Speed limit cars to 20, put pillows on all the guard rails
Monday October 20th 2008, 9:05 am

Driving an automobile is dangerous business. Drivers cannot be counted upon for exercise of commonsense. The driver has to date been foolishly entrusted by government with access to steering and is also not forcibly restricted from exceeding the speed limit at will nor stopping when it is mandated. Those impudent drivers can go as fast as they want, steer any old way that suits them and stop only if they feel like it. This practise of laissez-faire driving MUST be halted at once for the public good.

Speed limit signs and traffic signals merely ask the driver to do certain things but these devices don’t enforce behaviour. It’s long past due time that government put a stop to the ability of untrustworthy drivers to break the rules.

While government should keep such plans under wraps to avoid the indignant wrath of drivers until the necessary laws are in place and thus difficult to repeal, it is imperative that all motor vehicles immediately be fitted with speed limiting devices to prevent vehicles from exceeding 20km/h, the lowest legal speed limit. All roads must be fitted with padded guard rails pending installation of automatic steering systems on vehicles and burial of guide wires in roadbeds. Of course, all traffic will have to be halted while these absolutely necessary safety upgrades are installed. This may inconvenience some drivers, but after all, driving is not a right, it is a privilege bestowed by a benevolent government which must care for all citizens.

If this sounds in any way absurd, compare it to Stephen Conroy’s plans for mandatory content filtering for all Australian internet users. Even if you don’t have children in your house, you will be required to use government filtered internet services. Government is defining the banned sites and you don’t get to opt out. Such a filtering system is far too easily abused by government as you simply won’t know what you’re missing.

While it will be all too easy to circumvent Conroy’s filtering by use of offshore proxy services or especially by use of an onion-router application like Tor, proxying slows down access dramatically as a number of hops between routers are added to the response time. Filtering will be just as bad, as the filter compares content from the requested IP against a ban list. Australia already has abysmal broadband access speeds- Conroy’s plan will put us back 10 years, to dialup days.

Call or write Kevin Rudd and Stephen Conroy today. The only song these two seem to be getting, or at least are hearing, is that from the ‘won’t somebody save the children’ mob. It’s important they know that there’s a significant population of Australian internet users who either don’t need any filtering or who actually act like parents and supervise their children’s internet usage.

You don’t save children from drowning by banning water, you teach them how to swim.


9 Comments so far
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Hey, I’ve got an idea. No internet or computer required. We print the porn on paper and staple it together like one of those magazines. We can sell it and mail it in a brown envelope to whoever we like, or even take snapshots from the magazine and send it to the mates. Up yours gov’!

Comment by leomarie 10.20.08 @ 5:18 pm

Me, I think I’ll just sit around and think pornographic thoughts. I’m thinking one about Stephen Conroy as we speak. 😆

Comment by weez 10.20.08 @ 7:05 pm

Like anything in life its about finding the right balance between the basic freedoms we all expect to have in a democracy like ours while at the same time wanting to protect minors from exposure to material we prefer they didnt see. We think the arrangements that we had in place when we left office struck that balance.

Believe it or not Minchin said something to Computerworld worth a read. This is the one bit of legislation I will cheer about if blocked. Go Nick.

Comment by joe2 10.26.08 @ 6:32 am

Joe, I get this sinking feeling that Labor are digging their political graves.

Seen this?

Bill Henson scandal prompts overhaul of art laws

Much more nonsense like this and we’re back to the Lieberals in control. I’d love to think that the Greens will enjoy a protest vote, but they’ll be many moons before they can control Parliament at any level.

Comment by weez 10.26.08 @ 7:07 am

This is the text of the note I have sent to both Conroy & Rudd. Plagiarise at will. 🙂

Dear Mr Conroy,

I am writing today regarding Labor’s mandatory plan to filter internet services to all residences, even those which have no children.

This plan is flawed from beginning to end. The internet is designed to recognise censorship as damage and routes around it. There are easily available privacy applications like Tor (see: http://www.torproject.org/overview.html.en) which will circumvent any attempt to filter internet traffic. There’s nothing the government can do to prevent anyone in Australia from getting around filtering, even at the Internet Service Provider level.

The correct way to prevent children from accessing age-inappropriate materials is to supervise their internet usage. The family computer should be placed in a common area in the household where parents can see what the kids are up to.

Secondarily, filtering, if needed, can be done at the family computer, where parents have control over what sorts of sites are blocked. The government already provides free filtering applications for families with children.

There is no technical way that an ISP filtering scheme will not have a dramatic effect on the speed of Australian internet access, already among the poorest in the developed world. Households without children should not be penalised for the poor parenting skills of those who do not wish to supervise their children’s internet use.

At the end of the day, you do not prevent children from drowning by banning water; you teach them how to swim. In a case where children have encountered age-inappropriate materials, the correct course of action is to discuss what children have seen and put it in context suiting the age of the child.

Please reconsider this ill-conceived scheme. It won’t protect children. It will just annoy the millions of Australian voters who don’t need filtering.


(your name)

cc/ Kevin Rudd

Comment by weez 11.10.08 @ 8:09 am

Government uploads hypocrisy with internet censorship – Antony Loewenstein

Comment by weez 11.10.08 @ 1:18 pm

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