My friend Julie D. in Australia e-mailed me to alert us to a new threat to freedom of speech on the Internet in that country.
On her blog, she writes:
THE Federal Government is planning to make internet censorship compulsory for all Australians.
When the idea was first mooted, there was the concept of an "opt out" option, where users could contact their ISP and say "no, thanks" to this filtering.
This option has now been REMOVED.
When the plan comes into effect sometime next year ALL internet access through Australian ISPs will be censored.
As far as I am concerned, this is a very dangerous path to start walking down.
The Senator in charge of this travesty is Stephen Conroy and, despite trials being planned for later this year, he doesn't know what content the mandatory filters will bar!!!
According to this article there will be two levels of filtering - one level of mandatory filtering for all Australians and an optional level that will provide a "clean feed", censoring adult material. So we're not just talking about porn here.
I hope all right-thinking Australians will object in the strongest terms to such censorship. An opt-in program, designed to filter out pornography and undesirable Web sites on computers used by children, is one thing. A blanket Government-run 'filter' is entirely another. What happens when a particular party in power decides to 'filter' Web sites that express an Opposition viewpoint?
(If you don't believe that'll happen, there's a bridge in Brooklyn, New York City, that I'd like to sell you. Cash only, please, and in small bills.)
As with bureaucrats - politicians! Grrr!