Dan Callaghan

The great firewall of Australia

As reported by Computerworld, it will apparently not be possible to opt out of the Australian government’s disastrous and misguided “mandatory content filtering” (read: censorship) scheme. EFA have an excellent summary of why this is an appallingly bad idea on their protest site, No Clean Feed.

Of course the government’s line is that “we have to protect the children” — the bog-standard line which is trotted out to instantly quash any opposition to a controversial policy (the other big one being “we have to stop the terrorists”). But once such a filtering scheme is in place, it would not be much of a stretch for the government to extend it to, say, blocking all traffic that looks like the BitTorrent protocol (since we all know that is never used for legitimate purposes, right?) …

So I have written a letter to Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (what an absurd mouthful). If you have even the slightest interest in stopping ridiculous abuses of power by our government, I would encourage you to do the same.

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