Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ariel Sharon: "Wipe Iran off of Google."

Israeli prime minister escalates mid-east rhetoric with threat of indexcide.

In a press conference Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon turned up the heated rhetoric with Iran by threatening to "De-index Iran from Google." Responding to reporters' repeated questions about his response to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threat to "wipe Israel of the map," Sharon was derisive: "who cares about maps any more? You want to get rid of someone? Huh? Well we'll see about that. how about we wipe all references to Iran from Google searches?" he continued, referring the popular internet search engine. "How about removing all books that make any reference to Iran Google Print, all images from Google Images, all groups that contain reference to Iran from Google Groups, no Iranian products purchasable through Froogle, and yes, complete removal of Iran from Google Maps? 'Wipe Israel of the map'? Ha! By the time we are done with them, no one will even know Iran exists--or at least they won't be able to confirm it. Iran will be relegated to the obscurity of second-rate resources like Yahoo search, Alta Vista, and the Encyclopedia Britannica. Wikipedia won't even know what information is correct and what is not."

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan voice strong concern for the increased intensity in the developing war of words. "Like Iran, Israel needs to remember that they have vowed not to threaten the use of force against another state. This includes acts of information indexcide. I am dismayed that Sharon, who has otherwise been an active advocate for peace in his time as Prime Minister, would threaten these measures."

Many believe that Sharon's comments about removing Iran from all Google searches are more than empty rhetoric. Many human rights organizations have confirmed fears that the Israeli Secret police may be developing such technology. They site evidence that that a former president of Palestine cannot be confidently identified. "We know that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is fairly new, so someone must have held the position before him. But we can't currently confirm with our normal research methods--namely a Google search. This seems extremely suspicious."

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