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Monthly Archives: March 2009

The Federal Government is planning to monitor the Internet, including blogs, to hunt down those who’ve been critical of them.

Admittedly, the article may be biased; they haven’t mentioned why our glorious government thinks blog monitoring is a good idea in the first place. Let’s be fair: they may have a perfectly good, valid, reason. Now let’s be realistic: that is probably not the case.

We already have the Internet censorship scheme that our government swears is going ahead. We already have the issue that the government is blocking Wikileaks for being too critical of censorship. And now we find that the government is planning to monitor blogs.

Shouldn’t we be caring more than we are?

I’ve written before that our government is planning to implement a compulsory filter on Internet access in Australia, blocking all “inappropriate” material.

Australia already maintains a secret list of websites that Australians are forbidden to promote (one would think secrecy works against that goal, but in that case one is not part of Australian government), and which will be compulsorily blocked under any mandatory filter. Recently there was drama when the alleged secret list was leaked — appearing to contain many harmless webpages. The Minister for Broadband and Communications, Stephen Conroy, insisted that this was a fake list because Australia only blocks illegal websites. Furthermore, whoever published this totally fake list will face criminal charges if they can track them down.

To demonstrate Australia’s commitment to censoring only genuinely illegal material, our government subsequently blacklisted a press statement condemning censorship and a list of sites that are blocked in Denmark. Read More »

My Geography teacher has a very, uh, interesting theory about the best way to ensure his students learn. Put briefly, he seems to believe that students should be indoctrinated into remembering the entire curriculum. He doesn’t seem like a bad guy or anything; he just frequently teaches in a very annoying way.

In about half our classes, we have to watch slideshows. These classes are divided into blocks of “listening time” and “writing time” — the former to have the slide explained to us (about three times over, while we glare at the slide), the latter to write it down. For the first few days of class, I was constantly being told off for violating these strict rules. Read More »