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Internet censorship agenda slammed by tech giants

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posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 06:49 AM
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Internet censorship agenda slammed by tech giants


www.smh.com.au

Australia's biggest technology companies, communications academics and many lobby groups have delivered a withering critique of the government's plans to censor the internet.
Many said the scope of blocked content was too broad and would render legitimate sites inaccessible, while the process of adding sites to the blacklist could be subject to abuse by bureaucrats and politicians.
(visit the link for the full news article)




[mod edit: fixed source link]

[edit on 23-3-2010 by 12m8keall2c]




posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 06:49 AM
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G'day

Here is my latest update regarding the Rudd government's intention to censor the internet in Australia.

I am totally disgusted at what is happening to this country.

I can't believe they really plan to go ahead with this.

How do we prevent this from happening?

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not

www.smh.com.au
(visit the link for the full news article)

Mod Edit - To Fix Link.

[edit on Tue, 30 Mar 2010 21:37:58 -0500 by MemoryShock]



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 06:54 AM
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I would love to read the article! We need to fix that link....

There we go... fixed.

www.smh.com.au...

[edit on 23/01/2010 by jinx880101]



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 06:55 AM
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I'm having trouble with the long links.....here is the article in full:




www.smh.com.au

Australia's biggest technology companies, communications academics and many lobby groups have delivered a withering critique of the government's plans to censor the internet.

The government today published most of the 174 submissions it received relating to improving the transparency and accountability measures of its internet filtering policy.

Legislation to force ISPs to implement the policy is expected to be introduced within weeks. The filters will block a blacklist of "refused classification" websites for all Australians on a mandatory basis.

Most of the submissions called for full transparency surrounding the operation of the list and for all sites placed on the list by bureaucrats at the Australian Communications and Media Authority first to be examined by the Classification Board.

They supported a regular review of the list by an independent expert and the ability for blacklisted sites to appeal.

But many reiterated their concerns that the policy is fundamentally unsound and would do little to make the internet a safer place for children. Many said the scope of blocked content was too broad and would render legitimate sites inaccessible, while the process of adding sites to the blacklist could be subject to abuse by bureaucrats and politicians.

Google, which today officially stopped censoring search results in China, said it had held discussions with users and parents around Australia and "the strong view from parents was that the government's proposal goes too far and would take away their freedom of choice around what information they and their children can access".

Google also said implementing mandatory filtering across Australia's millions of internet users could "negatively impact user access speeds", while filtering material from high-volume sites such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter "appears not to be technologically possible as it would have such a serious impact on internet access".

"We have a number of other concerns, including that filtering may give a false sense of security to parents, it could damage Australia's international reputation and it can be easily circumvented," Google wrote.

The search giant said it was preferable instead to focus on improving education around cyber safety and providing tools that people could install on their home computers to block unwanted content.

Many of Google's concerns are mirrored by many of the other submissions by academics, technology companies, industry groups, lobby groups and ISPs.

Microsoft demanded protection against "arbitrary executive decision making" surrounding content added to the list and noted the potential for banned material to be loaded on to a site without the sanction of the owner of that site.

Yahoo and Google's submissions, along with many others, expressed concerns that the scope of content to be filtered was too broad.

"Yahoo are entirely supportive of any effort to make the internet a safer place for children, however mandatory filtering of all RC material could block content with a strong social, political and/or educational value," Yahoo's submission read.

It listed some examples of innocuous sites that could be blocked including:

- Safe injecting and other harm minimisation websites.

- Euthanasia discussion forums.

- A video on creating graffiti art.

- Anti-abortion websites.

- Gay and lesbian forums that discuss sexual experiences.

- Explorations of the geo-political causes of terrorism where specific terrorist organisations and propaganda are cited as reference material.

Yahoo also pointed to a recent paper that provided "several examples where knee jerk regulatory reactions to 'controversial' content have been entirely out of step with broader public opinion".

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations fears sites that are valuable to sexual health promotion might be placed on the blacklist.

"Social research has shown that information, 'chat' and even pornographic sites play an important role in providing information about sexuality and sexual health, particularly for men who have sex with men and same-sex attracted young people," it wrote.

Mark McLelland, an associate professor in the sociology program at the University of Wollongong, said the filters could block access to an entire genre of niche but popular Japanese animated fiction.

Even the Australian Christian Lobby, one of the biggest supporters of the internet filtering plan, said inadvertently adding innocuous content to the blacklist would "undermine the entire policy".

Telstra fears the blacklist of banned sites could be leaked - as has already occurred last year - and "could be used as a directory of harmful content, which would therefore become more easily available to users that are able to circumvent the ISP filter or who are located overseas".

Colin Jacobs, spokesman for online users' lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia, said it was clear from the submissions that the vast majority have a difficult time stomaching the filter at all.

"Many of the submissions stated flat out that the filter was not needed," he said.

"Most of the rest held their noses and tried to come up with a way this inherently secret process could be made more transparent."



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 06:57 AM
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Originally posted by jinx880101
I would love to read the article! We need to fix that link....
There we go... fixed.
www.smh.com.au...


G'day jinx880101

Thanks for fixing the link


Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 07:02 AM
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reply to post by Maybe...maybe not
 


I doubt there is any way of stopping this, to be honest...As someone who has been actively campaigning in the community against this, the apathy shown by many internet users I've spoken to is disheartening...

By internet users I mean the less tech-savvy kind...The overwhelming majority of net users with any technical nous are very much against this thing, but they very much seem to be a minority at the moment...

These are the hearts and minds that have to be won for there to be any chance of this filter not happening...And there isn't a lot of time left to win them over...

The government have made it abundantly clear they intend to introduce this legislation at the start of the winter session of Parliament, Liberal parliamentarians are largely supportive or non-committal and the only glimmer of light in Parliament is the Greens in the Senate...

However, I fully expect the Government to easily push the Legislation thru the House of Reps sometime in late May/early June and then attempt to have the Senate approve it after that, which looking at the numbers right now seems a forgone conclusion, unfortunately



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 07:18 AM
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It listed some examples of innocuous sites that could be blocked including: - Safe injecting and other harm minimisation websites.
- Euthanasia discussion forums.
- A video on creating graffiti art.
- Anti-abortion websites.
- Gay and lesbian forums that discuss sexual experiences.
- Explorations of the geo-political causes of terrorism where specific terrorist organizations and propaganda are cited as reference material.


????

I am so lost! Euthanasia? Anti Abortion sites? And of course the last one, would mean sites such as this one.

I am curious though, they only make reference to this being passed in Australia...what about the rest of the world? I know China has lately gone through a censoring period, but if I am not mistaken it has been lifted.

What is going on?
Why can't everything just be clean cut?

Edit for typos.





[edit on 23/01/2010 by jinx880101]



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 07:19 AM
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reply to post by Retrovertigo
 


G'day Retrovertigo

I hope you are wrong.....

But I fear you are right.

One can only hope that Tony Abbott will take a stand against this.

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 07:27 AM
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Originally posted by Maybe...maybe not
reply to post by Retrovertigo
 


G'day Retrovertigo

I hope you are wrong.....

But I fear you are right.

One can only hope that Tony Abbott will take a stand against this.

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not



Me too...

Given Abbott & Conroy are pretty much on the same page morality-wise, and given there probably wont be a whole heap of votes in it if he does, I doubt Abbott will make it Coalition policy to oppose the filter...

Myself and people like me wont stop trying to stop it, but fairly soon we're going to have to start looking at educating people on how to get around the filter, which may end up in itself being illegal...



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 07:32 AM
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reply to post by Maybe...maybe not
 


normaly id recomend getting your gun...but it seems they took those first.

how conveinent.



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 07:36 AM
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Conroy is going to be on "The 7PM Project" on Wednesday night at 7pm EST...

Naturally he will be spouting the usual crap about stopping kiddie porn and all the nasty stuff on the net that is RC...

The type of people who watch that show are largely the ones who need to be won over if the filter is to be defeated...



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 07:46 AM
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even at the isp level they wont be able to pull this off. unless they create their own localized internet coupled with their own hard/software architecture.



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 07:49 AM
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Picked up a stack of books about euthanasia a year or three ago at a library sale. Stuck them up on high shelves in a book cupboard because I didn't want to alarm family and friends. Have to periodically clear the bookshelves and during the last two or three clear-outs have actually lugged a few of the euthanasia books down, intending to give them all to the Op Shop along with everything else. Rationale being that everything's online these days and usually far more up to date

Each time, though, a niggling little voice has said, 'No. Hang onto those. You never know ... '


Glad now that I didn't toss them out, seeing Conroy and Co deem themselves better judges than mere voters about what constitutes suitable information for adults

Ironic really, considering they're systematically poisoning us with their Chemtrails and fluride and food additives (such as the mandatory addition of folic acid to all bread and bread-making flours, like it or not) yet profess to want to protect us from killing ourselves, etc.

I won't allow myself to get too upset about Aussie political shenannigans or the faux two-party system or the zionist domination or using Oz as a testing-ground for their perverse agenda, because Aussie politicians are owned to the bone and far more terrified of their owners than of the Aussie voter. We'd probably fare more successfully if we protested direct to Tel Aviv, rather than appeal to Aussie political puppets for a bit of common sense



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 07:58 AM
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reply to post by Maybe...maybe not
 


I must say, I am not a follower of the on mass privacy invader Google, but this is one issue I am glad they are opposing,being as how the corporate world's influence in our "democracy" is of more importance to the government than that of the public which employs it.
(over 80% of aussies polled oppose the filter ) yes REALLY..despite what MSM would have us believe.


ABC’s HungryBeast commissioned McNair to poll 1000 Australians by telephone on whether they want mandatory internet censorship. Despite previous informal polling on December 15 2009 by the Sydney Morning Herald indicating 96% opposition to mandatory censorship… …the HB/McNair poll indicated 80% in favour of mandatory censorship. Oh? What could possibly account for this major backflip? Or was there a backflip? The ABC ran an online poll after the HungryBeast episode aired… and despite a poorly publicised poll, conducted late in the evening, got this result: There was no public opinion backflip- HungryBeast simply made the mistake of crafting the polling questions based on Conroy’s muddled description of Refused Classification. RC is NOT just child porn, nor is it only ‘illegal’ material, but Conroy would like you to believe it is. Conroy has repeatedly characterised RC as “the worst of the worst,” failing to mention that a fair chunk of RC is simply the politically inexpedient. If Conroy succeeds in fooling the public about what RC is- and so far he has been successful- he’ll get compliance or at least apathy from the public at large as regards implementing mandatory internet censorship. The definition of RC is so poorly understood by the general public that any HungryBeast/McNair survey question that used the term ‘Refused Classification’ (like this one) can safely be dismissed as invalid. HungryBeast themselves fell victim to one of the biggest furphys about the censorship scheme (the opening gag in the HB bit was about one fellow going home for his midday wank)- that it’s about porn. Ordinary X rated porn will not be filtered. Naturally, if a survey asks ‘Would you be in favour of mandatory filtering of child pornography’, you’re going to get 100% in favor of filtering. I’m actually a bit shocked that Hungrybeast/McNair only got 80% in favour of censorship, given the public’s poor understanding of all the materials RC covers.

Hungrybeast: 80% of Australians want mandatory internet censorship? REALLY?

And as for Abbot, lol
Abbot and Costello,what a pity they were on opposing parties ,
What a tag they would have had for advertising in an election for PM, deputy PM.
Abbot is quite the unintentional comedian.
Less radical than conroy?
Probably worse.
Give me a politician who is not up his own rear end and in it for glory,
and maybe I could hope for some sanity in governance.
Abbot's definitely not going to be that man.
Anyone know what Bob Brown's stance is on all this ?



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 08:01 AM
link   

Originally posted by Retrovertigo
Conroy is going to be on "The 7PM Project" on Wednesday night at 7pm EST...

Naturally he will be spouting the usual crap about stopping kiddie porn and all the nasty stuff on the net that is RC...

The type of people who watch that show are largely the ones who need to be won over if the filter is to be defeated...


Thank you ,
for the heads up.
Been a while since I've watched the idiot box but I'd be interested to hear this and watch his body language at the same time.


edit to add:
um, what channel is that show on ?
Is it free to air ?
cheers

[edit on 23/3/10 by asIam]



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 08:04 AM
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reply to post by asIam
 



Abbott & Costello actually belonged to the same party...Abbott is probably on a par with Conroy as far as morality goes, one only has to look at the way he constantly used his veto as health minister to block access to the "morning after pill" RU486...

Bob Brown opposes the filter, this is Greens policy...Scott Ludlum seems to be in charge of running the Greens opposition to this in the Senate...He has asked numerous questions of Conroy during question time about various aspects of the filter and the governments policy on internet censorship over the last 12 months...

Edit to add - 7PM Project is on channel 10 at 7 tonight, asIam...

[edit on 23-3-2010 by Retrovertigo]



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 08:20 AM
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Very important thread - thank you!

This is the snowball, the avalanche I imagine will be on it's way to the rest of us in the not too distant future unless something can be done now.

The irony is that the web is one of our greatest tools against exactly this kind of attack on personal freedoms and should be used to it's full advantage against those who wish to strangle the life out of it..

Cheers maybesayemaybesnaw (your honorary scottish title
)

S&F




posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 08:21 AM
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Mandatory filtering of all RC material could block content with a strong social, political and/or educational value.


There's the reason for this right there. This has nothing to do with protecting children and everything to do with government blackouts of whatever is contrary to their objectives. If the the government is so serious about protecting kids then they should mandate filters on public computer systems that children can access; something any competent Admin/Tech should have already done to their systems anyways.

I am so sick of all this BS legislature being rammed through 'to protect the children'. I don't have kids, does that mean I would be exempt from this ban? Can I get an override code that allows me to view whatever I want?

Not likely.

Any excuse they offer in support of this is just that, an excuse. The MSM is bought and paid for globally, the only open news source is the internet. If this was one country or the work of a small group of fanatics it wouldn't be such a blantant attempt at media manipulation. However too many countries world wide are trying a variety of different ways to force this through; it's pretty obvious what the truth of the matter is.

The only justification for such measures being enacted nationally is to 'protect the children' from having thier parents teach them things the government would prefer no one know.

More and more I think our grandchildren are f@#ked, I don't beleive that all these controls are for us, we are just the ones who are aware that we are being deprived of our freedoms. If the trends continues (and so much of the populous is apathetic to anything that doesn't take money directly out of their pocket TODAY) our grandchildren will never know a world without total censorship, surveillance and omnipotent government control.

I don't think the end is upon us, but it's cresting the hill and time is short.

[edit on 23-3-2010 by [davinci]]



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 08:26 AM
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reply to post by Retrovertigo
 


Thank you,tonight being Wednesday I presume.

scuse my brain explosion
What I meant was in a same election effort together not party.
he has the liberal stamp (attitude)on him politically all right.
And it bothers me a lot the degree of presence of religion in aussie politics these days, and before - thinking back to the exclusive brethren's efforts on behalf of Howard in the past.
Thank you for bringing me up to speed on BB,I've been following other things more recently than this debate,



posted on Mar, 23 2010 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by asIam
reply to post by Retrovertigo
 

Thank you,tonight being Wednesday I presume.

scuse my brain explosion
What I meant was in a same election effort together not party.
he has the liberal stamp (attitude)on him politically all right.
And it bothers me a lot the degree of presence of religion in aussie politics these days, and before - thinking back to the exclusive brethren's efforts on behalf of Howard in the past.
Thank you for bringing me up to speed on BB,I've been following other things more recently than this debate,


No probs
Yes, wednesday night...

Yes, politicians seem more likely to allow their personal religious views to influence their "political" decisions and that's a very dangerous thing...

Goodness yes...Howard and other Liberals went miles out of their way to ensure the Exclusive Brethren members weren't investigated for decades of tax evasion among other things ...



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