[LINK] Progress of Industry/Group representatives in trying to stop the Governments ISP Filtering proposal

David Boxall david.boxall at hunterlink.net.au
Wed Oct 15 10:27:53 EST 2008

The Australian Consumers' Association is developing a Digital Rights 
campaign. Below is text from an email I've just sent to them (cc: 
senator Conroy).
> Apparently, the government plans to interfere with the Internet access 
> of every Australian: 
> <http://www.arnnet.com.au/index.php/id;1399635276;fp;;fpid;;pf;1>
>> Australians will be unable to opt-out of the government's pending 
>> Internet content filtering scheme, and will instead be placed on a 
>> watered-down blacklist...
>> Internet Service Providers (ISPs) ... say blanket content filtering 
>> will cripple Internet speeds 
>> <http://www.arnnet.com.au/index.php/id;420013177> because the 
>> technology is not up to scratch. ... advisers to Minister Conroy have 
>> told ISPs that Internet content filtering will be mandatory for all 
>> users. 
> ...
>> EFA chair Dale Clapperton said ... that Internet content filtering 
>> could lead to censorship of drugs, political dissident and other 
>> legal freedoms.
>> “Once the public has allowed the system to be established, it is much 
>> easier to block other material,” Clapperton said.
>> According to preliminary trials 
>> <http://www.arnnet.com.au/index.php/id;937690115>, the best Internet 
>> content filters would incorrectly block about 10,000 Web pages from 
>> one million.
> There may be a substantial argument in favour of Internet filtering, 
> though I haven't heard one. The populist excuse is that filtering will 
> protect children. I believe it will have the opposite effect. As 
> always, a child's best defence is a diligent parent. No filter is 
> perfect. The presence of an unreliable filter will tend to lull 
> parents into a false sense of security, leading to a reduction in that 
> essential diligence.
> The tool to be created with the putative aim of protecting children is 
> subject to abuse. Indeed, according to the above report, is intended 
> to be abused as a weapon of censorship. The business end of that 
> weapon is aimed squarely at Australian consumers.
> The nebulous benefits do not justify the costs:
> - financial costs;
> - costs to the performance of our Internet infrastructure and
> - costs to the integrity of our democracy.
> This is not something that a wholesome democratic government would need. 
David Boxall | All that is required
| for evil to prevail is
| for good men to do nothing.
| -- Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

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