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Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut senator who currently chairs the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, thinks he has found a new way to thwart terrorism. He just needs Google’s help.
Talking Points Memo obtained a letter Lieberman sent to Google CEO Larry Page Tuesday (you can read it in full here) following NYPD’s Saturday arrest of "lone wolf" Jose Pimentel. Pimentel was an Islamic extremist who was arrested for constructing a pipe bomb. It turns out Pimentel started a jihadist website, on Google’s Blogger platform. Lieberman wrote:
Pimentel’s Internet activity — both his spreading of bomb-making instructions links and his hate-filled writings — were hosted by Google. On his site www.trueislam1.com, Pimentel stated, “People have to understand that America and its allies are legitimate targets in warfare. This includes facilities such as army bases, police stations, political facilities, embassies, CIA and FBI buildings, private and public airports, and all kinds of buildings where money is being made to help fund the war.” As demonstrated by this recent case, Google’s webhosting site, Blogger is being used by violent Islamist extremists to broadcast terrorist content.
Lieberman feels all Google platforms should ban terrorist content and provide a ‘flag’ feature for any offending content. Only some of Google’s sites, like YouTube, currently have the flagging feature.
A Google spokeswoman was unavailable for comment, but the Twitterverse is afire, with many users calling this yet another attempt by Lieberman to censor free speech and the Internet. Lieberman, officially and Independent who caucuses with Democrats, is partly famous for his strong conservative stances on many issues. He’s an outspoken critic of Wikileaks, and just last year, he introduced a bill called "Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010," which granted the President emergency power to shut off the Internet.