Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is Stephen Conroy's Internet censorship a religious crusade?

Stephen Conroy, a Victorian Senator, has been relentlessly pursuing government censorship of the Internet, claiming that this is required "to protect children from harmful content" and to "stop bad people exchanging harmful content".  Unfortunately it will do neither.

While his motive is reasonable, his secret Internet black list is not.  It will be easily subverted by the villains, and will be largely ineffective.

Unfortunately Senator Conroy has deaf ears to these concerns, and is blindly forging ahead with his ill-considered proposal.  Who does he thinks he is "representing" as a Victorian Senator?  Not me, nor many other Victorians I suspect.   His fervour and devotion to this cause suggests possible religious motivations.

Along the way, he has claimed that the Internet is not special.and should be censored like books, films and newspapers.  Senator Conroy has dismissed the torrent of criticism directed at his policy as "misleading information" spread by "an organised group in the online world".

He has also ignored the obvious similarities to China's Great Internet Firewall censorship.

Australia has just made Google's top 10 censorship list  of countries that have asked the search engine Google to hand over user data or to censor information.

Internet censorship is part of a steady drift towards Big Brother. CCTV, secret police lists, anti-terrorism and anti-organised crime laws that all impinge in individual rights. Oh, and no Bill of Rights either.

So the Labor Government is happy to behave like the autocratic Chinese Government? Its a disgrace!

The solution is for people to install personal content filters if they wish, and for the goverment and police to actively pursue and prosecute wrongdoers.

According to the U.S. Ambassador, "the United States has been able to accomplish the goals that Conroy has described for Australia, which is to capture and prosecute child pornographers, without having to use internet filters".  So can Australia.

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