Conroy sneaks Internet filter throughRodney 37 comments Poll
Well, it's official. The internet is dead.
At least in Australia.
While the World's attention has been squarely focused on Copenhagen, Kevin Rudd and Senator Conroy have snuck their ludicrous Internet filter through behind our backs. In 2010, Labour will introduce into Australian law "legislation requiring all service providers to ban refused classification material hosted on overseas servers".
This means, in short, that despite massive public outcry and overwhelming expert and technical evidence that it won't work, the Labour government has bowed to pressure from the Christian Family-First party (presumably for a back-room deal on their ETS) and still seems to think that web pages are pretty much the same as movies and they just assign a team to classify them all. Pages which don't met their approval will be blocked to all Australians.
Despite the pilot trial process being a spectacular failure, resulting in an 86% reduction of network speeds and over 10% of sites being blocked as false positives (including NineMSN and Conroy's own homepage), Senator Conroy has stated that the trial proved to be such a success, there could be no further argument:
"...The live trial has shown that filtering of a defined list of URLs can be done with 100 per cent accuracy and negligible impact on network performance, despite the many claims that have been touted..."
You'd honestly have to wonder what planet the guy is from. Here's a list of reputable sources who disagree with him:
This list covers pretty much all of the ISP expertise in Australia, about 99.999% of the customers and pretty much every level headed and knowledgeable commentator on the Internet.
Political action group GetUp has expressed outrage, citing already known cases of dentists and other innocent parties having their websites blocked in the original trial. Additionally, it is rightfully feared by many that this first stage of filtering is just that - the first stage. GetUp and other groups maintain that there is a real fear this filter will hand the control of the Internet over to "the moral minority".
How will it work?
The first phase of filtering will effectively be "dob in a competitor". This means, sites (or rather entire IP addresses) will be banned upon anonymous request.
As with the trial process, the public will not be privy to what sites are banned and as with the trial process, it is expected that many of the sites banned will contain perfectly legal content (including blocking opposing political views).
The legislation will be introduced in March 2010, after Rudd, Conroy and all our other "hard working" politicians enjoy a "well earned" 4 month vacation.
Rusty Lime Poll
New! Get this poll widget for your web site!