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From the "It's Not Just China" Department

December 26th, 2008 (10:34 pm)

current mood: blah

Uproar in Australia over plan to block Web sites

SYDNEY, Australia - A proposed Internet filter dubbed the "Great Aussie Firewall" is promising to make Australia one of the strictest Internet regulators among democratic countries.

Consumers, civil-rights activists, engineers, Internet providers and politicians from opposition parties are among the critics of a mandatory Internet filter that would block at least 1,300 Web sites prohibited by the government — mostly child pornography, excessive violence, instructions in crime or drug use and advocacy of terrorism.

Hundreds protested in state capitals earlier this month.

Full Article...

"Hundreds" protested? With a country of over 21 million people, I certainly hope that more than "hundreds" are advocating against this. This kind of blanket censorship of the Internet--in a democracy with a Labour-controlled government, no less--would set an extremely bad precedent.

"Child pornography"? "Excessive violence"? Excessive by whose standards?

What constitutes "advocacy of terrorism? Criticizing the government, perhaps? Well why not, since it is apparently the government that gets to decide what constitutes advocating terrorism. Not that this is a conflict of interest or anything.

This whole thing is all a little vague, isn't it?


Posted by: Hoshti Goshtas (rpeate)
Posted at: December 27th, 2008 05:55 am (UTC)
me humorless bastard

Extremely. When they say "Australia", do they include Tasmania? What about New Zealand and Singapore?

Posted by: James (jajy1979)
Posted at: December 27th, 2008 08:35 am (UTC)

Last I heard from my Aussie friends this was specially the Austrailian government, backed heavily by religious fundies who are trying to block anything and everything over PG...litterally. The algorithum will block any site which even remotely has adult oriented content...like say a Rape Hotlines. The blocked sites must obtain a petition to re-establish (no word on how many folks have to ask), which must be then manually inspected by the "morality police" before being allowed back on the national net. To make matters even more fun the lag on this new firewall is about 70%... i.e. your six megabyte connection just got chopped to about 1.8 megabytes and that's a major hit to your surfing capasity.

This entire thing reaks of authoritarian theocrasy.

I'm crossing Aus off the nations I want to potentially live as long as they're doing this kind of dumb shit.

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