Here's an excellent article on Labor's proposal to censor the internet, which has still not gone away despite a change of prime minister. Senator Conroy continues to treat people who are concerned about freedom of speech and worried about scope creep as somehow being friends of pedophiles and child pornographers.
A nice sample:
Although Senator Conroy plays down the impact of the filter, saying that determined people can get around it if they really want to, critics are concerned that Conroy's non-policing of filter circumvention will not be mirrored by future governments who may also broaden the scope of the censorship it affords. He told Four Corners, that he "absolutely guaranteed" that no future Labor government would let this happen and subsequently that "If a majority of the Parliament in the future want to broaden the classification, well then, Australians should stand up and say 'just a minute', and I'll be one of them." We contacted Conroy's office to ask how the Senator guaranteed this would not happen but the question was not answered. The notion that all future Australian governments will be formed by Labor is optimistic of Conroy to say the least. That future governments, intent on censorship (probably under banners of "child protection" and "terrorism"), would listen to people "standing up and saying 'just a minute'" is more optimistic yet, given the contempt Conroy himself has shown to all the people disagreeing with him.
Kudos to Nick Ross for preparing this detailed argument against internet censorship, and brickbats to the mainstream media for not running hard with this story.
More brickbats to those commenters on Ross's article who claim it was too long. Do you people have the attention spans of gnats or something? Have any of you ever actually read a frakking novel, or any other kind of book if it comes to that? I, for one, appreciated the detailed analysis.
Still, it can be summed up in a few words: Just Say No To Censorship.
Another sample from earlier in the article:
Championed by Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, the $30million+ filter is being sold by Labor as an internet block for child pornography, bestiality and extreme pornography with 'wide ranging support from the Australian public' and 'only minimal opposition against'.
But after a new, lengthy investigation it transpires that virtually none of this is true. What Australia will get from this internet filter is a framework for censorship that doesn't stop "the worst of the worst" but will absolutely curtail discussion on politically incorrect topics like euthanasia, safe drug taking and graffiti while banning relatively-tame adult content.
Below we examine the filter from the point of view of the people who know most about it, Australia's tech community, which in the past week has united in one last ditch attempt to bring Labor's censorship policy into the open and bring its discussion into the mainstream media in the run up to the election.
This proposal is supported by a small group of interfering religionists, prudes, all-purpose nutcases with no understanding of the internet, and extreme social conservatives. Somehow they have managed to hijack policy in this area. It's time to take it back.