For a while now I’ve been keeping an eye on the web censorship antics various Australian governments have been getting up to. The previous, coalition government decided that spending AU$3000 per copy on some web filtering software was a fantastic idea: Dan of Dansdata has a summary of the maths behind that particular exercise in pointlessness.
So the new, Labour government looked into that failure, dubbed it so, and then decided that the reason it failed was that the coalition just hadn’t wasted enough money. That they’d aimed too low. So instead of some kind of pointless, wasteful, opt-in filtering software that kiddies can bypass, now they want to implement country-wide, mandatory internet filtering of “illegal” and “inappropriate” material.
This is wrong and pointless on so many levels, it’s quite difficult to even know where to start if I was to explain to someone why this is a bad idea. Once again, Dan has a summary, and he doesn’t think it’s actually going to happen, which is nice.
But I’m pretty sure it’s not going to happen.
Similar threats have been made here in the past, and they’ve always petered out into nothing. There are no votes to be won in actually filtering the Internet, after all. The people who vote based on Net filtering promises are unable to tell whether it’s actually happening or not. And there are plenty of votes to be lost when everyone who doesn’t call their browser “the Internet” discovers that they can’t get to YouPorn or Mininova any more.
Just in case they actually think they’re going to go through with it, there are some people starting to activate and campaign against this pointless stupidity. So here’s some resources:
How a “Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy” can think this would be feasible, or that it would be a good idea even if it was technically possible, is completely beyond me. Why is Australia repeatedly lumped with luddites for our IT ministers?