US Senator Joe Lieberman is calling on Google to censor more content on its blog platform. Why?
Well, Lieberman apparently believes that censorship of anti-West and violent jihadist content will keep people from wanting to attack America. At least that’s what it sounds like when you read the senator's formal letter to Google CEO Larry Page - asking Mountain View to censor content on its blogs.
In a roundabout way, Lieberman claims that Google plays a part in the war on terror - but should be doing more to help.
Yes, Lieberman thinks that Google’s primary mission should be to keep the Internet free of radical ideology and help the government fight its war on terror.
Lieberman references the blog of recent "lone wolf" terrorist suspect Jose Pimentel as a reason to police content on Google’s blogger platform.
"Pimentel allegedly used the Internet to access instructions to make bombs and share his support for violent Islamic extremism," writes Lieberman.
"Pimental's (sic) site is just one of the many examples of homegrown terrorists Google-hosted sites to propagate their violent ideology."
According to Lieberman, terror suspects use the Internet to look up information and write blog posts and therefore there would be fewer terrorists if IT companies like Google kept the public from being able to access information the government doesn’t like.
Not satisfied with the addition of a flagging option for content on YouTube, Lieberman actually ends his letter claiming that Google is getting in the way of the government’s fight against terrorists.
"I strongly believe that Google should expand that standard to include your other platforms. The private sector plays an important role in protecting our homeland from the preeminent threat of violent Islamic extremism, and Google's inconsistent standards are adversely affecting our ability to counter violent Islamic extremism online," Lieberman said.
Lieberman appears to be making the connection that terrorism exists partly because Google’s search engine allows information to be found and that their blogs allow people to post about anything they choose. His solution? Limiting the information people are allowed to access.
It sounds like Lieberman supports outright limitations on free speech. Of course, this isn't the first time the senator has made a case for government approved filtering of the Internet. In 2010, he argued that an Internet "Kill Switch" in the US is no big deal because China already has one.