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Tag Archives: censorship

A few days ago I was reading the government’s original “Plan for Cyber-Safety“, apparently dating back to the election campaign, and all the concerning things contained within. The best place to start commenting on it, I suppose, is at the central theme of Labor’s plan. I know this is the central theme, because they repeated it in big letters inside a coloured box. At any rate, this is it:

Labor considers that, just as we teach Australian children about the risks of drink driving, we must also teach them how to be responsible cyber-citizens and about the importance of cyber-safety.

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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 »