[LINK] The Age: anti-Net-censorship editorial & article on ISPs filtering with the blacklist

David Boxall david.boxall at hunterlink.net.au
Wed Jul 14 11:53:23 AEST 2010

On 13/07/2010 9:29 PM, Karl Auer wrote:
> On Tue, 2010-07-13 at 20:54 +1000, Robin Whittle wrote:
>> "Child porn filter hits snag" - the voluntary filtering by
>> several major ISPs, apparently according to the government's
>> secret blacklist.
>> ...
> When did the list of RC URLs maintained by ACMA become a "child porn
> list"? That's the whole damn point - it is NOT a list of child porn!
> ...
You know that, I know that, everyone with a clue knows that, but the 
government is marketing the filter as an anti kiddie-fiddler initiative. 
Believe me, much of the public at large buys it.

People have other things on their minds. Unless they have reason to do 
otherwise, they take what they're told at face value. It's up to those 
with a clue to cut through the hype and enlighten the majority. 
Technical arguments, whether based on IT realities or freedom of 
information theories, don't cut it.
> If ISPs want to enter voluntary agreements to block CP, I doubt anyone
> much could have an objection
I do [2].
> as long as a) the list is public so anyone
> can tell that it really contains only CP and b) the list only contains
> material put there by a properly constituted independen body.
> Otherwise, this is not progress, it's "litte green apples" hard at work!
> [1]
> Regards, K.
> [1] Govt: We are taking ALL of your little green apples.
> Victim: What?!? That's so unfair! They are mine!
> Govt: Nope, we are taking them. All of them.
> Victim: I shall go to the Press! To the High Court! To....
> Govt: Oh alright. We'll only take HALF your little green apples.
> Victim: Whoopee! Fantastic! Oh, thank you, thank you...
> Govt: You're most welcome

[2] After due consideration, I've decided on extremism as my position. 
Information, no matter how abhorrent, must not be hidden. Doing so 
essentially hides the crime and permits the criminal to carry on in secret.

For example:
* the crimes of the Nazis were abhorrent. If we hide information about 
them, is it less likely that similar crimes will be committed in future? 
Is it more likely?
* for decades, various religious organisations hid evidence of sexual 
abuse. Did that improve the situation? Did it facilitate repeated offences?

By all means, protect the young from truths that they are ill-equipped 
to handle. That is the responsibility of parents. Government is too far 
removed to be competent.

Perhaps because of my own unpleasant experiences, I question the wisdom 
of banning access to information (CP included). I have no difficulty, 
however, with authorities questioning the reasons for access. In 
evidence of my own perversity, I do question authority monitoring access.

Clearly, I need to think this through some more. A bit of thinking might 
benefit the government, as well.

David Boxall                    |  Drink no longer water,
                                |  but use a little wine
http://david.boxall.id.au       |  for thy stomach's sake ...
                                |            King James Bible
                                |              1 Timothy 5:23

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