28 November 2008

Save the Net


The Get Up! group has launched their campaign against mandatory internet censorship. It's worth getting behind.

For those who don't know, the federal Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy is proposing internet censorship at ISP level. In my opinion, the moves being planned are an INTERNATIONAL DISGRACE!!!

From Wikipedia:

In October 2008, Senator Conroy announced that filtering of illegal material would be mandatory for all Australians, and there would be no opt-out provision.

Wikipedia refers to this article to cite this.

From Get Up!'s website:

The Federal Government is planning to force all Australian servers to filter internet traffic and block any material the Government deems ‘inappropriate’. Under the plan, the Government can add any ‘unwanted’ site to a secret blacklist.

Testing has already begun on systems that will slow our internet by up to 87%, make it more expensive, miss the vast majority of inappropriate content and accidentally block up to 1 in 12 legitimate sites. Our children deserve better protection - and that won't be achieved by wasting millions on this deeply flawed system.

(Their emphasis)

Regular reader Paul has already pointed out on his blog that anything that gets introduced can be gotten around. And it looks relatively simple too - any 12 year old kid can do it.

The thing is, why should the rest of us carry the can for parents who are too irresponsible to supervise their kids on the internet? Or install their own net nanny programs?

I actually think that we probably need to consider something far more serious than just joining an internet petition. I for one will be sending a snail mail letter to my local MHR, Jenny Macklin, who also happens to be the federal Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

But I'd like to go one step further.

Conroy's faction within the ALP is the Transport Workers Union. This is their website. And this is their email address: twu@twu.com.au .

Let's go berzerk and bombard them with complaints. After all, Conroy responds to a higher power, and it's them. He will do their bidding.

(Thanks to Sean the Blogonaut)

14 comments:

Akusai said...

Jeez, you guys are getting a bum wrap down there. Censoring the internet? Did they completely miss the point of the internet?

What's the status of net neutrality in Oz? A couple of years ago, House Republicans were pushing to do away with it here, but it didn't pass, and now Obama claims to be strongly in support of net neutrality. We might survive a few more years with an open internet that allows anyone with a keyboard and a few minutes to try their hand at whatever strikes their fancy. Provided it isn't sex with small children.

In twenty years or so, when the net has become as ridiculously regulated as most other media and relegated mostly to the wealthy and major corporations, maybe we'll look back and say "At least we had it good for a while."

Dikkii said...

Akusai, it's fucking idiotic but our collective social paranoia about kiddie porn, paedophiles and terrorism has finally shat all over the rest of us.

Currently net neutrality is set to a pH of 7, but that will change if Conroy's planned internet filter goes in.

In twenty years or so, when the net has become as ridiculously regulated as most other media and relegated mostly to the wealthy and major corporations, maybe we'll look back and say "At least we had it good for a while.".

I'm hoping that this becomes a real issue. I'm almost at the point of setting up a CafePress t-shirt that says "Take back your rights - make a joke about terrorism or paedophilia today". I really don't care about arguments of taste.

Anonymous said...

Just further evidence of the growing "Orwellian" culture spreading like a cancer through our society.

All of these decisions that are being made "for our protection" are becoming a joke. The thing that bothers me the most is this very loosly discribed term of "inappropriate material". I would like to know who would be responsible for deciding which sites are to be black listed, and what measures are inplace to keep that process in check.

Dikkii said...

Anon, the blacklist itself will probably be kept under wraps in the interests of "national security".

Who deems this stuff "appropriate"?

Not me, that's for sure. If I applied an "appropriateness filter" to anything I blog about, I would have given up blogging years ago.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Conroy has appeared on a radio show playing down his opponents wild claims stating that they are only at a trial stage and repeating the idea that other countries are moving in the same direction. He seems to becom less precise evert=ytime I hear him speak.

Akusai said...

Well, China is down the road a ways in that direction. Good company, that.

Dikkii said...

Sean, as Akusai points out, other countries are on the way to implementing this sort of thing. Unfortunately, China, Myanmar and North Korea are not countries that we should be emulating.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Conroy has previously mentioned the UK, and Scandinavia, forgetting the little detail about it being voluntary - now I think he is removing the substance from his press releases so that he can't be pulled up on what he says.

Dikkii said...

Conroy almost appears to be paving the way to not going ahead with his proposal. It will be interesting to see what might happen. Still, a concerted campaign targeting the TWU could be fun - imagine the irony of picketing their offices.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Dikkii,

Its possible. But it seems like a fucking aweful waste of money to carry out a trial that we know won't work just to save face.

Dikkii said...

Agreed.

Dunc said...

But it seems like a fucking aweful waste of money to carry out a trial that we know won't work just to save face.

And a successful politician would never do something like that, right? [Rolls eyes until they fall out...]

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

One can live in hope that some of the politicians in Canberra have a conscience. I am trying to give up being overly cynical this december :)

Dikkii said...

I am trying to give up being overly cynical this december :)

Sadly, I can't avoid it. December brings out a misanthropic streak in me.