The Great Australian Internet Blackout

Okay, I’m in. Blacked out from Jan 25 to Jan 29, 2010, in protest of the proposed Australian Internet Filter.

From the site:

What’s the problem?

The Federal Government is pushing forward with a plan to force Internet Service Providers to censor the Internet for all Australians. This plan will waste millions of dollars and won’t make anyone safer.

  1. It won’t protect children: The filter isn’t a “cyber safety” measure to stop kids seeing inappropriate content such as R and X rated websites. It is not even designed to prevent the spread of illegal material where it is most often found (chat rooms, peer-to-peer file sharing).
  2. We will all pay for this ineffective solution: Under this policy, ISPs will be forced to charge more for consumer and business broadband. Several hundred thousand dollars has already been spent to test the filter – without considering high-speed services such as the National Broadband Network!
  3. A dangerous precedent: We stand to join a small club of countries which impose centralised Internet censorship such as China, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The secret blacklist may be limited to “Refused Classification” content for now, but what might a future Australian Government choose to block?

Help turn the lights out on the proposed Internet filter by joining the Great Australian Internet Blackout.

I’m generally against censorship – we should repeal censorship of books, films, etc, and certainly not add any more. However, I’m also against this because I doubt the motives of those who want to do it. It simply cannot do what they are proposing it as a solution for (protect the kiddies!), certainly not better than local solutions by parents, so why do they want it in? There seems to be some religious thinking involved, which I’m not at all cool with; they can worship whatever they like in the comfort of their own homes, but don’t inflict it on me. But worse, this is real thin edge of the wedge stuff, for broader control of what free people say and do with the internet. Bad, bad bad. If you are proposing a scheme like this, you are one of the bad people, I don’t see how you could justify any else. Screw the bad people.


The Great Australian Internet Blackout

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