Posts Tagged ‘Nocleanfeed’

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…)

Net Censorship: Liberal Ineptness Example #8163

March 28, 2009

There is little that annoys me more than the chronic ineptness of those on our side of politics. Yet the Liberal Party response to the Great Firewall of Australia must surely rank as a prime candidate for ineptness in its chronic failure to capitalise on a salient political issue, engage in the battle of ideas, and ultimately win votes.

To their credit, and particularly due to the conservative wing of the party staring down the “moderates”, the Federal Parliamentary Wing of the Liberal Party has eventually come out as staunchly against Labor’s internet censorship plans. This is obviously a good thing – not only is it unworkable, not only will it slow down the internet and impose additional costs on consumers and business, but it is a direct attack on free speech and on family values by denigrating the ability of parents to control what their children view.

Having said that, the Liberal’s public response to this has been nothing short of pathetic. Here we have a prime opportunity to engage with the key youth demographic, to begin using web 2.0 strategies to generate true constituent conversation, and to win votes with people who wouldn’t normally associate with us, and what have we done? Nothing.

In fact, I remember discussing this over 6 months ago – just as this was becoming an issue – with a key adviser to a Shadow Minister with interests in this area. Their response? It wasn’t “newsworthy”.

This statement – more than any other – highlights to me how out of touch the Liberal Party remains with new media. More and more people no longer rely on traditional mainstream media for their news. Rather, they rely on online filters made up of their friends – who they friend on facebook, follow on twitter, whose blogs they read. Yet it would seem the Liberals can not understand this.

Stuck in a 1990’s mindset, the Liberal Party has made no effort whatsoever to engage with the online community. None. Yet this is a perfect opportunity to do so. In fact, I can think of no better opportunity. Yet it is one that has been wasted. To use an analogy, if the LP was a corporation, this would surely count as a breach of the management’s fiduciary obligations. It is certainly abysmally poor campaigning.

When will the Liberal Party realise it needs to engage in with issues like this? To start interacting more with younger voters? To actually move to the 21st century?

Sigh. I worry about the future. I really do.

Update: Why on earth did the Libs put Greg Hunt on Q&A against Conroy? The guy is a joke.

Update 2: Sorry. I meant disgrace. Not joke.

Conroy to use Tax Dollars to Monitor Blogs for Criticism

March 22, 2009

You think I make this up? If only.

Kerplunk alerts me to this story in the SMH:

The Federal Government will begin trawling blog sites as part of a new media monitoring strategy, with official documents singling out a website critical of the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy.

Tender documents issued by the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy reveal it is looking for a “monitoring service for print and electronic media”. The department later attached a clarification confirming this included “blogs such as Whirlpool”.

As Kerplunk notes:

Not only are we going to suffer slower Internet speed due to the government’s filter that is supposed to block child pornography, bomb making sites and the like but we now get a huge does of Big Brotherism as the government targets its politic opponents.

Folks, this is Australia.

We’re meant to have a free society.

Why is it always the left that uses the power of the state to impinge upon free speech?
Indeed.

Update: The Shadowlands blog welcomes this development, and trusts the geography-illiterate, spelling-challenged, poorly advised, innumerate, diplomatic dundering, platitude-saying, lying, earwax-snacking, conflict avoiding, cliche-riddled, bandicoot-molesting Mr Rudd learns something from the exercise.”

Wikileaks Threatens Conroy With Extradition

March 20, 2009

Wikileaks has threatened Stephen Conroy with legal action and possible extradition to Sweden if he follows up on his threat to pursue legal action against the brave freedom fighter who leaked the ACMA blacklist.

“Under the Swedish Constitution’s Press Freedom Act, the right of a confidential press source to anonymity is protected, and criminal penalties apply to anyone acting to breach that right.

Wikileaks source documents are received in Sweden and published from Sweden so as to derive maximum benefit from this legal protection. Should the Senator or anyone else attempt to discover our source we will refer the matter to the Constitutional Police for prosecution, and, if necessary, ask that the Senator and anyone else involved be extradited to face justice for breaching fundamental rights.”

Senator Conroy may wish to consider the position of the South African Competition Commission, which decided to cancel its own high profile leak investigation in January after being advised of the legal ramifications of interfering with Sunshine Press sources.

Game on.

(Via the brilliantly named “Stephen Conroy Is A Cunt“)

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Secret Net Censorship Blacklist Revealed!

March 19, 2009

Jake Zanoni’s blog alerts me to the story that ACMA’s secret blacklist has been leaked to the public. Check out his blog for a news roundup on this.

ACMA’s response is here. This has generally been interpreted as a denial that the Wikileaks list was their blacklist. However. Read it carefully. At NO POINT does ACMA deny that the sites listed were on the blacklist. Rather, it speaks at great length about how inappropriate it is to publish the list, and then states “The ACMA blacklist has at no stage been 2300 URLs in length and at August 2008 consisted of 1061 URLs. It is therefore completely inaccurate to say that the list of 2300 URLs constitutes an ACMA blacklist.” Again. Note the wording.

The next sentence reads “It also appears that many of the 2300 URLs provided on the list are no longer active”. I think anyone with any experience in press releases can translate. All the sites were blacklisted. As they became inactive, they were removed from the blacklist. Hence at no one time were these 2300 URL’s on the blacklist. Yet all the sites were in fact on the blacklist at one point.

Jake  does not provide a direct link to the blacklist. I have no such compunctions. You may view it in its illegal entirety here.

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Update: Wikileaks has released a more recent version of the blacklist.

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.

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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?

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The Correlation Between Internet Porn & Sexual Assault

February 25, 2009

In the midst of all the hooplah generated by Commissar Conroy’s Communist Censorship Crusade, I thought it useful to remind people of the scientific data which has examined the relationship between online access and pornography viewing, and instances of sexual assault.

The data seems fairly unambiguous: after controlling for all external factors, a 10 percent increase in Net access yields about a 7.3 percent decrease in reported cases of sexual assault. No other category of crime experienced similar decreases, the logical conclusion being how porn might serve as a substitute for rape.

So. There you have it.

Via Reason who also note that “Just about every social indicator that one might anticipate being affected by the mainstreaming of porn (divorce and abortion rates, sex crimes, sex crimes against children, teen pregnancy, etc.) has for about 15 years generally been moving in a positive direction. That of course would be the very period during which pornography became widely available on the Internet.”

GetUp! Scamming Anti-Censorship Freedom Fighters

February 17, 2009

Some rather disturbing information has come to my attention recently regarding the misuse of No Net Censorship donated funds by GetUp!

For quite some time now GetUp has been asking for donations from people to oppose Kevin Rudd’s net censorship regime. A worthy cause. Their appeal for cash states:

“What’s the internet worth to you? We’re taking our message online to defend our online freedoms, thanks to this dynamic web ad on the right.

Your $50 will show 4000 people this ad, $100 will buy 10,000 views. Thanks for chipping in to defend our digital economy and democratic freedoms.”

To date, it has raised just under $50,000. A large sum. A good cause.

The problem, however, is that, on the basis of all available evidence before me, not once cent of this money has been spent on the purpose for which it has been donated.

To the best of my knowledge, no advertisements have appeared. None. Not one. Instead, the money has gone into GetUp!’s general coffers, and as such has been used to fund their recent climate-change activism spending spree. Many people have written to GetUp! about this, with no response. The best response I have received from them to date personally is that they are lobbying ‘behind the scenes’.

Irrespective of your thoughts on GetUp!’s climate change activism, the morality of this issue is clear. People donated for a specific purpose. They were promised their money would go to a specific purpose. They were betrayed.

Furthermore, from my perspective (and I hasten to add that these are my personal thoughts, and not to be construed as legal advice), this is a clear breach of the legal framework governing such donations. Such transactions, I would posit, fall under the sub-division of equity law that is trust law. And the law is very clear, very specific in that money donated for a specific purpose MUST be used for that purpose. Exceptions obviously apply if the purpose becomes moot and the agreement is taken to have ‘failed’ (where all sorts of fun issues of resultant trusts apply), but this is clearly not applicable in this instance. They have a clear obligation to fulfill the wishes of their donors. No exceptions.

Similarly, GetUp!’s donation policy, which states that “If we are unable to use your contribution for the purpose you specify, either because of oversubscription or for another unforeseen reason, it is our policy to use your contribution for other campaign advertising, public relations, advocacy or organising activities” is clearly inapplicable, as neither over subscription nor a legally relevant unforeseen reason (changing their minds doesn’t count!) applies. Indeed if anything it strengthens the case against them, as it specifically states that, barring certain circumstances (which are obviously unfulfilled here), it will use the purpose for which the donor specifies.

That GetUp! has breached their legal obligation to donors is clear to me. What’s worse though is that they have behaved in an ethically despicable fashion, and effectively stolen the money from well-intentioned donors for their own end. Words like embezzlement, corruption and fraud spring to mind.

I have warned libertarians away from donating to GetUp!. They have a long history of ethical misconduct – need we mention their “impartial” 2007 Election Vote Generator where it was a literally impossible to get an outcome telling you to vote for the Coalition? When Coalition MP’s were told to vote against themselves? Yet somehow they were able to portray themselves as something more than Labor Party apparatchiks in this case. In the end though, the truth shall out.

So what do we have. While the Digital Liberty Coalition is working damn hard to stop this draconian legislation, and doing a damn good job, we have GetUp! taking the money people donated and running off with it. It makes me sick.

I have spoken on this matter in detail with a couple of solid Liberal MP’s who are very much with us on this issue, and they are very interested in pursuing this matter further, and in trying to force GetUp! to use the money the way they promised they would. If anyone is interested in putting pressure on GetUp! to keep their promises, please flick me an email at timintheus followed by the at symbol and then gmail.com.

Together we can defeat this evil legislation. But it will take us all working together for a common cause.

Update: I have been informed that some already pissed off donors have started a “GetUp!? GET ACCOUNTABLE – Dont’ steal money from Anti-Censorship Donors” Facebook group. The description reads:

GetUp! has taken at least $45,000 in donations to oppose Interent filtering. The figure was previously over $55,000, but mysteriously shrunk. To date, it seems almost nothing has been done with the money despite filtering trials going ahead. We fear they will attempt to syphon it off for use on other projects.

What happened to the higher figure? No one knows…

What’s happening to this money? Could be anything

If you value your money being spent properly, join!

Update 2: An alleged few small ads on websites like the SMH a few months ago (which ultimatly end up asking you for more money anyway) do not count.

Update 3: Full disclosure to people asking. Yes I am affiliated to the Liberal Party. But what better way to ensure this is blocked than that the Libs stand with us? I mean let’s be honest, without their opposition in the Senate, we have no chance! Even if you don’t agree with the Libs (heck I don’t agree with them on a LOT of issues – just read this blog! lol) you have to recognize that they are the only way we can defeat this legislation. And many of them want to work with us – we have a number of Liberal MP’s who are fighting this legislation tooth and nail. So, even if you’re not a Liberal voter, on this one issue let’s put aside our partisanship and ensure that we all work together to get the right result. 🙂

Update 4: After all this online pressure, GetUp! finally decided to post a response on Facebook. Apparently they “have been working hard behind the scenes in the last few months, lobbying politicians and continuing to campaign”. To date, I am unaware of ONE Coalition MP who has received ANY lobbying from GetUp! on this matter! I asked GetUp! provide the names/dates for any lobbying contact they have had. All $50,000 worth. I’m not holding my breath.

Update 5: I’ve been informed that GetUp! has in fact made some attempts to lobby both Minchin and Turnbull. Will follow up on those. Also, it would seem that GetUp! has decided to run some online ads in the next few days. The timing of this decision i’m suuure is completly coincidental to all the criticism they have received for doing, well, nothing for 6 or so months.

Clive Hamilton & Johnny Normal – A Twisted Tale of Sex and Malice

February 17, 2009

Since Clive Hamilton has decided to base opinion pieces on pure fiction, I came across this attempt to do respond in kind. It begins:

“Little Johnny Normal came home from school. His parents were both out.

Johnny glanced at The Australian newspaper, which was lying on the kitchen table. He wanted to check what was on TV.

The newspaper was open at a page with a headline: ‘Web doesn’t belong to net libertarians’. Johnny didn’t know what libertarians are, but thought they might play netball. He started reading.

Johnny had heard of ‘sex pictures’ before. “Maybe this isn’t about sport”, he thought. He carried on reading…

By the time Johnny got to the third paragraph, he was seeing words he’d never heard before. He was quite interested. It seemed to be a story about a boy, just like him, looking up words that had something to do with sex. A flush of pre-adolescent sexuality came over him. Little Johnny was fascinated.

Just then, Johnny’s mum came home from work. Johnny ran to give her a hug. While she made toast, little Johnny asked his mum about the funny article in the newspaper. “What does ‘dildo’ mean?” he asked.”

You can read the rest here.