Friday, October 17, 2008

Australian 'Net Nanny' is scary

Very scary article in Ars Technica today.

Australians may not be able to opt out of the government's Internet filtering initiative like they were originally led to believe. Details have begun to come out about Australia's Cyber-Safety Plan, which aims to block "illegal" content from being accessed within the country, as well as pornographic material inappropriate for children. Right now, the system is in the testing stages, but network engineers are now saying that there's no way to opt out entirely from content filtering.

Read this comment from an Internode engineer (Internode is Australia's third biggest ISP (and was my ISP in Australia)).

Well, it turns out now that those promises were only partially true. Internode network engineer Mark Newton told Computerworld that users are able to opt out of the "additional material" blacklist—which targets content inappropriate for children—but not the main blacklist that filters what the Australian government determines is illegal content.

This is scary enough, that if this goes through I would no longer consider Australia my home.

Looks like I'll be immigrating to Belize or some other latin american country where the sun shines and the beaches are good BUT if you want to visit internet websites where naked midgets lick peanut butter from each others privates while learning how to make pipe bombs and use PGP then the government couldn't care less.

My issue is the law should determine what is illegal not politicians of the day. What happens tomorrow if you get some idiot like Andrew Cuomo voted into Australian Parliament tomorrow and he decides that Usenet news groups should no longer be available in Australia.

It will be interesting to see how this changes Australian's condemnation of the politcial situation in China..... it's hardly fair for them to complain any more.


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