Google to Lieberman: Thanks for The Input, But We Disagree

Internet giant Google rebuffed Sen. Joe Lieberman's (I-Conn.) request Tuesday to remove internet video content produced by terrorist organizations, claiming the action would stifle the "free speech" the Google-owned site YouTube encourages.

On its blog, the company said that while it "respects his views" it disagrees with Lieberman "about the details of our policies."

"YouTube encourages free speech and defends everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. We believe that YouTube is a richer and more relevant platform for users precisely because it hosts a diverse range of views, and rather than stifle debate we allow our users to view all acceptable content and make up their own minds," the company replied.

In the letter Lieberman sent Monday, he asked Google to "immediately remove content produced by Islamist terrorist organizations from YouTube."

"Islamist terrorist organizations use YouTube to disseminate their propaganda, enlist followers, and provide weapons training
May 19, 2008

Dr. Eric Schmidt
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Google, Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

Dear Dr. Schmidt:

YouTube is being used to share videos produced by al-Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist groups. The purpose of this letter is to request that Google implement its own policy against this offensive material, remove these videos from YouTube, and prevent them from reappearing.

Today, Islamist terrorist organizations rely extensively on the Internet to attract supporters and advance their cause. The framework for much of this Internet campaign is described in a bipartisan staff report released last week by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (