déjà vu

In 1999 I walked in my first rally and my partner published a web page. The rally was to demonstrate opposition to the Commonwealth Government’s Internet censorship laws (Australian Broadcasting (Online Services) Bill 1999) and the web page expressed our concerns as an Australian company wishing to internationally market our products and services

The then proposed laws were watered down before being approved by the Parliament in May/June 1999 and becoming effective on 1 January 2000. The Bill was passed on the votes of the government (Liberal/National Party Coalition) plus the vote of the well-known pro-censorship Senator, Brian Harradine, who held the balance of power in the Senate prior to 30 June 1999. Opposition parties (ALP, Democrats and Greens) voted against the Bill. — Electronic Frontiers Australia

The nearly new Government of the day (ALP) is proposing a “clean feed” filtered internet connection to all homes and schools to supposedly block pornography and other “inappropriate material”.

What is different between the 1999 Bill and the scheme championed by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, is that it requires individuals to opt-out of the scheme rather than request filtering from their Internet Service Provider (ISP).

The think of the children argument is sounding a little hollow again. I don’t think the ‘issue’ is to be solved by constricting all Australians bandwidth with ineffective technology.

In 1999, CSIRO stated in a media release:

Blocking access to certain Internet material by Internet service providers or ‘backbone’ providers will be largely ineffective, a recent CSIRO report has concluded.

Instead, CSIRO recommends the use of filtering software by Internet users, enabling them to choose whether to filter Internet content, and to what extent.

Rather, parents need to be parents to their children, and societal mores or community attitudes need some sort of whopper shift. If there was not the demand for such content or services, then there would not be an issue – supply and demand. I would like to believe I live in a community rather than an economy.

Commentary and sources that I find useful this time around:


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