Saturday, November 15, 2008

Australia's mandatory internet filtering

being an Australian citizen, i am proud of Australian culture and our ability to say, think and see things as each of us individuals (who are not influenced by mass media) wish to. but at the moment, that freedom is now being jeopardized, with the simple blocking of 10,000+ internet websites to the Australian people that the government deems "inappropriate".

so, there are a couple of major problems with this proposal. first i will start with the ethical ones, the ones that matter.

as a "democratic" society, we are almost ensured with freedom of speech, freedom to read what we want, freedom to view porn, freedom to do anything almost.

"The [filter] will specifically test filtering against the ACMA blacklist of prohibited content, which is mostly child pornography, as well as filtering of other unwanted content," Senator Conroy told Parliament.

other unwanted content?? that makes me want to laugh with absurdity as well as fear for my freedom for viewing materials that i wish to. 

child pornography blocking, to me, is a great thing. the last thing we need around here is more opportunities for pedophiles to feed their fetish, but the filtering system does not block things such as peer to peer file sharing which is a main transporter for child pornography. it also does not block proxy sites in other countries that can be used to avoid the whole filter altogether. and i am more then sure that they are not going to care about a few cases of people at home, who want to watch their legitimate porn or read about support for some random political group whom to government deems "unwanted content", so what happens if they just think that a pedophile swapping images is an innocent person at home, just swapping some illegal music?

there are some ISP servers who are more then happy to take aboard the filtering service though. Michael Malone, Director of Australia's largest ISP, "iiNet", is taking on board this filtering system, only to show the government "How stupid it is". Since the government is not listening to expert advice, public opinion or the industry, "iiNet" is hopping to deliver some "hard numbers" which the Rudd government likes to base their policies on these days. they are going to publicize every child who can get through the system, they are going to tell everyone about every legitimate site that will be blocked.

so what will happen to all the freedom that we, as a "democracy" that everyone loves so dearly, have almost been guaranteed? what will happen to people who voice their opinions like i do? will i be blocked from the internet, a violation of my rights to communicate with the world? will rogue journalists be blocked from voicing their opinions about international issues, wherever they may be in the vast world? we are simply turning into state controlled in the same way countries such as China and north Korea are controlled. this is what we get for voting in a leftie into government, who at first, we thought was going to do things FOR the Australian people.

also, with the mandatory filtering, there is another problem, for people who are for and against the filtering service. internet speeds could decline up to 84% and prices for internet service rise sharply. hmm.... paying more for poor, slow, filtered internet. 

i wonder how the general populous of Australia will think of that in a time where we are attempting to save money in a world in financial crisis. 

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