The Australian Government once again wants to pass laws to force internet service providers to block banned material hosted on overseas servers. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy who has raised this issue before to strong community criticism, says he intends to introduce legislation in the first half of next year.
Instead of allowing an voluntary system he will require all service providers to ban refused classification material hosted on overseas servers. This material includes child sex abuse, bestiality, sexual abuse and detailed instructions for crime or drug use.
You just have to love the guys sense of irony when he claims the new filter rules are not designed to curtail freedom of speech. Essentially the stuff he lists is only the tip of the iceberg given that a one size fits all censorship system is going to catch much more than the intended targets in the first place, and every wowser and faddist pressure group in the country is going to lobby to get their own prejudices endorsed on it.
Does anyone want to bet for example that the AMA will not push to have alternative medicine blocked. They are a powerful lobby and are not above putting pressure on at election time.
The attempt earlier this year included a trial that was such a disaster that among the sites blocked were the websites of a dentist and a tuckshop consultant and those were only the ones the public heard about. Simple errors like this easily destroy businesses and careers, and worse still these errors were only discovered when someone broke the associated secrecy laws and published the list.
This is purely a play for the support of the bigots, the self righteous, the religious political lobbies who are arrogant enough to feel that that if they are unable to convince people of their values then the government should act, and big government nannystaters.
Given the degree of tech savvy out there among the kids this idiot claims to be trying to protect, the only people likely to be inconvenienced are mature adults anyway.
Authoritarian bigots like Conroy should really ponder on the question; “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?”