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Aust-Politics
Australian Political Debate
No Clean Feed 
29th-Oct-2008 10:19 pm
just me and the world
The Australian Government is pushing to implement an internet filter that's aimed at censoring 'illegal' material on the internet. This filtered internet will be mandatory to all Australians with a second more restrictive 'clean feed' filter to protect children from harmful content.

Such a mechanism has serious consequences for free speech and access to information. On a technical side, it will also drastically reduce internet speeds in a country that is already ridiculously behind other wired countries in the world, with some tests reporting network performance reductions between 20-75 percent.

Currently, the only other countries in the world that have implemented such government filtering censorship of the internet are places like Burma/Myanmar, China and North Korea. Australia is a peaceful fully functioning democracy. A filtered internet goes against our principles and is complete overkill for a problem that should be addressed through education and parents.

Electronic Frontiers Australia

No Clean Feed - Stop Internet Censorship in Australia
Comments 
29th-Oct-2008 11:52 am (UTC)
I wouldn't worry about it. It won't happen. People won't stand for it.
29th-Oct-2008 12:00 pm (UTC)
Actually it can; it's a plan to be implemented by a government department, not a proposed piece of legislation like WorkChoices that would need to pass through the House of Reps and the Senate before coming into effect.
29th-Oct-2008 12:08 pm (UTC)
I didn't say it can't. I said it won't. Australian governments will always backflip on an issue the public feels strongly about, and regardless of how prudish the Australian public likes to think it is, they don't want to have their internet censored.
29th-Oct-2008 12:14 pm (UTC)
I can think of two issues off-hand where the previous government didn't back-flip, but that aside I wish I had your optimism :)
29th-Oct-2008 12:15 pm (UTC)
Which two issues?
29th-Oct-2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
Decision to go to war in Iraq -- despite massive public protest the previous government went in anyway.

Workchoices -- vastly unpopular piece of legislation, previous government didn't back away from it since it was pretty much one of the central pieces of their platform and philosophy, in the end had to go to election.
29th-Oct-2008 12:36 pm (UTC)
Was there really a massive public protest against either of those things? I mean general mainstream Joe Blows, not just mouthy lefties (of which I am one). I can't really recall how big the protests were about going into Iraq, but I work in an area that had a direct relationship with Work Choices, and it did seem to only really be a union issue before it actually came into effect and started to have an impact on the Joe Blows who previously considered themselves immune.

And let's be realistic here - Iraq and Work Choices were issues that a lot of people didn't really give a crap about because it didn't directly impact on them. The internet is a whole different ballgame.
29th-Oct-2008 12:42 pm (UTC)
As far as Iraq goes I remember it being described as the biggest anti-war protest since the Vietnam War (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/20/1047749876856.html). As for WorkChoices, I think it was just a union issue until the legislation was actually passed then the rest of the public started to get worried especially with all the stories that were being put out every few weeks about teenagers being forced onto contracts etc. There probably wasn't a public protest beyond union-organised protest, but I guess the election result could count? :3

And let's be realistic here - Iraq and Work Choices were issues that a lot of people didn't really give a crap about because it didn't directly impact on them. The internet is a whole different ballgame.

Good point -- people will only really be motivated to take action if they see it impacting on their own lives.
29th-Oct-2008 12:58 pm (UTC)
Howard was probably more arrogant about what he thought he could get away with than Kevin is. Kevin07 became PM because people did start being affected by Work Choices once it was legislated and he seems to be acutely aware of that and trying desperately to assuage the mainstream every time they start kicking up about something.

29th-Oct-2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
Kevin07 also became PM with enough of a swing that left the Coalition in disarray, plus his approval ratings are at record highs; he's got enough political clout to push things through just as Howard did after the 2004 election that got the Coalition majorities in both Houses of Parliament. I won't be discounting his arrogance.
30th-Oct-2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
And Rudd will risk getting kicked out when people realise they've had their internet crippled under their noses. Rudd also hasn't made good on removing the worst parts of WorkChoices.
29th-Oct-2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
Actually it can; it's a plan to be implemented by a government department, not a proposed piece of legislation like WorkChoices that would need to pass through the House of Reps and the Senate before coming into effect.

Where did you hear this? This is contrary to my understanding of the situation. If this is the case, then we should be really worried.
29th-Oct-2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
Budget Estimate Speech.

Things only go to Budget Estimations when the government needs to justify how much money they want to spend on it. You don't spend money on legislation.
30th-Oct-2008 09:14 am (UTC)
I'll have to amend my previous statement: here's a good analysis of whether the government needs to have legislation for their plan. However, as far as the live trial goes, that won't need legislation.
29th-Oct-2008 09:55 pm (UTC)
Have you written to Conroy letting him know you won't stand for it? I doubt Conroy reads LJ.
30th-Oct-2008 10:17 am (UTC)
I believe I said "People" won't stand for it, not "I" won't stand it. I'm not particularly fussed about it myself, because I don't think anything is going to come of it.

29th-Oct-2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
It's fucking retarded. It doesn't affect P2P only HTTP, so the effect on stopping bad stuff will be zero.

Apparently, no one is behind this. The Libs hate it, Labor hates it, the Greens hate it and Nick Xenophon hates it. It's all part of a deal to get Steve Fielding to be nicer to the ALP (thank you Victorian Labor Party, you useless pricks). It will only get through with Lib support, and I doubt the Libs will get behind it, it looks like a good issue to drill the ALP on being out of touch and unable to meet the needs of the future.

I'm honestly shocked this has gotten this far, someone is giving the government very poor advice.
29th-Oct-2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
Howard was dancing to this tune back in 2004.

Both the Greens and Democrats made a small issue of it.


30th-Oct-2008 09:12 am (UTC)
There's an article in The Age today that has a nice summation of current support of the minor parties. In short:
- Greens hate it (also Greens Senator Ludlum grilled Conroy over the plan in Budget Estimates)
- Xenophon wants to ban offshore gaming
- Fielding wants to ban not only child pornography which everyone can understand, but hard-core adult pornography and fetish sites

As for the major parties, Federal Opposition looks like they'll oppose it (woohoo!) and the filter was actually part of the ALP election platform in 2007 (page 2).
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