Posts Tagged ‘Internet Censorship’

How To Defeat Labor’s Internet Censorship: A Liberal Hack’s Perspective

December 22, 2009

As the campaign against Labor’s internet censorship plan gears up, some of the tactics (and indeed the overall strategy) of those opposed to this monstrosity troubles me somewhat, as I am unsure how effective it will be. By which I mean I think it’s been atrocious, and at this rate I think we will lose.

As such therefore, for what it’s worth, as someone who has spent a decade active in (Liberal) party politics, I thought I would offer my perspective on how to best defeat the Great Firewall of Australia for people’s consideration. Because I really, really do not want Australia joining North Korea, Cuba, China, and Iran!

Firstly, do not bother writing to Conroy or Labor party MP’s/Senators. It will not make one iota of difference. There is approximately 0% chance of Labor reversing course on this through writing to them. They have invested too much into it, and the loss of face would be something they would not be able to stomach. This is the tough realities. Sure, If you want to piss off some bureaucrats, and cause annoyance, you can follow Bernard Keane’s advice, but please note it will achieve nothing. There is only one way that targeting Labor will work, but more on that later.

This bill will pass or fail based on one thing and one thing only: whether the Coalition supports it or not. Whether you like the Coalition or not, this is the reality of the situation. As such, the only thing that supporters of an uncensored internet  should be focusing on is getting Coalition MP’s to vote to oppose it. There is no – I repeat – no other way it can be blocked. There are quite a few Coalition MP’s already publically very opposed to the filter, and it has been soundly condemned by the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation, and the Young Liberal Movement of Australia. Plus, the Coalition opposed it before the 2007 election – keep them to their promise!!! So we have a good base to start off with.

The question then is, how do you go about doing this. (more…)

Labor to Blacklist Anti-Corruption Site

March 16, 2009

Stephen Conroy’s protestations that Labor’s Great Firewall of Australia will not include political content have rapidly become farcical. We all know about how the anti-abortion websites make the blacklist,but to make makes matters infinity more horrific, ACMA actually issued a takedown notice to an online discussion forum to remove the link, or face a $11,000 in fines a day. Seriously. This is not a joke.

As of today, it has been revealed that WikiLeaks – the whistle blower anti-corruption site responsible for unveiling many abuses by government (or, as I blogged on previously, (by the UN) also has had sections censored.

In fact, not only has it blocked the site, but “On this occasion ACMA has also referred the matter to the appropriate law enforcement agency.” No doubt a take down notice on this will also shortly be sent.

This is truly horrifying, 1984-type stuff.

Somebody Think of the Children (a great site on moral panic well worth you all reading) has a good summary on this, including the report on WikiLeaks, and a link to EFA’s response with the following quote:

The spin is starting to wear thin. It can no longer be denied that the blacklist targets a huge range of material that is legal and even uncontroversial. Politically controversial material will be blocked, as we have seen today. As time goes on, pressure will only mount on the Government to expand the list, while money and effort are poured into an enormous black box that will neither help kids nor stem the flow of illegal material.”

As I blogged about earlier today, Xenophon’s change of heart means diddly-sqaut. This legislation is a very real threat, and one we must all fight.

All it takes for Evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing…

Update: A reminder you can donate to EFA here.


Reporters Without Borders Condemn Commissar Conroy’s Communist Censorship

March 16, 2009

A recent report by Reporters without Borders has condemned the Australian Labor Party’s plans to censor the internet as one of the worst attacks on the internet internationally.

In this groundbreaking report on online freedom around the world, 12 countries are catagorised as “Enemies of the Internet”  – Saudi Arabia, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

While there is little doubt Commissar Conroy will be examining these countries in greater detail, trying to adapt their models to Australia, for now Australia is placed in the highly disturbing second category of countries on the cusp.

Australia is now in exactly the same category as: Bahrain, Belarus,  Eritrea, Malaysia, S. Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. Yay. What great company!

(Via Free Speech Blog)

Also, I’m at it, can people please stop writing blog posts that Xenophon voting against this bill makes one iota of difference? It doesn’t. This is a cheap publicity stunt on his part that people have gotten sucked into.

Xenophon’s vote is only be relevant in a scenario where the Coalition votes against the legislation, and the Greens and Senator Fielding vote for it. As the Greens have publicly stated they are voting against the legislation, this is not the case and Xenophon’s vote is utterly irrelevant. It’s called maths.

So let’s focus on a) ensuring the Coalition doesn’t compromise and b)that Labor doesn’t sneak it in through regulation as opposed to legislation. Mkay?