Google stood up for artistic expression and to White House pressure today when it rejected a request from the Obama administration to remove an online video that mocked Muhammed.
Anti-American Islamists have used the video as an excuse to attack U.S. interests abroad this week even though al-Qaeda and other more sophisticated and organized terrorists are most likely behind the attacks. The U.S. Ambassador and a former Navy SEAL were among the Americans who have been murdered by violent mobs.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the White House had asked Google to consider if the video violated Google’s terms of service. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama are trying to blame the attacks on the video to deflect from their foreign policy and intelligence failures.
Google said it was censoring the video in countries like Egypt, Libya, India, and Indonesia in compliance with the laws of those countries.
“We’ve restricted access to it in countries where it is illegal such as India and Indonesia, as well as in Libya and Egypt, given the very sensitive situations in these two countries,” Google said in a statement. “This approach is entirely consistent with principles we first laid out in 2007.”
America does not have such laws, and Google’s rejection of the White House’s request for censorship is evidence of how different America’s values are from those of other countries, especially when it comes to freedom of expression.