Australian Foreign Minister "Condemns" YouTube Video

Here is a weird one from the New York Times Lede blog: An anonymous person posted a video on YouTube that accuses the Australian government of opposing Japan’s whaling practices because of its "prejudice and racism against the Japanese." In response, Foreign Minister of Australia Stephen Smith issued an audio statement condemning the video and re-affirming the Australian government's view that Japanese whaling should cease. In his statement, Smith repeatedly draws attention to the anonymous character of the video and, according to Agence France-Presse, he even commented to reporters: "It's anonymous, so that tells you something before we even start."

I suppose this doesn't qualify as a legal threat, which is a good thing. When faced with critical speech, it's refreshing to see a government use more speech to address the situation, rather than censorship. This is encouraging, especially coming from a government that recently issued an Internet policy statement that raises some serious free speech concerns.


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