Filter THIS.
Tuesday December 23rd 2008, 3:33 am

The democratisation of information via the net is something that governments must surely regret.

dodge, waffle & weave before composting

Internet users are much more informed than the nonwired. Political campaigns are much more effective when organisers and rank and file are connected. Connectivity helped get Kevin07 over the line and was pivotal in Obama’s landslide. That same wired power can turn and bite, too.

Genie’s out of the bottle, guv. Mandatory filtering, even if it could be utterly transparent to 99.44% of users, is repugnant to the free exchange of information as now exists.

Labor will implement Conroy’s deeply flawed and wildly unpopular scheme at their political peril. We’re now talking about votes in significant numbers, not just a few indignant cyber-liberties activists.

While at the Beijing Olympics, Rudd berated China for their draconian internet censorship. However, if this half-baked, easily circumventable mandatory filtering scheme goes ahead, Australia will have exactly the same thing, making right fools of us on the international stage. Says JOLT, the Harvard Journal of Science and Technology:

By enacting such far-reaching, mandatory Internet censorship, Australia joins more repressive governments including those in China, Cuba, Iran and North Korea. China is by far the biggest offender when it comes to Internet censorship – the nation’s Internet filtration policy is considered more extensive and more advanced than in any other country in the world.

Don’t fuck it up, Kevin.


5 Comments so far
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That photo is priceless!!!

Well done weez.

Comment by Terry Wright 12.24.08 @ 10:13 am

Thanks, Terry. πŸ™‚

I think I predicted that banlists would be leaked in a matter of seconds. As an example, some wag has just leaked Denmark’s government censorship list on Wikileaks. Also on Wikileaks, a list of sites banned by Thailand. Most of these are kid porn crap that any reasonable person could understand being banned, but there’s some political bans in there too, like sites that insult the Thai king, a jailable offence in that kingdom.

A government that cannot withstand criticism should not stand.

Secret banlists can be abused for political purposes. If something legitimately secret CAN be abused for political gain, it WILL be abused. Ask Howard, Reith & Ruddock, if you don’t believe me. πŸ˜•

Comment by weez 12.24.08 @ 9:33 pm

I would hate to see the government sacrifice itself over a half-assed piece of right-wing crap like this. Just when I was starting to feel good about being an Australian again. Do you think they are doing this to keep that right wing fundy Steve Fielding on side, to improve the chance he will approve their other legislations in the Senate? Maybe it’s just a stubborn refusal to go back on an election “promise” – even a dumb promise like this.

I will still vote Labor at the next election, but without as much enthusiasm.

Comment by Jeff 12.25.08 @ 8:24 am

Jeff, I do think there’s some element of keeping Fielding onside in this, but I don’t think Labor would spend up $125 million for the privilege unless there were some internal political agenda satisfied beyond that end.

I don’t think it’s too hard to divine who the driving force within Labor would be, when you consider Kevid Rudd’s responses on ‘morality’ issues i.e. his opinion of the Henson matter. It’s not a secret that Rudd is a social conservative christian and that this opinion has been known to colour his political judgment. However, at least prior to the election, I thought Rudd was smart enough to know when to keep it in church.

Official censorship of internet traffic is a hugely authoritarian manoevre, even if it were technically possible and enforcible (which it is neither). Such an ambit, “cleaning” the internet of porn of any kind, would only be important to a radical christian conservative and I do think Mr Rudd has the potential to act out in that way.

It could only be worse with the Libs in power, amongst other things like a return to government sanction of robber barons (e.g WorkChoices back from the grave). I really hate the idea of voting for the least intolerable!

Comment by weez 12.25.08 @ 9:15 am

Don’t miss Mark Newton‘s most recent broadside on Whirlpool.

[…]To summarize: In one short month, this issue has featured a political catastrophe for the Government in virtually every week. McMenamin and Hamilton have become ever more marginalized, and thanks to Irene Graham’s usual stellar efforts journalists are way more informed about the censorship regime’s supporters than they were a few weeks ago. And the Minister has decided that the disaster is going to be prolonged, by delaying the commencement of the live trials for another few weeks, presenting the opportunity for yet more disastrous failure to come out into the open.

Meanwhile, in one short month most of the important points being made by critics have been shown to be right:

* Blacklists have been leaked in Denmark and Thailand, and neither of them restrict themselves to content that their laws say they’re supposed to restrict themselves to.
* The UK has shown that the Minister’s claims that their system doesn’t have performance problems are completely baseless, after they loudly and publicly killed Wikipedia.
* The censors have been embarrassed by identifying something they think is child pornography and deliberately failing to block it, in exactly the way that I warned Ellis about in my first letter over two months ago
* They’ve had egg on their faces when public revelations of their actions show that they’re a bunch of interfering busybodies who make poor decisions about identification of child pornography anyway — again, as I warned about in my first letter. Who really wants to put bozos like that in charge of anything?
* The AFP has proved, once again, with endorsement by the Minister, that basic police work is the only effective way of dealing with illegal material on the Internet.
* The directionless failure of this policy is being laid bare: We’re now past the deadline set by Conroy for the announcement of trial participants and the start of the trials, and we still don’t know who’s participating or what they’re supposted to be testing.
* The Minister has been caught trying to sweep contrary expert advice under the rug: He suppressed the IIA report, and has ignored AFP experts even after sending press releases praising their efforts.
* Scope creep is happening all ’round: Now there’s a discussion about P2P, where there wasn’t a week ago. Now cartoons are supposed to be viewed as child porn. Now posting links to home movies is supposed to count as distribution of child porn.

We’re right. Everything that’s happened over the last month has showed that we’re right. We’ve always been right, and we’ll be every bit as right next month as we are this month.

And that’s the direction, the narrative, the story behind this issue.

Rudd wants to stretch it out? Conroy wants to wait another 3 weeks before making anything happen in the live trials? They still want to refuse to provide draft legislation for review? Fine. Bring it on. Every day these clowns leave the issue alive is another day that they look like ridiculous losers.

Merry Freakin’ Christmas, Prime Senator Ruddroy, and a Happy New Year.

– mark

Comment by weez 12.26.08 @ 8:35 pm

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