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Old 01-04-2008, 06:34 PM   #1
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Happy New Year Australia

I disappear for a month of fear and loathing across the desert to return to a new regime with a cavalcade of anti-freedom propositions that particular demographics seem to love.
Quote:

EVERY Australian with an internet connection could soon have their web content automatically censored.

The restrictions are planned by the Federal Government to give greater protection to children from online pornography and violent websites.

Under the plan, all internet service providers will have to provide a "clean" feed to households and schools, free of pornography and other "inappropriate" material.

Australians who want uncensored access to the web will have to contact their internet service provider and "opt out" of the service.

Online civil libertarians yesterday warned the freedom of the internet was at stake, while internet providers were concerned the new measures could slow the internet in Australia to a crawl.

They said it was a measure usually associated with oppressive regimes and was no alternative to proper parental monitoring.

But Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said everything possible had to be done to shield children from violent and pornographic online material.

"We have always argued more needs to be done to protect children," he said.

Senator Conroy said the clean feed, also known as mandatory ISP filtering, would prevent users from accessing prohibited content.

"We will work with the industry to get the best policy," he said. "(But) Labor is committed to introducing mandatory ISP filtering."

Senator Conroy said the Australian Communications and Media Authority would prepare a "blacklist" of unsuitable sites.

It is unclear exactly what will be deemed inappropriate material.

The adoption of mandatory ISP filtering comes on top of the former government's offer of free internet filtering software for home computers.

Chairman of internet user group Electronic Frontiers Australia, Dale Clapperton, said mandatory filtering eroded freedom and would not improve online safety for children.

"China, Burma and Saudi Arabia and those type of oppressive countries are the only ones that have seriously looked at doing something like this," he said.

"In Australia, which is supposedly a liberal democracy, the Government is saying that the internet is so full of this material that it must protect us from it by trying to block it."

Mr Clapperton feared that parents would be lulled into a false sense of security.

"Parents should not allow their children to use the internet unsupervised," he said.

"Stuff that should be blocked will inevitably get through and stuff that should not be blocked will not."

Family First senator Steve Fielding, who has campaigned for ISP filtering, said he would be watching the Government "like a hawk" on the issue.

"Australian families want more (internet protection) and deserve more than they are currently getting, and this is a real test for the Rudd Government," he said.

A report by the Australia Institute in 2003 showed 84 per cent of boys and 60 per cent of girls using the internet had experienced unwanted exposure to sexual material.
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The illiberal parties in this country each support spending hundreds of millions of dollars on state censorship (I have had an amazon order blocked by customs - over a bloody book). The opt-out option is there but the notion of default censorship and having to pay out to get online liberties is sickening. The fact that the majority is passive towards such measures and an active minority can push such measures just makes me long for protections on free speech.

More sex, violence, swearing and books about psilocybin mushrooms; less expensive intrusion into the lives of others.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:49 PM   #2
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Given the opposition to this filter that has come from the public (the polls I have seen on the issue have been overwhelmingly opposed and I only see fringe religious loonies supporting it) and the fact the IT industry has come out and labelled the filter an impractical joke, I'm skeptical that this will really be implemented. Is it just a way to shore up support from that Family First Senator who holds some of the balance of power come July? I won't be surprised if this proposal quietly disappears into political oblivion. Nonetheless, I wrote a fairly scathing blog entry about it if anyone is interested; I don't really have the time to outline my full thoughts and criticisms here right now.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:58 PM   #3
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Practical constraints don't prevent spending a lot of money; the last governments effort was 84 million dollars down the drain.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:03 PM   #4
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I'm cynical enough - and I'm sure you are too - to believe that $84 million was hardly intended for Internet security, but to buy off votes. "Oh look, Howard's keeping the kiddies safe." It wouldn't have been money down the drain if Howard had been re-elected.

And if Labour does try to go ahead with this and Fundies First come onside, then it will have probably served its purpose. The sooner this Fundies First idiot's term is over, the better.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:18 PM   #5
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Both parties have had an interest in it before Family First came to be, these sorts of measures match up very well with things like blanket CCTV, biometric ID cards and the respective databases; initiatives that make people feel safe while simultaneously appealing to important demographics (same thing with that odious religious vilification law in Victoria - protecting theists and securing votes from that mob at the expense of free speech). It doesn't turn us into the DPRK; it simply etches away civil liberties piece by piece in a way that the most people see as fair and reasonable; for instance framing this ISP level censorship as stopping people from seeing child pornography.
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:30 PM   #6
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How do you think child pornography can be curtailed?
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:37 AM   #7
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I think that there is always going to be a sick segment in society, there will always be fuckers that are aroused by children, as long as there is a demand out there it will be disseminated; fortunately most civilized people think that violating a person who by definition cannot consent is somewhat wrong and that channels them away from the mainstream, in a freedom safe internet sick minded fuckers do access child porn; and they swap around with other sick fuckers; monitoring (of child porn rings) begins; evidence mounts; those involved bury themselves and a net sometimes does manage to catch a few. Bad fucking things happen, evil predators exist, occasionally they get punished.

The other option seems to be one where the benevolent state stops the sick men from ever accessing the graphic they demand for gratification thereby solving the problem once and for all; nevermind the other means of getting hold of child porn, in this glorious world when you take away one obvious means of accessing child pornography you stop child porn, it naturally follows that the sickos will cease to be, humble civil servants will loose an insatiable lust overnight, catholic priests will suddenly turn back into normal people and children can be allowed outside oncemore - but this isn't what happens, predators are always out there hurting the ones that they get close to in their lives (hmmm, a lot of people seem to have families these days).

The fact that bad fucking things happen is the bottom line, kids get fucked by sick fuckers and those (usually) men don't get karmic realignment in prison nearly enough; more infiltration of child porn rings and using their freedom of association to bust them is a good start.

The panic and fear mongering about child porn takes something very important (the safety of a child) and uses it to sieze the freedoms of everybody. The fact that I, a twentysomething lad find ladies attractive is fine and that I find time to appraise online is normal, I am consenting to what I choose to look at or not look at, all parties involved at a site like abbywinters.com (you can figure out what sort of deviant I am from there) are consenting adults, the demands of what people want to gratify them has produced a lot of porn and they pay good money to buy it in supposedly free societies (and so much is put out there free for promotional purposes). There is nothing illegal in this, in America it is protected free speech (unless on regulated frequencies) but we don't have that, we have a fucking Office Of Film And Literature Classification that selects what Australian citizens may or may not view, those fucking bureaucrats are part of government supression of speech, abbywinters (for example) makes films in Australia but they can't ship here because of they aren't reviewed and classified by the OFLC, now that is fine to most people, they don't want it so what are they loosing, it is benign because we still have a relatively free society and a lot is allowed, the majority doesn't question it (for some coverage http://www.refused-classification.com/).

I have to say that I first ran into trouble with this OFLC principle when my Australian Edition of Duke Nukem 3D had green blood and de-stripped strippers, a teenage boy needs violence and pixellated breasts but so the game could get classified and be sold in Australia it had to be censored; if the OFLC deems something to be wrong then they can just refuse classification thus making it illegal to sell, or illegal to import, so Australians enjoy censored versions of GTAIII (can't pickup virtual hookers and kill them! a fucking travesty) or have to resort to the actual crime of theft that is software piracy to get them.

Video games are prominent targets of censorship (to protect the children of course), XXX porn is another (yet you can get it in the ACT) - these are both fine fun things that adult people go out and buy if they want to and play with if they want to but for some reason they get beaten down, there is no robust debate because people have better things to do, most people take it as a given that speech must be regulated.

To extend this regulation of what citizens sees to the only free venue (the internet) is fucking ugly, the fact that it is technologically infeasible is entirely besides the point, they (the elected people who represent us) are saying that they can filter what we may or may not see and there isn't a thing that we could do about it because it has already happened.

The limits on speech which have always been there is the problem, extending it to the internet is just a new part of it, I feel that it denies me my freedom to view what I want (provided it involves consenting adults). Especially insulting is the fact that demands for decency and protecting children come from religious organizations, groups that perpetuate violently misogynistic Gods in society and inflict that nonsense on children, there is nothing as dangerous as a faith based mind intent on spreading it's sickness on the rest by force and coercion. Open attitudes to sex can produce well adjusted adults the alternative can too, sometimes, work, but to try and mandate any attitude about it over a whole population and the fact that very group of people is generally alright with that hits me as wrong.

Child Porn = Limited Evil
Censorship = Unlimited Evil
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