Google threatens to block Australians over new media law

Imagine not being able to access Google, scary right?

Well, that’s just what might happen to Australians if their government go ahead with plans to make the Internet giant pay news outlets for their content.

Needless to say, Google is not having that, and so it’s presented the Australian government with an ultimatum; tweak legislation, or they block Australians from accessing using Google.

Google Australia Managing Director Mel Silva told a Senate committee in Canberra that if the current draft media laws went ahead unchanged it would be “the worst-case scenario” and force the firm to block Australians.

“If this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia,” Silva said.

However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, is not fazed by Google’s threat.

“Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. That’s done in our Parliament,” Morrison said.

“People who want to work with that in Australia, you’re very welcome, but we don’t respond to threats.”

The legislation was introduced last year to force Google and Facebook to pay local media organisations to host news content or face millions of dollars in fines, in one of the most aggressive moves globally to check the power of the two US digital giants.

Silva insisted that Google wanted to support news companies and instead suggested amendments to the media law, due to come into effect later this year.

“There is a clear pathway to a fair and workable code, with only slight amendments,” Silva said.

The company earlier suggested it could block content from Australian news outlets from appearing in its searches in response to the law, and b