Welcome to the nanny state, or should I say Labors new even more regressive version of the old one. The federal Government plans to protect the little children by censoring what we can access on the Internet. Little warning was given of this prior to the election, presumably because Howard didn’t say it so Kevvy didn’t have to say “Me too.”
I also imagine as such a move would be unpopular, it was decided to keep us in the dark. Always remember that while politicians are always forthcoming about what they will do for you when seeking your vote, they are usually reticent about what they will do to you after they get it.
Well I suppose we have to catch up with the rest of the world and following the examples of the great liberal democracies like China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, and Burma is a promising start.
Dr Roger Clarke, chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation, Quoted in Australian IT bluntly described the proposal as "stupid and inappropriate".
He said not only was it unworkable, but it was a sinister blow to an individual's rights to use the internet without censorship.
"Not only will it not work, it is quite dangerous to let the Government censor the net and take control out of the hands of parents," Clarke said.
"It is an inappropriate thing for them to be doing. Mr. Conroy is like a schoolmaster playing god with the Australian population, all because of the dominance of a moral minority."
Conroy's view is that the legislation - compared by critics to Chinese-style internet censorship - will only render unseen the most vile and extreme sites.
"Labor makes no apologies to those that argue that any regulation on the internet is like going down the Chinese road," Conroy said.
"If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd Labor Government is going to disagree."
One problem for the Government is that blocking child porn may unintentionally block acceptable sites.
The history of the internet is full of such examples; one blogger found that, due to spamware set to block ads for sex drug Cialis, he was unable to publish the word "socialist".
Prior to the election Labor did a great deal of posing about how they would guarantee ultra fast speed on the internet for all users, claiming that this was essential to Australia’s growth. This proposal is according to some sources likely to slow it down by up to 70%. As such they will need to speed it up by a hell of a lot just to stay where we are.
Under the proposal customers can contact their ISP and opt out of the filtering, so unless the government is claiming that only ‘responsible’ parents who will supervise their children’s access to the net will do this, then the whole thing is a waste of time. If as has been suggested, the speed is slowed down, then few people will stay in.
As well as this any site finding itself blocked will probably start another, which is not on the list thus bypassing the system.
By far the worst aspect of it however is the possibility, (more likely probability) that the filtering will be extended to any type of site that the government deems that we should not see. Racial vilification sites, followed by anything not politically correct will be next, then well who knows.
Before the PC brigade start getting on my hammer about the desirability of this, I would point out that the banning of offensive material is counter productive, as if it is not accessible it really can’t be refuted. As I said in my previous post: -
I meet plenty of views that I disagree with, some offensive to me but when that happens I argue, not demand the right to have those people holding such views silenced by force of law. What I think is reasonable, will not be to a person who is so narrow minded that he can peer through a keyhole with both eyes, so should such a person demand 'reasonable' be interpreted in such a way to have my opinions banned?
Free speech is free speech, any limitation to it means it no longer exists. As such no country claiming to be free should be forming bodies that are designed to enforce rules that can only be justified in political correctness.
The views of hate and other unlovely groups should be left out where they can be seen and accessed. If their views are disagreeable, they will be disagreed with. If they are ridiculous they will be ridiculed, all the Warmans of the world do is to unite them under a justifiable feeling of victimhood.
We do not need laws to protect us against such views, we have that protection built in. It is called common sense.