The Great Firewall of Australia

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/07/09/2621354.htm

Most IT professionals agree that the Federal Government’s plan to install a nationwide Internet filter is wrong, misguided, and will be ineffective.

Now “Save the Children”, one of the lobby groups with a passion for protecting the interests of children, has added its voice to the growing list of opponents to the plan.

The planned Internet filter won’t stop objectionable material – it will still be exchanged via file sharing sites, chat rooms, and emails.

The problem is it’s not just ineffective, it’s dangerous. Not only does it NOT do what it it’s supposed to do, it actually gives the government an easy way to control the web browsing activity of normal law abiding citizens. Once the government adds a site to the list, most people won’t be able to see it in their browsers.

We expect (and see) this sort of behaviour in places like China and Iran. Now minister Conroy wants this sort of power in Australia. Do you think these politicians would be able to resist the temptation to block a website that’s critical of them?

If this plan goes ahead, the “Great Firewall of Australia” will let politicians control what we see in our browsers, while child-abusers continue to exchange their grubby wares unhindered via other methods.

Stephen Conroy, please listen to people like Save the Children, and spend the money more effectively via child protection authorities and police.

After all, we’re getting deeper and deeper in debt. We really need to be smarter about how we spend public money.

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