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Australian Internet filter

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As the Australian Internet Filter may affect Australians who wish to access AwesomeDude amongst other LGBT sites, I feel it is appropriate to post these references to the proposed filter.

While this reference at Foobar to the filter is dated December 2008, it is still very current in its statements.

I particularly like the reference to the Nazi book burning and the Hitler quote on protecting the children.

To quote from the article:

Senator Stephen Conroy, the Government Senator responsible for this project has stated that they will also be looking into the possibility of filtering other content that may be illegal in Australia. Which would for example include: euthanasia, abortion, drug-use, etc.

This here is the real danger behind the whole story: Sure, you are not supposed to do what's against the law. But not even being able to get information about it? What if you want to change the law? Isn't that part of a democracy, of a free society? The right to change the law through lawfully provided channels and means? But how can you work towards a change if you can't even talk about it? This is a pretty hard blow against very basic freedoms that a free society should actually guarantee.

That is why ?free speech? is usually anchored as one of the most basic rights in constitutions and the most basic laws of most free societies. It is fundamental to the very existence and concept of "free society". Without free speech, even speech about things you might not like or agree with, the society simply cannot deserve to call itself free. However, filtering or destruction of ?objectionable? material is the hallmark of a totalitarian state.


I'll end today with a very interesting quote, which we should pay good attention to. The person who wrote it knew a thing or two about getting to power, about how to ?deal? with opposition, and how to erect a tyranny where before there was a free democracy. We should keep it in mind whenever some politician wants to take away our freedoms for the sake of "the children":
The State must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.

Adolf Hitler,

?Mein Kampf?

More recently there is this article (sourced by Brody Levesque) in The Age, (Melbourne newspaper.) (Sourced from The Sydney Morning Herald)


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.
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".
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 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.

Clearly freedom of speech is threatened in Australia. The fact that this threat comes from the traditional left wing Labor party is both startling and repugnant as they have been historically the party to support free speech. There are those who like myself believe this is what happens when church and state are not separated.

I urge anyone concerned with this situation to let others know they should also be worried.

Who knows, the next country to do this may be yours.

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What might work is to have Australia completely severed from the internet altogether, as a concerted effort on the part of everyone involved. In essence, and strike by all internet providers worldwide, to bring some sense to those idiot politicians.

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Isn't that throwing out the baby with the bathwater?

But it could be effective. It seems, reading between the lines, that the citizens of Australia aren't mounting the type protest they almost certainly would if they were entirely cut off from the Internet. So, Trab, you have an interesting suggestion there.


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Some idea of the interest (concern) in the Aussie filter can be ascertained at (EFA) Electronic Frontiers Australia's site, especially this report on Senator Conroy's response in Question time.

Feel free to explore the Home Page of the EFA, (while you still can.)

Of interest is the Reporters Without Borders' site which has placed Australia under its category of 'Countries Under Surveillance' as an 'enemy of the Internet.'

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I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. It seems simply incredible that as forward a nation as Australia is would be taking a step backward, way, way backward. It doesn't seem possible.


How do you think we free thinker types in Australia feel?

Senator Conroy is deadly serious in achieving this restriction of our online freedom.

If they can do it here, they can do it anywhere...

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It simply goes to show that our 'freedom' is mostly illusion, and the reality of it can only be maintained with active interest and work.

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The trouble with this type of thing is that you can lose it simply be not caring enough to even say anything, or ignoring it, or believing the lies.

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How do you think we free thinker types in Australia feel?

Senator Conroy is deadly serious in achieving this restriction of our online freedom.

If they can do it here, they can do it anywhere...

Des, I hope you've identified a couple of reliable proxy services that you can use to circumvent RC when (or if) it's implemented.

Colin :hehe:

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Brit18uk, it's not extreme paranoia if they really are out to control us, and from what I see they are. Who's 'they?' They, have many faces, many facets, but are usually identified by their authoritarian attitude in exercising power given to them by others. Your post shows a remarkable understanding of the whole situation, thank you.

Today, I asked or dropped a subtle reference about the Internet Filter in Australia, to various people I met. I was shocked to find, despite the claims made by the anti-filter lobby, that people were generally convinced it was a good thing because it would protect the children. No amount of reasoning along the lines of the children's rights to have freedom of information let alone the wider adult community to have free thought, freedom of expression and so forth, could surmount the fears and indoctrinated views of safety for the child at all costs.

And costs they will be, high costs, too high in price to pay in my opinion. We safeguard the child from the ravages of the predators by removing their knowledge of the predators' existence, just doesn't compute for me. When I was 12 years old, my mother (bless her), took me aside and told me to never get in a car with a stranger because they would take me to a place where they would put lipstick on my pee-pee and make a girl lick it off. (I am not making this up.)

So how did I react to this well intentioned warning? I stood on the side of the road waiting for said stranger to stop his car and whisk me away. The fact that I had not yet entered puberty and had no idea why this sounded like fun, did not diminish my fascination with the image Mum had painted for me in my mind. Puberty did follow a few months later, and I found I had no interest in lipstick or girls licking any thing of mine, but strangers in cars were another matter. Today of course strangers in cars are very dangerous.

So perhaps we should limit cars, put a filter on the doors so that kids cannot get into a car, and make the kids walk everywhere. Yeah right, that sounds safe, until they get run over by a drunken driver. The point is, that danger is everywhere. You can't filter everything, neither should you want to.

Having said that I also want to say that there are crazy elements on the web that should be contained, (violence, child porn, religion and Fox News) :hehe: but government control must be answerable to the electorate and the Australian filter is not transparent. It is an authoritarian control without recourse to community expectations, let alone, common sense.

The truth as I see it is that the Internet has become a source of free information and communication for nearly the entire world. Governments, authoritarians, power mongers, megalomaniacal sociopaths are all threatened by a world populace that is capable of informed decision. Even just one such person is a threat to them as history shows time and time again. These authoritarians see enlightened thought as a threat to the status quo (of ignorance.) Ignorance I might add that is already endemic in those who support such things as the filter and oppose social changes that would benefit the individual's pursuit of happiness as well as the communities well-being and capacity to abandon the very ignorance that stifles their lives and creativity.

Limiting an entire portion of the world population's access to information available on the Net (both good and bad) cuts off that population from the advances the human race must be capable of realising in order to survive, let alone grow.

Somehow, the Australian government has no appreciation of the damage it is doing to not only the adults in the community, but to the development of the very children they say they want to protect.

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The State must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.

Adolf Hitler,

Mein Kampf

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Perhaps we should be concentrating on disseminating exactly how ?A technically competent user could, if they wished, circumvent the filtering technology."

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The first thing to filter out is the word "filtering", and secondly, "circumvent".

Don't blame me, that is a quote from the Enex people.

I'd filter the whole damn population, keeping only the twinks, whether they were circumvented or not. :hehe:

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Here is a scientific article I found on the net. I'm posting it here so people can learn what it has to say before their educational opportunities are restricted by whatever governmental body decides to take over that function.

Animals flout established rules when it comes to the game of love and sex. In fact, the animal kingdom is full of swingers. Bonobos are highly promiscuous, engaging in sexual interactions more frequently than any other primate, and in just about every combination from heterosexual to homosexual unions. Mothers even mate with their mature sons (Everyone: Eeeeewww!). Bonobo societies "make love, not war," and their frequent sex is thought to strengthen social bonds and resolve conflict. This idea could explain why bonobo societies are relatively peaceful and their relatives, chimpanzees, which practice sex strictly for reproduction, are prone to violence.

I'd guess that article will not be made available by the filterers. Yet, it's science, fact, and should be available to anyone wishing information on animal life on our planet.


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Sex and cooperation - It's the bonobo in you.

Presumably this article on Ape sex appearing in the Sydney Morning Herald would also be filtered out.

Personally I find the idea of the unavailability to track my family tree back to its bonobo - orangutan origins quite upsetting and depressing. :hehe:

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