Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Google Censorship

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By Stephen Bassett
Executive Director
Paradigm Research Group

     Washington, DC - On April 30 PRG published an Open Letter to Senator Hillary Clinton regarding Laurance Rockefeller's effort from March of 1993 through 1996 to convince her husband to release all government held files pertaining to UFOs and extraterrestrial life. This letter was published to the websites for PRG, American Chronicle, OpEd News and the National Ledger. It was also sent out to approximately 5000 television, radio, internet and print media.

PRG web location for the Open Letter at: http://tinyurl.com/67w9py

PRG watched carefully as the pages holding this Open Letter moved quickly up the search engine results at Google and Yahoo based on these search criteria:

open letter to Senator Hillary Clinton
open letter to Senator Clinton
open letter to Hillary Clinton

Within 36 hours the PRG and American Chronicle Open Letter to Senator Hillary Clinton pages were at or near the top of both the Google and Yahoo search results.

At that time the Google search listings for the Open Letter to Senator Hillary Clinton published by PRG were stripped (or blocked) from the Google search results. Fortunately, this did not take place with the Yahoo search returns.

Efforts by PRG to reach Google to determine why this had happened have been fruitless.

Blocking the Google search engine from listing the web pages which contain the PRG Open Letter to Senator Hillary Clinton is a pure act of political censorship.

Given Google's behavior as regards its presence in the People's Republic of China - compliance with severe content restrictions - this act of censorship raises deeply serious questions.

First and foremost it raises the question of what other pages containing political speech not acceptable to Google are being blocked from Google search listings within the United States?

PRG is seeking pro bono legal assistance from 1st Amendment specialist attorneys in order to open a dialogue with Google to resove this matter.

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