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Australia Censorship The Internet Politics Your Rights Online

Australian Gov't Claims Internet Filter Legislation Still In Play 98

Posted by timothy
from the too-slightly-good-to-be-true dept.
Dracophile writes "Contrary to yesterday's article about The Australian's report that the Australian government had put on the back burner plans to introduce Internet filter legislation before the next election, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the government rejected claims that it had abandoned such plans, and that 'a spokeswoman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the government remained committed to the policy.' Unless the Australian Labor Party abandons the plan altogether, will the timing make any difference to voters?"
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Australian Gov't Claims Internet Filter Legislation Still In Play

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  • I'm a voter... (Score:5, Informative)

    by dwarfsoft (461760) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @01:06AM (#32054184) Homepage
    I'm a voter and it makes all the difference to me, so to answer your question... yes.
    • Re:I'm a voter... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DiamondGeezer (872237) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @02:33AM (#32054482) Homepage
      The answer is that Labour are too scared of campaigning with the measure on their manifesto that they're kicking it into the light rough and will pick it back up just as soon as the election is over.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I normally vote labour, unless this gets scrapped by labour they won't get my vote. I'll probably move to the US with my partner if this ever comes in over here. Add to that the reluctance for the Australian government, liberal and labour, to adopt a bill of rights or constitution and it looks like my home is becoming somewhere I don't want to call home or raise my family.
        • Re:I'm a voter... (Score:4, Informative)

          by dwarfsoft (461760) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @04:07AM (#32054750) Homepage
          We do have a constitution [comlaw.gov.au]. The bill of rights, however, is not in existence. We don't have anything similar to what the US has though. Probably due to having a completely different form of democracy.
          • You are completely correct sir. I stand corrected. I was trying to refer to the fact that both sides voted down the bill of rights that the democrats put forth. I seem to recall our pollies decided that having judges rule on issues connected to a bill of rights. Somehow I think a bill of rights would be safer in the hands of some of our less salubrious judges like Enfield than abbot or Krudd.
        • The suggestion that the Rudd government has dumped the proposed legislation was only in an opinion article on The Australian [theaustralian.com.au]. No other media that I found at the time (except Slashdot, of course) indicated anything to the contrary.

          Voters are welcome to live in the fantasy world of their choice, but the truth is that Kevin Rudd and his cronies are a big disappointment, as there is little to distinguish them from their predecessors.
        • by Dan541 (1032000)

          I wonder if the US will accept Australian refugees?

        • I normally vote labour, unless this gets scrapped by labour they won't get my vote. I'll probably move to the US with my partner if this ever comes in over here.

          And to think only a few years ago I was considering Australia as a fallback.

      • by Dan541 (1032000)

        Exactly, this move is pretty much the most undemocratic thing they can do.

    • by oztiks (921504)

      Yeah but the IT portion of the voting population is quite small. This wont have any drastic impact on Labors chances of winning next election.

  • Voting. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Merls the Sneaky (1031058) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @01:08AM (#32054194)

    Election soon make your choice giant douche or turd sandwich. Whoever wins we get censorship like china mark my words.

    • by biryokumaru (822262) <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Saturday May 01, 2010 @01:29AM (#32054274)
      Ha! Now you know how us Americans feel about elections! Take that!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      Ok i've marked your words. if liberals win, we won't have a national filter. the last liberal government had a filtering program - free software to install on your pc. seems pretty fair and cheap to me.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Tony Abbot on Q&A only talked about technical issues. He's all for it.

      • Trying to nail the liberal party down on a will-we-wont-we question is nearly damned impossible. They're falling back to the bullshit "we need to think of the children" line a lot, which to me sounds like a we-will line. Whatever happens we're going to get ass fucked by our latest batch of dumbass politicians.
        • by oztiks (921504)

          I guess voting libs might put another minister in charge rather than Conroy, someone who might impose a smart solution rather than whats already put forward.

          I believe the filter is being sold in the wrong way, if they want to maintain border control on what gets into the country, just like what we do with immigration, mail transit, shipping etc. Then that's fine go right ahead, it wont change my internet life one bit.

          At present stage, it leaves too much possibility of what could be done with the filter, res

      • Re:Voting. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by AHuxley (892839) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @03:27AM (#32054622) Homepage Journal
        The Liberals where only waiting for Narus like packet tech to become cheaper for average isps.
        Now they can see it can be done they will keep it.
        Try the http://www.democrats.org.au/campaigns/no_internet_censorship/ [democrats.org.au]
        or
        http://greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/greens-tell-labor-abandon-net-filter-and-start-again [greensmps.org.au]
        Both of the big parties in Australian have been infected by faith based groups with long term plans.
        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by timmarhy (659436)
          we are a resources based economy, how will the greens balance their environmental policies with, well, everything else? so far i haven't seen them willing to budge on a single thing, and they just take sides with what ever environmental flavour of the month is.
      • That program is still available today and is used on government owned computers and by 5% of private connections. However originally the Liberals had a madatory filter in their own legislation and Labor knocked it back in the senate. Now for purely political reasons the roles have reversed.

        Mark my words; There will never be a mandatory filter.

        This Machevelian shit has been going on for at least a decade, the two major parties take turns at being good cop / bad cop. Neither of them have any intention o
        • by timmarhy (659436)
          You are of course right that this is helping labor buy votes in the senate. however i'm not at all convinced that they wouldn't go ahead anyway. Labor are the bigger bunch of control freaks compared to the liberals, you have to remember almost his whole cabinet are union bosses, they like to have everything their own way. The Howard government commisioned research into filtering options, where a national filter like the one labor is proposing was ruled out for techincal reasons. thats when the filtering sof
        • Mark my words; There will never be a mandatory filter.

          Don't worry, I will.
    • Re:Voting. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by deniable (76198) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @04:01AM (#32054722)
      All elections are rigged, no matter what you do a politician always wins.
  • Senator Conroy is a union hack. He has no qualifications in networking or communications. All he is experienced in is bullying to get things his way. Hence why that stupid kiddie porn comment comes up all the time. In addition he is supported by the Australian Christian Lobby as is the Australian prime minister. Fact remains: wikileaks was on the blacklist for the trial. Now why would that be the case? I just wish some journalist would ask that question and demand that the senator provides a very good expla
    • by dwarfsoft (461760) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @01:17AM (#32054230) Homepage
      I didn't know about the Wikileaks thing, so I went looking and read this [techradar.com]. Thanks for that. This is getting worse every time I hear about the filter. I hope that one of the parties goes against this, otherwise I will have to vote greens... the only people opposing this travesty.
      • Are you sure the greens won't sell us out for environmental causes? I'm sure as hell not.

        • by Sabriel (134364) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @02:59AM (#32054558)

          I'm not at all sure the greens won't sell us out for environmental causes - but given both major parties want this "so stupid it's indistinguishable from evil" filter, and labour is already selling us out to the fundies while the liberals seem to be running around with their heads alternately chopped off or buried in the sand... I'm thinking it's one of those situations where we're better off with the devil we don't know.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Joakal (1317443)

            Why the hell would you elect someone you don't know? Did you know there's 21 federal parties such as the Liberal Democratic party? Non-custodial parents party? Here's a list of Political parties in Australia [wikipedia.org] or officially from your independent electoral site: Current register of Federal parties [aec.gov.au]

            Our system is far better than USA with Preferential voting [wikipedia.org] and Proportional representation [wikipedia.org]. I'll give a quick example:

            • Awesome party: 25% votes
            • Excitement party: 35% votes
            • Plain party: 40% votes

            Guess who wins with USA'

            • by Sabriel (134364)

              Thankyou for the links. I have some reading to do...

              I note that by "don't know" I meant they've never been the ruling party, so we can't use any such history to form expectations about how good a job they'd do. Sorry that wasn't clear.

          • by owlstead (636356)

            "I'm not at all sure the greens won't sell us out for environmental causes "

            Sell you out for environmental causes? Sell you out to who precisely? Mother Earth?

            • by Sabriel (134364)

              Some "environmental causes" believe "Mother Earth" would be better off if we went back to a stone age lifestyle or knocked ourselves off.

              I am not suggesting the Greens are into either, mind you, just that the religious and the greedy don't have a monopoly on stupid ideas.

      • The Democrats also oppose it, but they haven't really been a significant political force in quite a while. May not be a wasted vote to try and put them in the senate though.

        I'm not sure if they've been officially registered yet, but the Pirate Party may be somewhat of an option as well, depending on your stance on IP issues in addition to the filtering.

    • by Trentus (1017602)

      ...demand that the senator provides a very good explanation.

      Easier said than done... even in parliament question time all he does is waffle on about crap until his time is up [youtube.com].

      I did like the little "I thank the senator for his attempt to answer the question" quip Ludlam threw in...

  • What they are saying:

    The spokeswoman said reports that a promise to introduce the filter before the next election had been shelved were incorrect.

    What they are doing:

    A spokeswoman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said yesterday the legislation would not be introduced next month's or the June sittings of parliament.

    With parliament not sitting again until the last week of August, the laws are unlikely to be passed before the election.

    Politicians say one thing and then go ahead and do another. When confronted, they'll double-speak, reframe the issue, or change the topic. Happens all the time - nothing new to politics.

    But in this particular case, the gov't's packpedalling on their promises results in a good thing, so I'm not complaining.

  • I have already made up my mind that the Labor party will rank second-last in my preferences, just above the Coalition. And I've voted Labor all my life. No more!
  • by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @01:27AM (#32054272)

    The government does need some wins before the election. Being tough on enemies of the state such as people smugglers and Internet predators may appeal to conservative voters who might otherwise switch back to the coalition.

    So don't expect this to necessarily be swept under the carpet as the govt don't want to give Tony Abbott any further ammunition on backflips.

    • Why do we hire a government for years anyway?
      It should be like a job: First a probation period of 6 months, where it requires only a certain amount of people to sign to get them out of office. (Motto: Let’s see if they keep their promises!)
      Then there is an increasing firing delay (with an upper limit), to model trust and forgiving small errors [they’re only human after all]). But for both sides. (So a politician can’t just “step down”, and hence will be much more wary before do

  • by Mick R (932337) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @01:32AM (#32054286)
    Trying to remove child and violent porn is a good thing, but this filter will give the government unchallenged power to control what Australians read and hear online. It will allow them to silence critics and squash any kind of dissension and debate. Once in place ANY party, whoever is in power, will be able to control far too much information. If it goes ahead there is no IF it will be abused, only a matter of WHEN.
    • by flyingfsck (986395) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @03:24AM (#32054616)
      There is no 'when' either. It will be abused right from the get go.
      • There is a beautiful quote about this from a fellow Slashdotter:

        “Whenever a controversial law is proposed, and its supporters, when confronted with an egregious abuse it would permit, use a phrase along the lines of 'Perhaps in theory, but the law would never be applied in that way' - they're ''lying''. They intend to use the law that way as early and as often as possible.”
        meringuoid (568297) [slashdot.org] @ 2005-11-24 16:40 (#14107454 [slashdot.org])

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Trying to remove child and violent porn is a good thing

      Right there is where the problem starts.

    • Don’ you get it? By hiding away the child porn, you don’t stop the CP from being created!
      No, you actually only conceal it, and thereby protect it.

      So this filter is actually making those “politicians” pro-child-porn. And ” unknowingly or not — you too.
      It does nothing to stop the child abuse (*hinthint* original point *hinthint*) from being done! Zero.

      But hey, that’s what you get from a culture of people who take painkillers and other problem-ignorers / symptom-treate

  • ..its just keeping Conroy in the news, giving him lots of data points on whether this is good or bad for him. I don't see much of a point in having a /. article on each and every apparent change.

    Wish I could skip to the end.

    • by bakes (87194)

      He should have enough data points by now on how bad it is for him. (Unless they are all being filtered out of course).

      Here's my prediction for the end - Conroy is not returned at the next election, and the internet filter issue dies a quiet death.

  • Weasel Politics (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Usekh (557680)
    It's a clever bit of politics. If they delay until after the election then they can claim they have a mandate for it. And fuck knows, only the most sociopathic would elect the mad monk so they will get in.
  • Dear Labor Party (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Scrap the filter policy and quite a number of us will vote for you again.

    I really don't want the Liberal Party back in power.

  • No vote for any government that supports censorship - whether they put it on the back burner or not. This just shows how dim and gullible they think the Australian public are. Unfortunately they are correct. The majority of Australians have no idea what 'the thin end of the wedge' means, and will just let this lithping fool stick the fat end right up there. Basically they have already lost my vote by supporting this conroy rubbish for years now with as little discussion as possible, and regardless of all
  • the sad thing is that with this government actually seeming to give at least a little-damn about the environment, this could have been the first time in my life that I've actually had a major party (government or opposition) that I wouldn't mind voting for. I'm sure many young people around australia might feel the same after seeing howard completely ignore the real issues time and time and time again. But labour had to go and ruin it with this censorship etc. And what have we got on the other side - a cl
  • Someone needs to come up with a demonstration that normal people will understand (people who know nothing about "the internet" except that you have to click on the blue E to get to it and that its full of "bad" things like child pornography, violent video games and Muslims urging other Muslims to kill people who arent Muslim) that shows exactly why this filter wont do the things that the government claims it will do (including blocking all the "bad" content) and how easy it will be to bypass the filter. (an

    • Well, Exit International (the Euthanasia assistance group) are already training elderly people in how to bypass [abc.net.au] the filter. They run organised classes that makes sure people are not denied critical information. I salute them!
    • by dbIII (701233)
      They know it won't work but they are going for the "think of the children" vote.
      The even more depressing thing is it comes out of the same budget that should be used for the less than thirty cops who have the job of actually tracking down the pedophiles on the net so it is counterproductive.
      • by jonwil (467024)

        Thats the whole point of my post, we show the "think of the children" crowd that the Rudd proposal wont do a thing to stop child pornography or other "bad" internet content and that the money is better spent going after the pedophiles and pornographers who create the "bad" content in the first place.

    • by drsmithy (35869)

      Someone needs to come up with a demonstration [...]

      No, they don't. The reason to be against censorship is a fundamental one of principle, not because of technical limitations in implementing it.

  • Liberal broadband (Score:3, Insightful)

    by anarche (1525323) on Saturday May 01, 2010 @05:32AM (#32055014)

    I find it interesting that everybody is up in arms over this filter, and ready to vote Liberal second last; yet the Liberal party is ready to scrap the NBN, setting Australia's broadband infrastructure back another 3 years...

  • Unless the Australian Labor Party abandons the plan altogether, will the timing make any difference to voters?

    Well, yes, the timing would make a difference. If they were to schedule it to begin in (say) 2100, I would be quite happy.

  • That the government doesn't really want this unpopular law or filter. What it really wants is the support of Senator Steve Fielding. Thus the aim is to string the implementation out, and maintain Fielding's support, until after the elections, at which point Fielding will most likely lose the balance of power. The Internet filter will then be killed off.
  • The block list is based on submissions from the public that is then reviewed by the classification board. So once this goes in, I'm going to submit anything that I encounter on the web that I personally find offensive. I might even for amusements sake (given that Conroy is backed by the Australian Christian Lobby) submit any and all nasty bible references I can find with Google (there are after all a few things in the bible that should be RC). I could then add a few government websites that informs me about
  • The US routinely bars human rights violators from entering the US why not in this case?
    Cant we get him on to the US no-fly list?

    Im sure the UK has similar laws.

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      It's not just Conroy we need to also ban Kevin Rudd he is after all Conroys boss.

  • fuck 'em , the net is global

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