Online Casinos Target of Australian Blacklist Internet Filter
Australia's attempt to filter what Internet content is available to its citizens is meeting with staunch resistance from civil libertarians and anti-censorship groups. The government is proposing a system that will block such material as child pornography and online casinos from computers throughout the country.
The proposal facing the Australian government would block "unwanted content" , as defined by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. The question of what composes unwanted content, of course, becomes the difficult part.
After all, if content is unwanted by everyone, then there would no need for filtering, as no one would view content that is unwanted. And, as everyone whose e-mail supposedly filters spam knows, such filters have a great deal of difficulty determining whether something is legitimate or junk.
Australia's proposed two-tier system would allow citizens to choose to accept more stringent limits on available sites, but the top level would be mandatory for the entire country. Some Australians are asking whether the best way to prevent criminal activity is to eliminate the means. If so, why not stop bank robberies by closing banks, or shut down roads to prevent speeding?
Opponents have also pointed out the expense of the program, the fact that it will slow Internet transmissions by as much as 87%, doesnt prevent the mass of child pornography which is carried by peer-to-peer sharing, and the accidental but unavoidable inclusion of almost 10% of all legitimate sites.
Australians have started a Save The Net program, designed to awaken people to the slippery slope upon which the government is about to tread. One member of the program compared the censorship idea to trying to read every letter sent through the post before deciding whether to deliver it.
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|Posted by: Luke||When: 12/12/2008 02:17:50 PM EST|
|It certainly is a slippery slope. I wrote a post about this and the new Australian Sex Party that is forming to fight this initiative.|
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