Monday, October 20, 2008

Internet censorship

It's for the children of course.
Last year when an American friend was visiting, he was appalled at how expensive and limited internet access in Australia is. That's OK, I'm appalled too. Because of my YouTube obsession I've gone for basically the fastest service available. It's cable access but the broadband speeds are capped at 25GB. When you're on YouTube and other video sites as much as I am (all right, fine - when you download as much porn as I do) it's dead easy to go over that limit. So much so that I'm constantly monitoring usage so that my connection doesn't get strangled down to dialup speeds.
Oh, and it costs $99 per month.
In other words it sucks. But the new(ish) federal government had promised to go ahead with some much overdue investment in infrastructure so the future was looking brighter. So I was delighted to learn of the government's first major internet initiative. No, wait a minute. Not delighted. What's that other thing I always feel? Oh yeah. Really fucking angry.
Outraged in fact. It seem the government has decided that nobody in Australia is enough of a grownup to deal with all the naughtiness on the internet and so plans to force a mandatory filtering/censorship program on the entire internet.
This is bad on so many level it simply boggles the mind. It's a disturbing level of censorship. It won't work. It will cripple internet speeds that are already shit. And it will be absurdly expensive. And they can talk all the shit they want about "protecting children" and "illegal" content. Any filter they put in place will be trivially easy to get around. But at least they'll have fucked up the internet for law-abiding citizens. Not one iota of difference to criminals but we can't have everything, can we?
This has been my venting topic of the week on YouTube. Here's the ranty version of my thoughts:
And here's my more rational take on the topic:
I've been recommending concerned Australians support the EFA and make some noise themselves. It might be an horrific Big Brother/nanny state/police state nightmare we facing but at least we can have a laugh about it as well.

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