The Australian Government has taken a page from China’s internet polices and has said that all internet users in Australia will receive mandatory filtering. However, you can opt out of it.
But what has cause outrage is that you will need to tell your ISP on why you want to opt out. You can’t say that you blocked from one of my sites, as they would investigate you. You also can’t say that you are restricting free speech, as they will try to talk you into it and/or not even remove the restriction.
That was announced on December 30. Now; Senator Stephen Conroy, who is the Telecommunications Minster, is relating it to child pornography.
“Labor makes no apologies to those who argue that any regulation of the internet is like going down the Chinese road,” he said to the Sydney Morning Herald, “If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd Labor Government is going to disagree.”
But saying freedom of speech equals kiddie porn; that would mean thousand, maybe millions, of people who believe in free speech are downloading children pornography. That’s if we actually take his view of free speech literally.
It should be noted that in Australia, censorship here is quite different. Almost everything is under censorship. Unlike in the US, where films can go uncensored; it is not allowed. That means, if it is rated above R; it can’t be sold. X Rated DVDs cannot be sold in all the states in Australia, but it can be sold in the territories.
In March 2006, the previous minister Senator Helen Coonan said that she rejected filtering as it will slow down speeds. Well, at least someone is smart. This contradicts Labor’s proposed “fast” internet. That is also having trouble too, with Telstra saying that it won’t be part of it unless it goes on it’s terms. Internet in Australia uses copper wire, which Telstra owns.
Here at TECH.GEEK, we hope we don’t get blocked since we are in AUSTRALIA! If so, it’s going to be hard telling my ISP that “you blocked my blog, now I want it back.” At least they admitted that they are following China’s footsteps; though that could be bad.
And if you want to know when is the next election, it’s in 2010. Two more years!