"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"
"Who watches the watchmen?"
- Juvenal, Satires, VI, 347
Sometimes you question the motives behind certain politicians decisions; sometimes you question their sanity; sometimes you question whether they in fact have any form of brain material in their heads at all; or more often than not it's a combination of all three.
Steven Conroy is Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy in the Australian Federal Government who seems to think that not only a blanket filter on the entire internet in Australia would not only be feasible and technically possible (a little hint sir, it isn't), but that it's a good idea. If his plans go forward, Australia will have the most restricted online media in the Western world.
To re-use a phrase I originally wrote on a Sarah Palin post, the fact that some people think this is a good idea is blood chillingly scary, as well as head-smashing-on-a-table stupid.
The Australian Federal Government is pushing forward with a plan to force Internet Service Providers [ISPs] to censor the Internet for all Australians. This plan will waste tens of millions of taxpayer dollars and slow down Internet access.
Despite being almost universally condemned by the public, ISPs, State Governments, Media and censorship experts, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is determined to force this filter into your home.
NoCleanFeed.com has been set up to inform people on why censorship should not happen to our precious intertubes. They also have ways you can help the cause, and a donation button for the Electronic Frontiers Australia organisation, the Australian equivalent to the EFF in the States.
What's most ridiculous about this whole boneheaded proposal is not only will it slow down Australia's already sub-par internet speeds, it will block legitimate sites by generating false positives and I fear will set a dangerous precedent that the Government knows best what people should and should not have access to online.
Even if such a system came into effect, creating an internet system similar to Iran, China and North Korea could and would be easily circumvented by people who wanted to get access to the full internet. Just like DRM, this internet filter would only hurt legitimate users.
The Freedom-proof Fence, Great Barrier Firewall, Firewall Australia, Great Firewall Reef or the Great Australian Firewall should and MUST not go forward. If you're in Australia, contact your local member for parliament.