Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Fuckwit - Could this be the last?


Some time ago, I had a little protest on my sidebar about internet censorship. Senator Stephen Conroy's consultation paper on mandating the filtering of internet sites by Australian internet service providers suggests that our nation could soon have the most restrictive internet regime in the Western world. A 'limited' trial of internet censorship of pornographic and risque sites has been underway for some months and the good Senator said on telly the other night that it was 100% successful. Bloody rubbish . . He's such a fuckwit! The sample was small, comprised volunteers who 'opted in' and only two ISP providers accepted the offer to trial this idiocy. This is the same Senator who proposes protecting children by installing speed humps every 100 metres on Australian freeways. Fucktard.

The idea is to incorporate a list of local and overseas-hosted child sexual abuse material, filter it at ISP level and prevent younglings or sexual predators from accessing. The problem is that it also has the potential to filter innocent sites with unfortunate names or keywords in their Search Engine Optimisation.

There appears to be a commitment to elevate the Refused Classification category to form the backbone of the new "RC content list". This will include material that deals with "sexual violence, detailed instruction in crime, violence or drug use and/or material that advocates the doing of a terrorist act", as well as other aspects of the RC regime, far beyond the relatively restricted prohibitions of "child sexual abuse imagery [and] bestiality". OK I know this sounds disgusting and no child should be exposed to sites like this. No adult frankly. The fact that they exist is abhorrent but I do not want the Australian Government banning me because I post something that might be mistaken for an abusive site any more than I want them to choose what I should and should not access via any media.

A significant concern is that in mandating a regulatory regime at odds with most of the Western world. Australia will identify itself with, and give tacit encouragement to, a range of undemocratic political regimes dubbed "enemies of the internet" by Reporters Without Borders (RWB). The list of a dozen or so countries includes Burma, China, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. Indeed, in even considering the embracing of such a mandatory regime, RWB have placed Australia on a watch list as being "under surveillance" – company the nation keeps with Bahrain, Eritrea, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

Australian research has consistently indicated that a majority of parents choose to negotiate with their children around their access to the internet. They also talk with their children about any content that is troubling to them, including everyday concerns such as bullying and online harassment, which will not be touched at all by these deliberations.

It is ironic that at the very point where Australia seeks recognition as a world leader in its vision for a National Broadband Network it may also gain censure as legitimising a range of repressive policies pursued by some of the globe's least accountable governments. Further, given that the filter will categorise and block websites, but not chat rooms, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking where the highly illegal activities of those who peddle images of child sexual abuse or worse still engage in predatory behaviour are likely to continue with little additional inconvenience.

The scheme is opposed by child welfare charities, civil liberty groups and professional bodies - and with good reason.

OK that's a long winded way of saying, Government has no right to impose such censorship without guarantees that the sites censored are indeed pornographic and that without the full consent of the Australian public.

Apologies for intermittent posting and less than frequent visiting. Work is very busy, end of year is nigh, Christmas with the outlaws this weekend and I simply am running out of time. Normal services will resume soon . . have a wonderful weekend folks. Looks like rain down under and boy do we need it!

39 comments:

Terence McDanger said...

It's all over for Maxi Cane! Oh no!!!!!

Brian Miller said...

scary stuff when the mouths start to get taped shut. do i understand what they are trying to accomplish, sure but...

have fun with the outlaws this weekend...massive snow here this weekend so i may be a bit sparse myself...

Ropi said...

Well, something should be done with internet but for me this solutions sounds like shooting to a bird with a canon.

I am a quite conservative person but I still think this proposal is a bit too tough.

subby said...

"Fucktard"??? LMAO! There's no way in bloody hell this can be pulled off! Sure, there are a few good points but it still comes down to freedom of speech( which seems to be eroding everywhere, at least in the countries that still have it ). Wot's next? A Fahrenheit 451 type gov't take-over? Enough already!! Gaaaaaaaahhhhhh!

Ach! And I'll be over later to read your TT post :)

Hails said...

Pretty much totally unrelated question here, the only reason being that you mentioned Australia being a Western country a few times. I accept that I'm completely stupid, but please can you (or someone!) answer something I've been confused about for some time? Why isn't Australia an Eastern country/in "the East"? I know that looking at the Americas as Western could just be extended to Australia going that direction, but if that's the logic then wouldn't Japan, Korea, even China also be classed as Western, since they're right above Australia? How can Australia be Western and the countries above it be Eastern? Apologies if this is a completely stupid question. I even tried googling first to avoid embarrassing myself, but found nothing. Well, other than this, which wasn't what I was looking for but was amusing nonetheless. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_is_Western_Australia_called_Western_Australia :)

Gledwood said...

Next time that man slips up on his own fuckery I hope he breaks his leg in 10 places. Then he'll discover how much fun speed humps truly are on the ambulance ride outta there!!

Gledwood said...

Surely East/West is cultural not geographical? Otherwise only America would be truly Western. Europe would be Central... and you'd have the near, middle and far east...

It used to really annoy me hearing e.g. Poland described as the "East" during the cold war. East to me is China ~ not central Europe!!

nick said...

Definitely a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Doubtless all sorts of innocent sites and content would be pulled into the net. Very surprising that what we see as a democratic, free-thinking country is contemplating such an authoritarian measure.

Roy said...

Speed bumps on freeways, and now internet censorship? This guy isn't just a fuckwit, he's a raving lunatic! I mean, in a way there's at least a discernible rationale for the filter for pornography, especially child pornography. But speed bumps on a highway? Doesn't that idiot see that that'll cause more deaths than what he thinks he's preventing? And does he really want Australia to be listed with China and Saudi Arabia as one of the world's enemies of democracy? Somebody needs to send out the boys with the straightjackets and put this lunatic away for his own and your protection.

Leah said...

Gotta tell you, that is some scary stuff. Censorship scares me.

Alan Burnett said...

This kind of semi-automatic word recognition censorship is so annoying (Scunthorpe football club had to rename its website a few years ago). Have a good Christmas, we all look forward to your posts - long may they keep coming.

Candie Bracci said...

I agree with you that we should be able to chose what we want to read or not.Great post.Have a nice weekend too!

AngelMay said...

...and I thought OUR politicians were bad...

VE said...

I'll bet that senator has a secret stash of porn and "issues". You wait...

unstranger said...

The writer Jonathan Swift would certainly compliment you on your post. Remember his 'Gulliver's Travels'? Where Gulliver met up with the Lilliputians and found himself in the middle of a war which was in full swing and which was about who was right in the dispute over which is the top of an egg and which was the bottom of an egg - politicians again; even back then.

Renee said...

Have a good weekend.

xoxo

Ronda Laveen said...

Fuktards is right! That's very scary stuff.

Tom said...

f that! Sorry, i don't mind reading the word, but something prevents me from writing it. I'm doing a rain dance for you, hoping it reverberates through the earth's crust and magma and such into your living room and up into the atmosphere. Sorry if i start an earthquake by mistake--it's ok to put me in your next Friday F-wits segment if so...happy days!

otin said...

I so hate censorship! I mean, you have to protect people from things that are illegal and dangerous, but you cannot lump everything in with that. Saying Fuck is not the same as abusing children!

Baino said...

Haha it was all over for maxi ages ago .. .you counted his comments lately!

It's for all the right reasons Brian but a frightening premise. Look at China during the Olympics, they restricted even reporter's sites. Nice and sunny and not too hot in Sydney so we'll have a lovely weekend.

Exactly Ropi. Parents can get free software from the Government where they adjust their safety settings so that children aren't exposed to such things. Seems it's not good enough for Conroy.

Sorry Subs. That's the Irish influence! Rude lot they are. And you think you lot have a Nanny state!

Not at all Hails. We're Western in Culture, politics and we're still part of the British Commonwealth so it's not so much about geographical location. We're also very active in the Asia Pacific. No such thing as stupid questions, only stupid answers.

He has some of the most ridiculous suggestions. Mind you the way our roads are these day Gleds, nobody goes faster than 60kms anyway! Yep, I guess to the Eurocentric, anything east of Britain is the 'east'.

When the trial started Nick, they were picking up Orthodontists in Brisbane! How he can guarantee a 100% success rate I don't know. I don't think it will get up but then the Christian right here is a big lobby group. They'd have us all in neck to knees and practising celebacy while they fiddle little boys!

Roy nobody seems to be too fussed. In fact many of my friends don't even know about it. I guess because they're not web users they don't really care. I agree, I don't want to be lumped in with regimes who stifle any sort of freedom.

Scares the shit out of me too Leah. It's another case of the law pandering to the few. and the silent majority taking it on the chin. Trust me the internet community are lobbying hard and only 2 ISP's are participating. I wouldn't mind but there's already a restricted list.

Quite so Alan. Who knows who'll get trapped in the net. Could cost them their livelihood. And if I know Governments, those poor innocents will have to wait for ages for things to be fixed. Government moves slowly.

Thanks Candie, I will. I hate the Government assuming that we're all crappy parents and sexual deviates.

All the same AngelMay, something happens to them once they get into power, they lose the plot.

Haha I'd forgotten that Unstranger. There are a few lessons about freedom and tolerance in Gulliver's Travels. Well we'll see if this get legs.

You too darling. I'm sending good karma your way to baffle those bats.

it's like all things Rhonda, you ban something and it escalates out of scope. We already aren't allowed to display cigarettes any more even though they're legal. An adult can't buy alcohol if accompanied by an underage teen in case they're buying it for the teen. I should post about restrictions!

Tony you stick to your principles! I drop the magic word at the shake of a lambs tail. We had great rain yesterday and now the sun is shining, just what the grass needs. I could do without magma in the lounge room thanks. It might spoil the pressies sitting under the tree.

Otin under these rules, who knows, maybe your last post wouldn't have seen daylight! I'm all for closing down abusive or inappropriate deviant sites. This the Government already does but what's deviant to one, may not be to another,. Especially this right wing nutter.

Megan said...

This reminds me of an email I need to forward to you - I think you'll get a chuckle out of it!

Is that speed humps thing really true? Really? WTF?

Have a marvelous weekend (hey - it's already Saturday over there!) and I hope you got the help you needed on the previous post!

Ribbon said...

No rain on this side of the country... just hot hot hot.

I sincerely hope they don't pull off the censorship as we're isolated enough without that bullshit.

Have a lovely reli bash. I wouldn't mind one of those, but most of my relatives are in heaven.... and I'm not up for visiting just yet :)

love to you beautiful Baino... my much loved fellow aussie blogger.

Merry Christmas xoxo Ribbon

PS.. I had intended to send you a xmas card, but haven't allowed myself enough time. My thoughts were with you :)

RyanIAm said...

to all the jackasses who voted for Kev, tough shit you knew it was coming and you are getting what you asked for.

e said...

Speed bumps on highways and Big Brother on the Internet...Absolute Assholery...Who votes these people into office???

ashleigh said...

The man is a moron. We'll end up like China - where my blog is banned :)

There are ways around these things, which Conroy did not admit either. He's hell bent on denying reality. One has to wonder what else is going on in his head for him to purse this lunacy.

Cloudia said...

Have a good weekend!


Aloha, Friend


Comfort Spiral

lettuce said...

it is scary
we've had issues here in london lately about amateur or professisonal photographers being stopped and searched by the police for taking photos in public places

gah.
but will they take similar responsibilities for our lives when it comes to financial security, basic standard of living etc.....


hope you have a good weekend Baino, no need to apologise

i beati said...

All I can say is censorship in this day is a huge laugh. Anything goes on reality tv and everywhere !!

CatLadyLarew said...

What amazes me is all the really vile crap out there that gets by and then they censor really great writers because of a word or two. Fuckwits!

ebony said...

I hope they make wise desicions... Sounds kinda creepy, though.

Good luck with all the tasks you have... Sigh. One more schoolday and I'm free for two weeks! (Honestly, I've come to the conclusion that holidays are just periods where one is offered a possibility to study from home...)

Baino said...

Send it Megs, I'm short on funnies.

Did have fun Ribbon. Feelikng a little seedy today though. Thank you darls. Nice to have peer support! I haven't sent any cards this year either!

No now Ryan, no need to be nasty. I embrace diversity but I'm not keen on insults. In 1999, the Federal Government (Liberal)attempted to get an internet censorship regime together to gain support from minority senators to assist with the sale of Telstra, but this censorship plan did not work. I doubt this one will either.

Apparently I voted for them e! Beginning to regret it now!

Ashleigh so true. Chatrooms and social networking will still operate uncensored. I don't know what's going on in his head. Waste of bloody time and resources. I heard it straight from his mouth "reliable 100%" bollix.

Aloha Cloudia and welcome on over.

Lettuce we have the same issues here even to the point where some schools have banned parents taking photographs at their own children's swimming carnivals! Ridiculous. I have my camera with me all the time and am very reticent to photograph children for the same reason yet CCTV can photograph me anywhere without my knowing.

There seems to be a real dichotomy in terms of censorship i Beati

Tantamount to banning books Cat, I don't l like what a lot of people have to say but I do defend their right to say it.

Hi Ebs. So do I! Ah I'll get through I have some help and they're enjoyable tasks I have to admit. Three more days and I'm off for two weeks too! Don't study too hard!

River said...

No need to apologise for intermittent posting, it's christmas, everyone and his Uncle Bob is busier than Santa's elves right now.

Lorna Lilo said...

Mutations and gene sharing of fuckwits and bastards on the increase. Beware, the fucktards are coming. Oops am I censored now?

jay said...

I loathe censorship, and though I also loathe violence, perversions involving the innocent and terrorism, I think it has been well-proven in the past that censorship simply does not work in combating these evils.

I am alarmed that a country like Australia is even considering doing this, and further alarmed that it will (if things are taken to their logical conclusion) sever my virtual ties with your beautiful and fascinating country and the people therein.

Fucktard indeed. *Insert angry face emotie here*

laughingwolf said...

political knee-jerking runs rampant here, too GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

we`re being hit by a massive winter snow*wind storm, with at least 20 cm of snow :(

Rowe said...

Fucktards - what a fabulous word to describe them all. Politicians, that is. I think the only thing most of them are really concerned with is the pension and other perks they get in their 'retirement' following the carnage they leave us to live with.

Vagabonde said...

Censorship is wrong. This is a way for the Government to control the people and can lead to less freedom, at least freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech, where is the freedom? Censorship is wrong.

Bimbimbie said...

For F's sake I'm sick of these religious dictators imposing their will and thinking on the rest of us.
Heck, Australia is becoming a country of prudes, something I never thought possible Tsup*!*

Renee said...

Today could not go by without me wishing my darling a Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

Love Renee xoxoxo