Reading the excellent Open Internet blog by Electronic Frontiers Australia, I came across this excellent piece about the proposed mandatory filter that puts it into some badly needed perspective. It doesn't protect children, it patronises them.
The whole post is worth reading, but for those in a hurry:
After all, while children may be vulnerable to certain elements of the internet, they are typically more digitally savvy than the rest of us, precisely because they have grown up with the World Wide Web.
But conservative moralisers rarely acknowledge this. Instead they tend to hinge their arguments on the patronising, victimised view of children as inherently vulnerable and corruptible. Even worse, by using the figure of the innocent child as a political pawn to advance their own agenda, conservatives are guilty of exploiting children.
Whether or not Senator Conroy cynically is aware of this and is exploiting it or he's genuinely ignorant, the result is the same: some of the internets most savvy users are being ignored and will be opressed by a system being designed and proposed by people who probably don't even know how to program their microwaves to reheat the meals their poor wives and husbands may have made for them while they were debating this nonsense in Parliament.
It's easy to blame the voting public for not being aware of these issues, but who can blame them when their primary sources of information are the Government who have a vested interest in keeping them in the dark, and when [most] of their media on television and newspapers believe the issue is worthy of debate despite all the technological flaws guaranteeing such a scheme wouldn't work even if the dubious ethical grounds it stood on were more solid.
Forgive the huge long sentences, I haven't been able to blog for a few days and I have a lot of pent up language in my brain stack. Whenever I talk about stacks I think of pancakes. If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, then the way to mine would be epic pancakes. And a wicked sense of humour. And striped socks. Wait, what does this have to do with the filter? Nothing? Or everything?
Can you imagine if Conroy got his cronies to write a filter to heuristically block illogical nonsense? Not only would most of my site here be blocked, but he probably wouldn't even be able to access his own. That'd be kinda funny.