You voted for Socialism, you wanted ‘change’: what did you expect?
Oh yes…it always starts out with some drivel about “protecting the children.” But it’s never really about the children, and it’s never really about pornography, either. It’s always about preventing the voters and taxpayers from learning too much about about what is actually going on in their own country and in the rest of the world.
Trouble is, miscreants will misreport legitimate political news and opinion blogs as being porn, in order to stifle freedom of expression via the web filter.
With thanks to 1389
The Australian Government has announced that they will be joining China as one of the few countries globally that broadly censor the internet.
The Labor Party’s policy was announced prior to the Australian Election in November (release here) and was justified on the basis that the previous Government’s policy of providing free copies of NetNanny to all Australian households who wanted it didn’t adequately protect children.
As recently as the week prior to the election, Labor Party candidates were telling those concernedabout the proposed law that the censorship wouldn’t be compulsory, and that the “clean feed” would be opt-in, not opt-out. Today’s announcement by Telecommunications Minister Stephen Conroy states that the censorship regime will be mandatory, although people will be able to opt-out of it. The problem of course then becomes if you opt-out questions will be asked as to why you want out, which in itself may lead to Government monitoring.
To be censored by the Australian Government is “pornography and inappropriate material.” X rated pornography is illegal online in Australia, as are casino style internet gambling, certain forms of “hate” speech and R rated computer games. BitTorrent would be a possibility, even if certain downloads for personal use may be legal under Australian law, sharing those downloads would not be. How far “inappropriate material” may extend was not made clear, for example questioning Government policy where it comes to Aboriginal people could be deemed to be discrimination under Australian law and hence blocked by the censorship regime. Worst still, bloggers or those (such as forum owners) who allow users to comment or post could find themselves blocked under this proposal should someone say or post the wrong thing. If there is one certainty in any country that implements broadscale censorship, once they start blocking content it doesn’t stop, and certainly every do-gooder group and special interest lobbyist will be wanting the Government to add to the list.
An Orwellian nightmare in the making.
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
– Winston Churchill