Thursday, January 03, 2008

Australian Labor Party "going down the Chinese road"

Via Dizzy, it seems that the newly elected Labor Party in Australia want to ban... well... they are going to start with certain parts of the internet and I guess we'll see where they go after that, eh?
Telecommunications Minister Stephen Conroy says new measures are being put in place to provide greater protection to children from online pornography and violent websites.

Senator Conroy says it will be mandatory for all internet service providers to provide clean feeds, or ISP filtering, to houses and schools that are free of pornography and inappropriate material.

That's houses, people; that's private residences. And all in the name of the children...
Online civil libertarians have warned the freedom of the internet is at stake, but Senator Conroy says that is nonsense.

He says the scheme will better protect children from pornography and violent websites.

"Labor makes no apologies to those that argue that any regulation of the internet is like going down the Chinese road," he said.

You make no apologies about following the example of a repressive regimes with one of the worst human rights records in the world? Well, frankly, sunshine, you fucking should do.
"If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd-Labor Government is going to disagree."

Aha! You see? If you don't want the state deciding what you can and cannot watch, read or otherwise access, you must be a paedo! A PAEDO! A KIDDIE-FIDDLER! A MEMBER OF THE UN'S STAFF! In fact, you will soon be getting a visit from the PaedoFinder General.

Fuck the Rudd-Labor government: may they all rot in hell.
Senator Conroy says anyone wanting uncensored access to the internet will have to opt out of the service.

In which case you will definitely be getting a visit from the PaedoFinder General.

But, as Gary Andrews points out, no filters are perfect.
I’d like to know what consists of inappropriate material here. Techcrunch has a pretty good summary, which includes BitTorrent, online gambling, ‘R’ rated computer games, the vague area of hate speech, as well as criticism of government policy regarding Aboriginals. I’d also imagine particularly sweary sites like Devil’s Kitchen, for example, could fall foul. After all, we wouldn’t want the children to be exposed to bad language would we?

This is indeed the case, as an email correspondant pointed out in December: it is not just porn that gets classified as porn.
I accessed the Kitchen OK on thursday night, but by the early hours of friday the [...] system used by [...] had classified the Kitchen as pornography (that's a direct quote from the diagnostic pop-up).

So if any Australians want to access blogs that have a certain... ah... earthiness to the language, then you might well be out of luck.

The Longrider elaborates on the whole porn thing.
Child pornography is already illegal. Adult pornography is not child pornography and it is pornography and violence that the government is proposing to filter. Child pornography is merely an excuse, and Mr Conroy is constructing a strawman of epic proportions.

So, this is about freedom of speech and Australia’s new government is planning to restrict it, because they have decided what people can and cannot watch in their own homes. The opt out solution is no solution. Anyone applying to their ISP to opt out will be immediately drawing attention to themselves. Highly unwelcome attention at that. They will avoid doing so in their droves and as a consequence, Australia will achieve the same type of net censorship currently enjoyed by the Chinese.

This is what happens when you vote Labour.

Well, quite. Good luck Australia: it seems that they are very happy to help build the much-vaunted Anglosphere, by moving towards Britain's illiberality. Since the US is, like Britain, an Endemic Surveillance Society, it seems to me that we are building a very effective and united Anglosphere.

It's an Anglosphere where the state tells the people precisely what the fuck they are allowed to do, and wherein the people buckle down meekly and do it. We are ruled by the purely evil, I swear.

Liberty is the goal, people, not democracy: we have democracy and it has not brought liberty...


Anonymous said...

Monkey Dust - Fucking Hilarious!
Sorry Pornographic word there.

Newmania said...

So basically you approve of paedophiles then :)

Just kidding what ,, no I MEAN JOKING ...aiiieeeee !

Seriously I find this very worrying indeed and the clip was genius

Roger Thornhill said...

Look, they are a Labor government. Authoritarian enforced collectivists. Scumbags, in other words.

As for democracy, it is only the least worst means to a more important end - being Rule of Law.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

To be honest, this was actually an idea that John Howard touted before the election, so it's not strictly Labour per se who are promoting it- it's just that they're the ones who will be implementing it, instead of a Howard government.

The Liberals were anything but, although I think the coalition with the Nationals might have helped weight them down as backwards authoritarians.

Australia itself is fairly authoritarian- probably more than any other Anglosphere nation, aside from the US, perhaps.

It's a shame, really, because otherwise it seems to be a great place to live.

Anonymous said...

As I sit here in my study, periodically raising my eyes to watch the wife and youngest daughter swimming in the pool (~30 degrees C), and to feast upon the view of the Coral Sea and the islands, I agree it is a great place to live. But it will be a bit of a bugger if I can't get blogs like DK just because a large number of dickhead aussies thought it was time for a change. The problem Labor has, in addition to having the combined charisma of a slug, a dead one at that, is that it has to deliver up an economy as prosperous at the next election as the one it inherited. Significantly higher interest rates or unemployment and it runs the risk of being a single term government. So, despite the silly grandstanding over Kyoto and Bali, the economy has to be allowed to boom as before, which leaves them short of things to do, especially when one considers the states are largely responsible for health and education. And we know from the UK, the devil, not DK, finds work for Labour governments with idle or incompetent fingers.

Given that racial vilification is already against the law in parts of Australia. Want to bet that ISPs will have to filter sites where Mohammed (great dollops of runny camel poo be upon him) may be described as a kiddie-loving, robbing, murdering, lying cunt? Or how about disrespecting the legal system by noting that Australian coppers are corrupt, self-serving fascist bastards? That sort of thing can only lead to an undermining of authority so has to be bad.

RobW said...

The japs are up to the same thing.


Pogo said...

I find it rather ironic that Australia, the only country in my experience that uses the term "old bastard" as one of endearment, should deny access to blogs simply because they use somewhat "robust" language...

Anonymous said...

Shows how scared governments are of a medium they cant control so they will try to ban it.It wont work people will find a way round it they always do.
You can have the truth as long as its their truth!

Anonymous said...

I wondered how long it would take for a campaign to launch to get people to opt out. If a large proportion of the population opts out on freedom of speech grounds, it'd make it hard to use the opt out as a useful indicator...

Anonymous said...

To be honest, this was actually an idea that John Howard touted before the election, so it's not strictly Labour per se who are promoting it- it's just that they're the ones who will be implementing it, instead of a Howard government.
Actually, to be accurate, bullshit.
The Howard Govt wanted to supply home PC filtering software to whoever wanted it. There's a smidge of difference between that and mandatory ISP filtering.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

Actually, to be accurate, bullshit.

Actually, to be more accurate, your calling of 'bullshit' is bullshit, Mr Cock-Face.

Howard announced that the ACMA's 'black list' would be expanded, which would see even more content filtered from the ISP's end.

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