Anti-censorship group censored
Wednesday May 06th 2009, 10:08 pm

EFA have been served with a link deletion notice by ACMA. They’ve been ordered to remove a link to http://www.abortiontv.com/Pics/AbortionPictures6.htm, a site which was added to the ACMA blacklist after anti-censorship Whirlpool user xFOADx baited them to do so.

As a good measure of the circular futility of internet censorship, ACMA served Whirlpool with a link deletion notice when xFOADx published the content of a letter to him from ACMA indicating the page on the abortion.tv site had been blacklisted. EFA rightfully wonder where it all will end:

If a link to a prohibited page is not allowed, what about a link to a link? At what number of hops does a hyperlink ecome acceptable?

Indeed, is http://tinyurl.com/3ya5js a prohibited link? It points to http://www.abortiontv.com/Pics/AbortionPictures6.htm. How about http://tinyurl.com/cgyla3? It points to http://tinyurl.com/3ya5js.

EFA have also reproduced a copy of the ‘Final Link Deletion Notice‘ as received from ACMA. Page 3 of the Notice contains the evil offending link. Should ACMA ban EFA from publishing ACMA’s own Notice?

1984 much?

mgk’s host has not yet been served with a link deletion notice for the several times I have published the http://www.abortiontv.com/Pics/AbortionPictures6.htm, but hope springs eternal. I’m aware that a complaint has been made to ACMA about mgk, but whether a single blogger is worth ACMA’s attention or if they will focus on attacking large harbours of criticism of the government like EFA & Whirlpool remains to be seen.

One thing’s certain; the first rule of censorship is that you cannot discuss censorship.

-weez


7 Comments so far
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Well done Weez. I’m glad you’re following this so closely.

My question is, how did we even get this far? This is an election losing issue but the government just marches on like lemmings on Xanax. How much bad press and criticism from the public is needed before an elected official and government act? There must be 90%+ against this move but the censorship circus rolls on regardless.

Comment by Terry Wright 05.07.09 @ 9:38 am

My question is, how did we even get this far?

That’s the $64,000 question, Terry. Everyone wants to know how we went from Labor’s pre-election promise for an OPTIONAL “clean feed” for homes with children to a mandatory censorship scheme for all users regardless of age. You’re also right that a vast majority of Australians oppose mandatory internet censorship. Your 90% guess is probably conservative. I’d bet on 98%… or more.

Until KRudd is forced to own the policy, it will continue to chuff along. However, the real trainwreck will occur if and when the policy is actually implemented. The technical limitations of filtering 7 or 8 million users will become apparent.

Mark Newton’s on the right track, though; the technical problems with censorship are far lower in his priorities than whether we should be implementing mandatory filtering at all.

Mark maintains:

* Thereís no serious Internet content problem to solve;
* Even if there was, the public hasnít demanded that the Government solve it;
* Even if they had, the Governmentís censorship proposal canít solve it;
* Even if it could, itís too expensive;
* Even if it was affordable, itíll be implemented incompetently by ham-fisted regulators;
* Even if it was implemented perfectly, the blacklist will leak; and
* Thereís no possibility that the blacklist wonít leak.

I really do think that public sentiment has been driven so far against censorship in general that the remit of the Classification Board (along with ACMA) is now overdue for overhaul. Few have concerns with the CB actually classifying and rating content. The concerns begin when the CB is able to restrict content availability with the RC rating, bearing in mind that it is legal to buy and possess RC material in all states.

We’re all grown up now; if Australians ever needed a content nanny to keep us on the straight and narrow, that need is not only long gone but in the internet age, completely unenforceable. When government make unenforceable laws, they will be circumvented and a lack of respect for law engendered in the community.

Comment by weez 05.07.09 @ 12:13 pm

When government make unenforceable laws, they will be circumvented and a lack of respect for law engendered in the community.

Cannabis laws?

Comment by Terry Wright 05.09.09 @ 8:00 pm

Any attempt at legislating morality is in that league, Terry.

Comment by weez 05.09.09 @ 8:04 pm

Mind you, if you enforce that morality with the barrel of a gun, keeping people as fearful as possible, you might get broad compliance… but who the hell wants to live in that kind of nightmare?

Comment by weez 05.09.09 @ 8:08 pm

..but who the hell wants to live in that kind of nightmare?

Plenty of people as long as they can be part of the enforcers.
Some of us are prisoners and some of us are guards. Sadly enough, there’s never been a shortage of people prepared to do the dirty work.

Comment by Melchior 05.11.09 @ 2:38 am

Sad but true, Mel.

Comment by weez 05.11.09 @ 6:37 am



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