Google boss Eric Schmidt has said that plans by the U.S. and UK governments to allow Internet service providers to block access to illegal filesharing websites could be “disastrous” for free speech.
The Guardian reports Mr. Schmidt, speaking in London after the search giant’s Big Tent conference, as warning that it would challenge any attempt to restrict access to so-called ‘cyberlocker’ sites like The Pirate Bay that encourage illicit downloading.
“If there is a law that requires DNSs [domain name systems] 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 was quoted as saying.
“If it’s a request the answer is we wouldn’t do it, if it’s a discussion we wouldn’t do it.”
Google’s executive chairman also suggested that website blocking can be equated to the restrictive internet regime in place in China.
In the UK, rights holders are in talks with Internet service providers to block access to around 100 websites that allow users to illegally fileshare.