The Rudd government is not infallible…

23 Dec

But we knew that, didn’t we? This is not to say that they aren’t in more respects than not still a positive change after The Howard Tears Years.

Let’s take one of their goof-off moments though – their being wedded to making the Internet a safe place. I am not taking the high ground here; I actually believe there are limits to free expression, and what’s more I suspect almost everyone agrees with that. Think “hate crime” for starters. So I am not irrevocably attached to the idea that censorship is always a bad thing in any circumstances. However, the plan to clean up the Internet by muffling it at ISP level, much on the Chinese model, was doomed from the start. Today’s Sydney Morning Herald report simply shows that a lot of money has gone into finding out what we already knew: Fatal flaws in website censorship plan, says report. Incidentally, it appears this did not begin with Kevin Rudd.

TRIALS of mandatory internet censorship will begin within days despite a secret high-level report to the Rudd Government that found the technology simply does not work, will significantly slow internet speeds and will block access to legitimate websites.

The report, commissioned by the Howard government and prepared by the Internet Industry Association, concluded that schemes to block inappropriate content such as child pornography are fundamentally flawed…

But the report says the filters would slow the internet – as much as 87 per cent by some measures – be easily bypassed and would not come close to capturing all of the nasty content available online. They would also struggle to distinguish between wanted and unwanted content, leading to legitimate sites being blocked. Entire user-generated content sites, such as YouTube and Wikipedia, could be censored over a single suspect posting.

This raises serious freedom of speech questions, such as who will be held accountable for blocked sites and whether the Government will be pressured to expand the blacklist to cover lawful content including pornography, gambling sites and euthanasia material.

The report, based on comprehensive interviews with many parties with a stake in the internet, was written by several independent technical experts including a University of Sydney associate professor, Bjorn Landfeldt. It was handed to the Government in February but has been kept secret….

Why has it been kept secret? Blind Freddie knew what the findings would be…

Think again, Kevin!

Update: an unprecedented appeal from Aussie Bloggers

See The Internet Filter – A Bad Idea.

Hi all,

Normally we do not allow political topics here on the forums as people tend to take sides and it can end in tears. However on this occasion I think we can *all* agree that the plan to filter the internet –
– will slow down the internet for the rest of us
– will make it *more* difficult for the Federal Police to catch people downloading child pornography – something it is clear the Federal Police are extremely good at and are continually getting better at. If the government would use some of the funding for this filter to fund the Federal Police instead, that would be a much better plan.
– the filter will drive a lot of the child pornographers more underground than they are already, making it more difficult to identify and arrest them
– and now we find out that they intend to do a lot more with the filtering than originally intended – they will be using it to stop people downloading tv shows and movies and games.
You can see Senator Conroy’s blog post here. You can read an article – and an awful lot of comments – about this blog post here. There is discussion on this topic on Whirlpool, also.
What can you do?
Find your local politician and write to them on this topic. For info on how to do that, click here.
Email Senator Conroy and tell him how you feel about this awful idea. His email address is available on this website.
Check out the No Clean Feed site.

Spread the word by blogging about it. 

Think again, Kevin! (Yes, that’s twice!)

Update 8 January

Because this has a special link from the side bar I am excluding it from my usual 14 day comment rule.

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Posted by on December 23, 2008 in Australia, Australia and Australian, awful warnings, computers, John Howard, Kevin Rudd, web stuff, www


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