Thursday, November 22, 2012

Australia's dumb Internet filter dropped

The Australian Government has dropped its ill-fated attempt to implement a "mandatory Internet filter" or  "clean feed".

It is not really clear where the intention to do this came from.  It seems to be an initiative conjured up during Kevin Rudd's time as Prime Minister, perhaps resulting from some background influence of the Australian Christian Lobby.

Stephen Conroy, the Communications Minister, continued to try and sell the initiative even though it was clear he didn't really know what he was talking about.  He was unable to address simple questions like:

  • Who would decide who would be added to the "black list" of sites
  • What scrutiny would be applied to such decisions
  • How the filter would actually fulfill its stated objective "to stop the distribution of child abuse pornography material" - when it could have been easily bypassed by those who wanted to

This half-baked and ineffective measure would have resulted in censorship of the Internet, somewhat like the Great Firewall of China that the Communist Party administers.

Instead, an Interpol process will be used that will have a more rigorous process for deciding what sites are to be blocked.

Its good to see that some sense has prevailed with the outcome here.


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