivering his keynote address at the Big Tent Conference of Google, in London.
Google to challenge any such attempt
Schmidt told the reporters that the company intends to fight the move to restrict access to Pirate Bay and other “cyberlocker” sites, that are involved in unlawful downloading.
These moves are a part of the government's plans to fight internet piracy, through measures like the Digital Economy Act (DEA) that are highly controversial.
Schmidt said, “If there is a law that requires DNSs [Domain name systems, the protocols that allow users to connect to websites] to do X and it’s passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President of the United States and we disagree with it then we would still fight it.”
He further told the reporters that, “If it’s a request the answer is we wouldn’t do it, if it’s a discussion we wouldn’t do it.”
Google equates it to restrictive internet in China
Schmidt, who became the executive chairman of the company just last month after remaining its chief executive for ten years, said that the website blocking is similar to the restrictive rules imposed on the internet in China.
He said, “I would be very, very careful if I were a government about arbitrarily [implementing] simple solutions to complex problems. So let’s whack off the DNS’. OK that seems like an appealing solution but it sets a very bad precedent because now another country will say ‘I don’t like frees speech so I’ll whack off all those DNSs’ – That country would be China.”
The culture minister, Jeremy Hunt, who was present at the same conference said that plans to restrict access to the unlawful file sharing sites are on schedule.
He however, felt that it will be a “challenge” to identify sites that should be blocked.