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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

U.S. envoy questions Aussie net muzzle

The U.S. ambassador to Australia is questioning an Australian move to block citizens from access to web sites deemed inappropriate by authorities, the Hill/ reports.

It should be noted that the web filtering laws in Britain and Australia follow a call by a member of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for governments to begin censoring terrorism propaganda sites, which he implied includes Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

The British government may have had another incentive. Parliament's expenses scandal began when an American woman had the remarkable temerity to file a freedom of information request to see the records. Parliament was in the midst of sanitizing them when an insider leaked the documents to a newspaper in exchange for a handsome sum.

Now suppose the documents had been instead given to WikiLeaks. The new law gives the government the authority to block Britons from viewing the damaging material. It is of minor interest that the House of Lords, which was noted for exceptional greed, originated the bill and the Commons looked the other way while a skeleton crew whisked it through.

New Zealand's acting prime minister, Bill English, would be concerned about Fiji's new media censorship decree and wants further information, the New Zealand Herald reports.

The New York Times applauds the State Dept.'s restoration of visas for two intellectuals barred from the country during the Bush administration. An editorial calls for the Obama administration to completely overturn the "loathsome Cold War practice" of barring visitors based on their political views.

CBS and the Pentagon top the dubious Muzzle Awards list issued by the First Amendment Center./

At least 68 bloggers, web-based reporters and online editors are under arrest worldwide, says the International Center for Media Assistance/, which is promoting the UN's World Press Freedom Day, which is marked every May 3.

It has been reported/ that Lucy Dalglish, head of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, has forbidden her staff from using WikiLeaks as a source, arguing that the site gives ammunition to pro-censorship officials.

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