Thursday, October 30, 2008

Australian Big Brother pushes on

The commissars who run Australia (The liberal Labor Party, of course) are going forward with their doomed plan to censor the entire Internet feed going into their country, even though they've been told by experts that it won't stop illegal content and will only slow traffic to a maddening crawl:

"Internet providers and the government's own tests have found that presently available filters are not capable of adequately distinguishing between legal and illegal content and can degrade internet speeds by up to 86 per cent." (All emphases mine)

Hell hath no fury like a voter who is experiencing slow Web page loading and excruciatingly long download times. Just something to keep in mind there, Labor bosses.

Of course, there's always the little matter of which low-level government functionary is deciding just what's "illegal" or not, putting aside the obvious things such as child pornography:

"'The black list ... can become very grey depending on how expansive the list becomes - euthanasia material, politically related material, material about anorexia. There is a lot of distasteful stuff on the internet,' he said."

Not to mention the fact that with the filters installed, the government would automatically be able to track precisely where each household is going when they're online. Imagine someday being summoned to Central Internet and having to explain why you were bored one day and went somewhere called, just because the name intrigued you.

If this system actually gets put into place, Australian Internet users would be put into the untenable situation of trying to prove that what they wish to view is legitimate, instead of the other way around. As an example of how those appeals would probably go, here's how the government is already pushing around the critics of the mandatory filters, which will only serve to rob Australians of yet more of their precious freedoms:

"Documents obtained by Fairfax Media show the office of the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, tried to bully ISP staff into suppressing their criticisms of the plan"

even as they frantically dance around trying to place blame for the whole mess on their predecessors:

"Despite this, the Government - which distanced itself from the tests by saying they were initiated by the previous government - is pressing ahead with live trials of the filtering system"

"Don't blame us, we're only the patsies that have to put this into place. You need to call up the previous administration if you have a complaint." Yeesh.

The only question remaining to be answered is that of whether the average Australian resident is going to stand for yet more suppression of their liberties, or if this is the final straw that convinces them to take their government back from the overlords who profess to know what's best for them.

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