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UN says 'three strikes' laws violate human rights

Google has thrown its considerable weight behind a UN report and other moves by international organisations to free the Internet from heavy-handed government tyranny.

Writing on the search giant's public policy bog (opens in new tab), the do-no-evil organisation's Head of Free Expression (really... we kid you not) for EMEA waves a flag for a report (opens in new tab) penned by United Nations Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue, which argues that restricting the free flow of information across the Internet using draconian excommunications is a clear violation of human rights.

So-called 'three strikes' laws currently being bulldozered through both UK and French parliaments will see those alleged to be persistent file sharers - on the grounds of shaky evidence supplied by Big Media snoopers - permanently booted off of the Internet with little more than a nod to due process and not a sniff of a court conviction.

The Googlai Lama, better known as William Echikson, says he's looking forward to the approval of the report by the UN General Assembly and says it is already generating positive noises amongst law-makers across Europe in general, and in the UK in particular, where a cross-party group of MPs is demanding the Government rethinks its plans.

La Rue has also joined forces with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organization of American States, and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to issue a joint declaration (opens in new tab)which aims to maintain the Internet's fragile position as the last bastion of free speech in a world increasingly steered by big businesses rather than people power.

The declaration insists that free speech is free speech whether it's on the Internet or via any other medium; that ISPs can't be held accountable for what other people pump down their pipes; and that blocking access to web sites is just as bad as trying to ban a newspaper if you don't like its content. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.