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Australian Government Delays Internet Filter Legislation 255

Posted by timothy
from the by-that-time-the-frog-will-be-asleep dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It seems the Australian federal government is being forced to delay the introduction of its proposed and much-hated, much-maligned Internet filter. It will not be introduced in the next two sittings of parliament, which realistically delays it until after the next election. News on withdrawing the filter, which was a promise from the previous election, has disappointed lobbying groups such as the Australian Christian Lobby."
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Australian Government Delays Internet Filter Legislation

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:53PM (#32040124)

    The Australian Christian Lobby can go fuck themselves sideways with a 40-foot barge pole. Fucking morons.

    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:01PM (#32040180)

      The Australian Christian Lobby can go fuck themselves sideways with a 40-foot barge pole.

      I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but I believe they've already banned that.

      Fucking morons.

      Ooh, that one too. Sorry, but thanks for understanding.

    • by Illogical Spock (1058270) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:00PM (#32040530)

      A brazilian writer told once that the problem with humanity started when stupid people realized they were the majority...

    • by the_raptor (652941) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:25PM (#32040662)

      Speaking as a Christian, Lobby groups can go fuck themselves. It is ludicrous that any tiny minority that is good at fund raising, or has deep corporate pockets, can be allowed to go around parliament and have private "chats" with legislators. The way people should influence their representatives is via letters and local meetings (and the representatives should be required to keep office hours in the non-sitting season that allows workers to visit them).

      Groups like the ACL don't even represent most Christians just a tiny vocal minority.

      What is likely to happen here is that Rudd and Conroy will pull a Howard and pass the legislation once returned to power because they now have a "mandate". Honestly we should bring back the Greek/Roman practise and try elected officials once they have left office.

      • I have a better idea, how about giving us the ability to kick them out of office if they break their promises? Sure, we'd vote every other month for a while, but in the long run I think we are better off.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by BrokenHalo (565198)
          Like they say, politicians are like nappies (diapers): they should be changed frequently, for the same reason.
    • Considering what's going down with the RCC in Europe, I'd much prefer if they would NOT think of the children when considering fucking something with a 40foot pole.

    • by w0mprat (1317953) on Friday April 30, 2010 @01:09AM (#32041192)
      I wouldn't be so kind. About the filter that has already been installed in my country I would tell them to << CONTENT BLOCKED: Detection flags: Criticism_of_authority;free_speech;animals_sexual_acts;> >
  • Promises, Promises (Score:5, Insightful)

    by double07 (889350) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:58PM (#32040156)
    With the election looming and the popularity of the Labor party taking a dive the Government is dumping all sorts of unpopular policies including their much touted Emissions Trading Scheme, the disastrous Insulation Scheme and of course this ridiculous Internet filter. Of course if Australia votes them in again, they'll say they have a mandate for this filter but the opposition is pretty much a joke. *Sigh*
    • How about a write in campaign? Write No Internet Filter on the ballot papers for both houses.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Sorry dude, it won't work.

        I can promise you that no-one keeps track of what is written on ballot papers -- all the AEC staff and party scrutineers care about are whether a ballot paper is formal or not and the way the vote is cast.

        (I speak from extensive election night experience)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by JuzzFunky (796384)
          Agreed. I've counted votes. Writing on the ballot papers is not only useless, it increases the risk of your ballot paper being declared invalid.
          If you feel strongly about this, or any other political issue then you might want to watch this TED talk by Omar Ahmad on Political Change with Pen and Paper [ted.com].
          He talks about the best way to get your voice heard by politicians, which turns out to be a hand written letter once a month.
      • Donkey votes help no one.

    • Of course if Australia votes them in again, they'll say they have a mandate for this filter but the opposition is pretty much a joke. *Sigh*

      Not if they don't have a majority in the Senate - while that leads to frustrating inaction on some fronts, the best advice here is to vote for a local member whose individual or party policies best reflect the interests of the local community, and then ensure that you don't vote for the same party as your primary vote in the Senate, or only do so if you're clear that you want to go with that party's whole platform.

      Get more independents like Senator Xenophon in there and we'll get some accountability and ind

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      your forgetting the failed "education revolution", where the taxer payer was footing bills of 1.5 mil for demountable dongers worth 100k. your also forgetting the health system overhaul that was supposed to take place in the first 12 months which is still not happening (thankfully, because the current plan is a disaster).

      and lets not forget the explosion in boat people heading for australia, which the Rudd government has failed to do anything about beside let a bunch of them escape.

      this is what happens wh

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:00PM (#32040172) Homepage Journal

    The opposition Liberal Party are finally getting their act together and the Labour Government doesn't want to feed them any issues to debate, so filtering is on hold.

    • by mjwx (966435) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:29PM (#32040350)

      The opposition Liberal Party are finally getting their act together and the Labour Government doesn't want to feed them any issues to debate, so filtering is on hold.

      Frankly the Coalition scare me more then Conroy. Both the leader of the Liberals and the Nationals are ultra conservatives (not in the good way, they are religious nutbars) so voting them in would be just as bad, probably worse then another 3 years of Rudd. Personally my vote is going to a minor party (likely the greens) who, if given enough power can keep out bad legislation, just like the last filter vote.

      Also Rudd and Conroy are getting a lot of heat from the Labor back bench, even Kate Lundy has openly questioned the filter after towing the party line and defending it. The prospect of Rudd facing revolt from his own party this close to an election is not a good one.

      • by H0D_G (894033)

        See, I voted for Labor at the last Federal Election, and I want to like them, I really do. But it's the stupid stuff like this that means I'm going to vote for the Greens, which is something I swore I'd never do.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mjwx (966435)

          See, I voted for Labor at the last Federal Election, and I want to like them, I really do. But it's the stupid stuff like this that means I'm going to vote for the Greens, which is something I swore I'd never do.

          The greens are turning out to be less environmentalists and more insane policy blockers of late which is kind of scary. As for the environment, Rudd should never have put Garrett there, nothing against the guy but he was definitely not qualified, minister for the environment should be occupied but

        • We're lucky enough to have a system of Preference voting in Australia - whole in 90% of electorates it boils down to Labor vs Coalition for a representative, you can still express your dissatisfaction by directing preferences rather than voting directly for Labor. It indicates a swing against the party in their "primary vote" and if enough people around you do the same you'll push your electorate to a marginal, getting it that extra special attention.

          And remember you can balance it out with a vote for an in

          • by H0D_G (894033)

            I don't think Rudd will use the Double Dissolution trigger unless he's doing significantly better in the polls than he is now. And I agree- Preferential voting is a good system (Instant Run-off voting, for US readers).

            Also luckily, I'm in SA, so I can vote for Xenophon.

      • by tuomoks (246421)

        A question, not knowing how the politics work in Australia. Why do people vote the same old? And I know - it's happening everywhere but isn't there a way to vote someone outside the parties? Someone from your peers? If not - is it really a democracy as democracy is defined - if the parties rule, what do you call it?

        Now about Internet filtering - anyone, anybody, any entity, any company or corporate, any political party, etc which supports the filtering has taken a page from where? Maybe from Germany (you kn

        • is it really a democracy as democracy is defined - if the parties rule, what do you call it?

          Uh, democracy as we've got it is representative, for the simple fact of expedience - if we asked for people to vote on every matter of legislation, we'd get nowhere. And the "parties rule" mode of democracy we have in Australia is the Westminster system; it's worked for a fair while in a fair number of places.

          Maybe from Germany (you know when),

          I'm sorry, did you just Godwin a debate on internet censorship? You don't need to refer to the Nazis to provide examples of abhorrent internet censorship - just say the filter would put us in the same

          • by tuomoks (246421)

            Hi, thanks - sorry, I knew the answers before asking and the Germany reference was (a little?) thick?

            I'm just a little ticket about these issues, working in (kind of) IT business over 40 years and trying to fight things I know will hurt (company, corporate, enterprise or customer) later, as censoring!, hiding truth, avoiding something everyone knows now or later, etc, etc. Sometimes winning, sometimes losing but, even after retiring, can't give up.

      • ultra conservatives (not in the good way

        Well, that begs the question: What good way?!

      • Although Abbott is religious I don't think he'll force it down everyone's throats, as he tolerates dissent in his own family with good humour. Rudd is also very religious (when he's not getting kicked out of strip clubs).

        Lundy has been very active fighting against Telstra's continued installation of (non-ADSL2+ compatible) RIMs for new subdivisions, and seems to be internet-savvy.

        Conroy is easily the worst of the lot apart from the Christian^wFamily parties. He is a religious nut with a learning disabilit

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by timmarhy (659436)
        Ha! do you know what the liberal/national filtering scheme was??? free filtering software. cheap and about as reliable as a national filter without the lack of an opt out.

        another 3 years of Rudd will be much MUCH worse then just about anything. the greens in government would be worse, because an environmental single issue party simply isn't capable of running a resource based economy. thankfully greens will only ever be a senate-take-one-seat-and-milk-it party.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mjwx (966435)

          a! do you know what the liberal/national filtering scheme was???

          Ha, and thus far the only party to actually implement their scheme are who... But I have to ask you, do you know why Rudd was elected in the first place.

          Work Choices.

          It sounds like you are trying to water down a party that has been taken over by extremists and was not that moderate to begin with.

          another 3 years of Rudd will be much MUCH worse then just about anything

          If Rudd didn't get into power things would have been very different

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by twostix (1277166)

        We had twelve years of rule by the "ultra" conservatives until three years ago, of which time that "hyper religous nutbar" as you describe him (a boringly mainstream catholic in reality, do you describe the Prime Minister or NSW premier in the same manner given that they both hold the same position on most moral issues and attend church every Sunday as well?) was a senior minister and one of John Howards closest advisors. Under that "ultra" conservative government the closest we ever got to a mandatory filt

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Bruce McBruce (791094)
        I'd like to agree with you on the notion of trying to vote in the Greens, but that just wouldn't happen.

        I'd be more inclined to vote Liberal on the grounds that they've historically been far more concerned with staying in power and they've done that by keeping the people happy enough. Labor went in with some good ideas and a far superior approach to the election... they've just made some really awful decisions.

        Best outcome I could see would be Labor getting the House of Representatives majority, then
  • GOOD! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BluRBD!E (627484) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:01PM (#32040178)
    With any luck we can get this farcical idea shot down somehow before then... I just wish every day Joe and Jane understood the slippery slope that is censorship. Unfortunately the government lackeys and christian rights groups continue to scream "CHILDREN!!!" and "PEDOPHILIA!!!!" and no real logic ever comes into play. Oh well, I already have a remote box in Europe anyway... this won't effect me. I just feel bad for the technical illiterate folk who suffer. I wish it was OPT-IN.
    • by ls671 (1122017) *

      > With any luck we can get this farcical idea shot down somehow before then...

      Our automatic intelligent filter has detected an attempt to masquerade the idea of a "facial shot" and intercepted your message. It won't be delivered.

      Aussie network admins.

  • Either way after the election Conroy will be shuffled off elsewhere to make life hell for others and nobody else on either side of goverment cares enough to put this through. A peace offering to a Godless pseudo-Christian NIMBY to get votes to pass has backfired with this filter and it won't be needed for grubby political numbers games soon.
  • by aaron552 (1621603) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:04PM (#32040194) Homepage
    Of course, the "election promise" wasn't actually mandatory. It required ISPs to offer a "clean feed" to their customers. The ACL are a bunch of moralizing extremists and shouldn't be given any more notice than the guys who believe George Bush is a space alien.
    • by clockwise_music (594832) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:10PM (#32040222) Homepage Journal
      I wonder if this decision was related to the protest that had been organised?

      http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=100265633350951 [facebook.com]

      Seems like a bit of a co-incidence.. especially because this is the second time it has happened. Last time there was a protest organised about shutting down the Tote due to insane liquor licensing - but the protest was a waste of time as a decision had already been made.

      I guess politically it's a lot less damaging if they stop the protest from happening.

      But maybe they've started doing next years budget and realised just how expensive this filtering nonsense will be.. and that they can safely cut it because no-one wants it. They can save face by saying "it's just been delayed".
    • by mjwx (966435)

      The ACL are a bunch of moralising extremists and shouldn't be given any more notice than the guys who believe George Bush is a space alien.

      You mean to tell me George Bush is not a space alien?

      I....

      Everything I believe in.

      so wrong...

    • by deniable (76198)
      I always think of ACL as Access Control List. Works quite well in this case.
  • by brendan.hill (1218328) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:14PM (#32040254) Journal

    1) Stephen Conroy is spot on when he says the internet shouldn't be treated any different to any other forms of media. It isn't a magical beast, it's just another form of media (albeit more accessible and chaotic).

    So there's nothing fundamentally wrong with filtering it. I mean hell, it's already illegal to *host* this sort of content in Australia.

    2) It might be abused, or it filter stuff you disagree with.

    I disagree with filtering material on euthanasia. However this isn't an objection against the filter itself (I mean, I agree with filtering stuff on graffiti or terrorist), but simply against the choice of application.

    3) The reason it will fail is exactly the reason it will work.

    It will fail miserably because anyone can circumnavigate it.

    But this is exactly what makes it hard to abuse. With oddly-moralized hackers up in arms, you can bet they'll seize on any abuses of the filter and plaster them embarresingly over the internet. So the government has a strong incentive to stick within their declared uses of the filter.

    So the worst objection to the filter is simply that it could mostly be a waste of time... that said, it will evolve and change and may prove useful.

    • The fundamental problem with filtering and censorship now in all media is that it only draws attention to the blocked material, so the filtering can't be done transparently. You have to pretend the stuff isn't there at all to have a hope of filtering it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by oztiks (921504)

        That's true, but it shouldn't be about the content, it should be about toning the internet down so we have far less crime on the internet. It was never looked that way and the "pr0n" card was played.

        Mess with peoples porn expect failure (which it has) but talk about the real issues like china and some of the nasty stuff that's happening there at the moment.

        I urge you to watch this, story on the Australian News. It is 40mins long, but trust me when you get into the thick of the story you'll love it.

        http://ww [abc.net.au]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bane2571 (1024309)
      you forget number 4

      4)It will cost a fuckton of money which will ultimately be passed on to the voting customers that already pay a fuckton of money for sub-par internet.
    • by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:16PM (#32040628)

      1) Stephen Conroy is spot on when he says the internet shouldn't be treated any different to any other forms of media. It isn't a magical beast, it's just another form of media (albeit more accessible and chaotic).

      So there's nothing fundamentally wrong with filtering it. I mean hell, it's already illegal to *host* this sort of content in Australia.

      Nope, Internet is not quite like other media, at the extent that all the other media require a physical support for the information. Thus, any censorship of other media will result in somebody, not affiliated with the government, in Australia knowing about the censorship: in extreme, the censorship of that item may be made public and, possibly, debated if necessary.
      By contrast, Conroy's scheme assumes censoring the Internet without anyone's knowledge (at least no one affiliated with the gov, or law enforcement), letting you defenseless in the matter of exercising your control over the power. Not that the power one simply citizen would be quite remarkable, but if you give it away - so small as it would be - you remain with what?

      The above letting aside that I take pride of being able to take care of what I'm doing or suffer the consequences. I don't need my own mother to take care anymore of my actions, why should I trust the government to do nanny me???

    • by SQL Error (16383) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:17PM (#32040632)

      1. The filter is not restricted to illegal material - RC material is not ilelgal in itself, no matter how many times Senator Conroy repeats the line "including material such as child pornography".

      2. It is certain to be abused. Even before the filter has been created, the blacklist is intrinsically abusive in its abandonment of due process and legal recourse.

      3. Ineffective laws are bad laws. If everyone breaks the law, everyone is a criminal. Is that what you want?

      The filter is an abomination of human rights. Everyone should be opposed to it. If you're not, you're wrong.

    • by TwistedPants (847858) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:24PM (#32040660) Homepage
      This angers me significantly: this is not a debate about the theory of filtering.

      This is a tooth and nail fight against a specific proposal put forward by the current government.

      Every variation of the filtering plan that has been put forward in the media has been savaged by opponents, who are entirely correct in their criticisms. What Conroy has failed to do is provide a convincing counter-argument. In media interviews, when grilled, he often struggles with defining just exactly what it is he is proposing.

      One moment it's a URL blacklist to protect children from accidental porn; another moment it's to prevent access to abhorrent material which is currently RC content. Conroy has not listened to one iota of the overwhelming feedback from members of the public; and is utterly clueless as to how to move forward from here.

      I absolutely cannot tolerate such a waste of time and money on an unworkable solution driven forward by an individual who does not listen to reason for entirely political purposes.

      Brushing this off as "filtering is ok in theory" is a red herring: the currently publicised intentions of the government are not ok; and all efforts by Conroy to implement such should be fiercely resisted.
    • by Johnno74 (252399) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:39PM (#32040730)

      1) Stephen Conroy is spot on when he says the internet shouldn't be treated any different to any other forms of media. It isn't a magical beast, it's just another form of media (albeit more accessible and chaotic).

      No, I see one crucial difference in the way these two mediums are being treated that I haven't seen brought up anywhere else yet.

      In other forms of media the censoring applies to the creator of the media. What the filter proposes to do is censor the audience, not the creator.

      Now I'm of the opinion that total freedom of speech isn't necessarily a right I feel everyone needs. The greater good of our society trumps the rights of the individual when it comes to banning things such as child pornography, hate speech (at its most extreme), and shouting fire in a crowded cinema. I have no problem with these things being illegal, and the authorities coming down on those responsible for such things.

      But don't persecute the audience. (with the exception of child pornography, where there is a clear link between the creator and the consumer)

      Freedom to listen is a much more important right than freedom of speech

    • by Toonol (1057698) on Friday April 30, 2010 @12:24AM (#32040914)
      1) Stephen Conroy is spot on when he says the internet shouldn't be treated any different to any other forms of media. It isn't a magical beast, it's just another form of media (albeit more accessible and chaotic). So there's nothing fundamentally wrong with filtering it. I mean hell, it's already illegal to *host* this sort of content in Australia.

      The point to walk away from this with is not that internet filtering is alright in principle, but rather that state filtering is wrong in principle in ALL forms of media.
    • I for one am against any sort of filter because it is necessarily a regulation on ISPs and I prefer the government stay out of my private business transactions. However, I can imagine some people would like a filter and the best way to supply that filter may well be to do it at the ISP level. A government "mandated" filter should be a mandate on ISPs, not on end users. If I want to opt out, it should be as simple as calling my ISP and saying "I don't want that", or better yet, a web interface to turn it

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rennt (582550)

      The internet is NOT media. It is a medium. Of course it should be treated differently to broadcast media.

      We are talking about censoring COMMUNICATION here, not fraking superbowl commercials.

      it's already illegal to *host* this sort of content in Australia.

      Precisely, so what does this achieve? Why allow the Government to grant itself that much power over public discourse when there are already tools in place to address these concerns.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by the_womble (580291)

      Filters do treat the internet different from other media.

      Can the government order that distribution of a newspaper cease? Not in any democracy - they would need to go to court and prove that the newspaper breaks the law. A judge or jury would decide the case in public.

      Filters allow the government to order distribution of websites to cease without having to prove in court that they broke the law - and usually with no judicial oversight, and in secret.

      Britain slightly different as there it a self appointed bu

    • by Dracophile (140936) on Friday April 30, 2010 @06:22AM (#32042544)

      1) Stephen Conroy is spot on when he says the internet shouldn't be treated any different to any other forms of media. It isn't a magical beast, it's just another form of media (albeit more accessible and chaotic).

      So there's nothing fundamentally wrong with filtering it. I mean hell, it's already illegal to *host* this sort of content in Australia.

      There are several things wrong with this comment. Most of them have already been pointed out, so I'll just add this. There are two other communications media that the internet is similar to: mail and telephone. Yet we don't see these media censored the same way that Conroy is proposing to censor the internet.

      2) It might be abused, or it filter stuff you disagree with.

      I disagree with filtering material on euthanasia. However this isn't an objection against the filter itself (I mean, I agree with filtering stuff on graffiti or terrorist), but simply against the choice of application.

      The filter already is abusive. The distinction between the filter and its application isn't relevant to this argument. Stuff is filtered or it is not.

      3) The reason it will fail is exactly the reason it will work.

      It will fail miserably because anyone can circumnavigate it.

      But this is exactly what makes it hard to abuse. With oddly-moralized hackers up in arms, you can bet they'll seize on any abuses of the filter and plaster them embarresingly over the internet. So the government has a strong incentive to stick within their declared uses of the filter.

      Apparently the government has no such incentive at all. They're delaying this, after all. Whether they admit it or not, they actually have a strong incentive to simply drop this idea. They will certainly lose votes over this. The question is how many, and it occurs to me that this may well be one of the main reasons for putting this off.

      So the worst objection to the filter is simply that it could mostly be a waste of time... that said, it will evolve and change and may prove useful.

      It's hard to take this seriously; it's as if you haven't read or understood the real objections:

      1. Instead of actually filtering the intended material, it will drive it underground where it is harder to monitor. As things stand now, access to the material can be monitored. Putting the filter in place makes people have to get at it in ways that can't be monitored easily, if at all.
      2. Since the material intended to be filtered can be accessed anyway, people who don't understand the technology won't understand that the filter isn't working and will think that the material is inaccessible. It's the false sense of security that filter proponents would not want parents to have, for example.
      3. The government has lied repeatedly about this proposal. What makes you think they will not lie about it again?
      4. What makes you think the next government, or the one after it, won't lie about it or misuse it?
      5. What if the government decides to make it work by instructing ISPs to drop any packets they can't read, effectively making them MITMs? That completely breaks internet commerce, which is obviously unacceptable. So this would be mitigated how? Possibly by a government-mandated whitelist of IPs with whom anyone can communicate with encrypted data. Which still roots internet commerce anyway.

      It's not just a waste of time and money. It's a breach of faith on several fronts.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sam0737 (648914)

      But this is exactly what makes it hard to abuse. With oddly-moralized hackers up in arms, you can bet they'll seize on any abuses of the filter and plaster them embarresingly over the internet. So the government has a strong incentive to stick within their declared uses of the filter.

      So the worst objection to the filter is simply that it could mostly be a waste of time... that said, it will evolve and change and may prove useful.

      You don't want to wait that happen. Eventually the government will become having a face so thick that they just outright lying to the citizens. China has already set the example, and I surely you don't follow the shit.

      http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-hans/%E8%BA%B2%E8%B2%93%E8%B2%93_(%E7%B6%B2%E8%B7%AF%E7%94%A8%E8%AA%9E) [wikipedia.org]
      In 2009, a 24yo Man died while being detained. In the press release, official stated that the suspect died from head trauma by hitting the wall when playing hide-and-seek.

      http://news.mylegist.com/ [mylegist.com]

  • by mjwx (966435) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:22PM (#32040298)
    Elections in Australia happen every three years, no four. That means they will be this year.

    Rudd knows just how unpopular the filter is, even if it only loses him 10% of the votes it's enough to scare him as he got in by a gnats wing in 2007.

    The question is will Rudd shelve the plan or just carry on regardless after the next election. Personally I don't want to find out but I cant vote for that hyper religious nut-case, Tony Abbott as he'll probably turn around and do something worse so personally my vote is going either to the Greens or an independent against the filter.
    • by H0D_G (894033)

      There's the idea that Labor are "clearing the decks" at the moment- we've seen the Emissions Trading Scheme, the replacement insulation scheme and the internet filter all go within the last week. Rudd can then ride the GFC, hospitals and education through to the next election and reintroduce some of these proposals come next year

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Onetus (23797)

      By hyper religious, I assume you mean that earlier on his life he entered Seminary, intending to be a priest but changed his mind. Or did you mean to refer to the fact he has strong catholic based beliefs. This is important because the term hyper-religious has massively different connotations to our American colleagues, where it could/would imply that he was a member of the literal truth of the bible pentacostal brigade. At least he's been honest enough to say outright was his beliefs are, and cope with the

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Mate - If you don't tell them that this is an issue, then all they have to go off is the Media - and they really treat Internet comments with sooo much respect.

        I've already written to my rep at a local and state level. I think a lot of people have that's why Labor's back bench is making some noise about the filter. If the Pirate Party AU feild a candidate they will definitely get my vote.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dbIII (701233)

        By hyper religious, I assume you mean that earlier on his life he entered Seminary, intending to be a priest but changed his mind.

        He was going to be a priest but he screwed up, and down, and sideways, and anything nearby in a skirt that didn't move fast enough.
        I'd call him a "Godless Christian" in that he's doing it for appearances but in his own words has broken every commandment but one. His beliefs are whatever it takes to get the job done and change daily.

    • by twostix (1277166)

      Abbot was one of John Howards closest advisors while they held power and the closest we ever got to this kind of censorship was requiring ISPs to offer Net Nanny as a download to their clients.

      The liberal party is far more diverse than Labor, the conservatives hold a tiny balance of power in the Liberal party at this moment but the liberal left-wing side of the party are always ready to take over the party leadership if the conservatives go too farm, and as we've seen it can happen in an instant.

      The Austral

  • no fair australia (Score:3, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <erauqssemitelcric>> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @10:26PM (#32040330) Homepage Journal

    the usa has long been a world leader in hypocritical simplistic moralizing "christians"

    don't be nosing in on our turf and our monopoly now

    • by mjwx (966435)

      the usa has long been a world leader in hypocritical simplistic moralizing "christians"

      I know you're a yank but please, as a sign of respect switch your Spool Chocker to En_AU for this thread.

      kthanksbye.

    • the usa has long been a world leader in hypocritical simplistic moralizing "christians"

      don't be nosing in on our turf and our monopoly now

      It's not turf nosing, it's a franchise. They have one in Canada too!

  • Though I'm far from disappointed, this is the 3rd one this week! Last week it was the Emissions Trading Scheme nonsense, then the Health Care stuff, and now this. Seriously, what's up with the Rudd government?? It's turning out to be a "Dudd" government! Bring on an early double dissolution election and get this idiots out (not that the alternative is much better . . . ).
    <rant>
    Oh, and as to the Australian Christian Lobby and all those other extreme conservative political groups - don't mix reli
  • I'm not from Australia, but TFA really makes it sound like this is a disappointment to Australians. I'm hoping that this is actually GOOD news to most of you guys down under ?
  • by GrahamCox (741991) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:01PM (#32040534) Homepage
    Last week I was discussing the filter with a friend who is an intelligent and sensible, non-religious person. Unfortunately he had swallowed the whole "think of the children" argument and thought the filter was a good idea. When I put the standard negative arguments to him, he agreed that it wasn't as simple as he'd thought. Problem is, he's probably representative of a large majority of ordinary people with voting rights in Australia. It's imperative that the debate about the filter is kept up and every Australian citizen is brought up to speed, otherwise I fear that we'll end up having it simply because nobody really bothered to give it much thought.
    • by bane2571 (1024309) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @11:15PM (#32040614)
      What is worse, I asked about 5 friends that frequently use the net and are quite intelligent what thye thought of us having a filter and they had no idea one was coming.
    • I think it is completely stupid, since anyone can arbitrarily get around it. That guy, the right to die euthanasia guy, was giving tutorials to old people, showing them how to get around it. If oldies can get around it, and young people can too, it will probably only work for middle aged computer illiterate parents of teenagers.

      This means that the only people made happy by it's ability to block terrible shit on the interned will be those ignorant folk with kids most vulnerable!

      I intend on filtering my home

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        > I think it is completely stupid, since anyone can arbitrarily get around it.

        Well, this is one of the great fears about it. Since people will be able to trivially bypass it, people most certainly will. Not only will they do it, they will make software and publish articles about how to do it. And then out of severe embarrassment, the government will react with new laws that make it illegal to own, sell, or distribute material about how to bypass the filter. Now suddenly whole classes of software and

    • by twostix (1277166) on Friday April 30, 2010 @01:10AM (#32041200)

      Why on earth is this being framed as the creation of religious people?

      The Labor party are the secular, technocratic left wing party in Australia, the Liberals are the "religious conservatives". Yet it is Labor, not the Liberals (who had power for twelve years and never spoke about it) that are trying to ram this down the country's throat.

      And to prove it the leaked blacklist had *anti* abortion websites banned. Hardly something that would make the religious people happy!

      It's not religion that's the problem here, it's authoritarianism, which the current Labor party unfortunately (since I voted for them) have in spades.

  • I hope this doesn't overshadow the upcoming legislative changes regarding software patents. There's pretty much no activism on this right now:

    swpat.org is a publicly editable wiki, help welcome.

  • by bmo (77928)

    >Australian Christian Lobby

    You mean the Australian Taliban.

    We have the same here. They call themselves Southern Baptist and Dominionists.

    --
    BMO

  • voting green (Score:2, Interesting)

    by z3d4r (598419)

    A few of the Aussies here have mentioned their disappointment with Rudd and greater dislike of the opposition, and have expressed their intention to vote dreen or independant.

    If you wish to keep legislation such as this from passing its important to understand how the Australian government works.
    firstly there is the Upper House: parliament. Here you find the Prime minister, Ministers and back benchers. Voting for anyone other than either of the two major parties here is basicly a wasted vote. In most cases

    • err, you got the Upper & Lower the wrong way around. And remember you have options such as voting for independents and directing preferences; the Greens are partly to blame for blocking the ETS because it didn't go far enough rather than working to improve it, which goes to show they're still very much an absolutist party.

    • by H0D_G (894033)

      Just a note- not all ministers are Lower house members. Defence Minister is Senator Faulkner, for one.

    • Re:voting green (Score:4, Informative)

      by NoMaster (142776) on Friday April 30, 2010 @12:30AM (#32040962) Homepage Journal

      "Upper House: parliament ... The Lower House: The Senate ..."

      Ummm ... you do know you got that exactly wrong, don't you?

      The Upper House is the Senate.
      The Lower House is the House of Representatives.
      Together, they make the Parliament of Australia.

      And voting anything other than Labor / Coalition in the House of Reps is far from a wasted vote. It's been a while, but we have had minority governments that've had to cuddle up to minor parties in the HoR in the past. It's not quite like the crazy 'major parties take all' system in the US. Not yet, anyway...

    • Congratulations, you've got it completely bass-ackwards.

      The LOWER house is the House of Representatives (Green), where you will find the PM, Govt reps and the opposition. Usually "owned" by the government of the day (in terms of majority) - anything cane be accepted and sent up to the Senate for debate.

      The UPPER house is the Senate (Red) where legislation is often rejected, and where a balance of power is more common (translation: Govt and main opposition often hold close to a 50% split, and where the balan

  • Here's a graphic to go with the protests about this:
    http://user.interface.org.nz/~gringer/pics/censor_blacker.png [interface.org.nz]

  • by solanum (80810) on Friday April 30, 2010 @12:27AM (#32040952)

    I'm against internet filtering as much as most Slashdotters, but the evidence is that most Australians want a filter. Have a look here: http://hungrybeast.abc.net.au/stories/internet-filter-survey-results [abc.net.au] This was a survey carried out by a program aimed at young hip tech-savy viewers and yet their survey showed that 80% of responders agree that filtering is a good idea. The filter would be democracy in action, it is we who are the vocal minority in opposing it not the Australian Christian Lobby in supporting it.

    • by GrahamCox (741991)
      I didn't see the piece, but poll results like that are highly influenced by how the question was phrased. If you ask "do you think child porn should be seen by anyone who opens a web browser?" you'll obviously get near on 100% saying no. That's the problem with the debate on the filter, those who are pushing for it are strongly slanting their reasoning in this manner, and nobody wants to say "but hang on a minute..." because that makes you look like you're all for child porn. The pollies know this so they'l
  • by AC-x (735297) on Friday April 30, 2010 @09:40AM (#32044110)

    It would be wise to remember that the same people who would stop you from viewing an adult film may be back next year to complain about a book, or even a TV program. If you can be told what you can see or read, then it follows that you can be told what to say or think. Defend your constitutionally protected rights. No one else will do it for you. Thank you.

  • Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that the Australian government will build a new $43 billion national broadband network, connecting 90% of homes to 100-megabit fibre internet. "We believe that fast broadband is absolutely essential for our nation's future", he said.

    "Telstra has raised issues with the amount of bandwidth usage this will produce, given we're still hooked to America by tin cans and string, but our Great Firewall of Australia [newstechnica.com] Internet filtering project should keep usage down to reasonable levels at near-dialup speeds. We promise you won't go over your download cap."

    The Great Firewall will reliably block all illegal material, child pornography, terrorism and unAustralian thoughts.

    "Not only are the contents of the list illegal," said Senator Stephen Conroy, " but revealing the list is also illegal, and so is linking to someone linking to someone claiming to reveal the list. So we're blocking Google Search. Having to use Anzwers should keep usage right down."

    Calling it, the "single largest infrastructure decision in Australia's history," Mr Rudd said the project would employ up to 37,000 people a year monitoring citizens' net access, reading their email and correcting spelling errors in their football forum posts.

    A consultative process will determine the regulatory framework for the network. "We're considering getting Senator Fielding to do it personally," said Senator Conroy, "since he's the dickhead who demanded the censorship in return for his votes. Hopefully it'll melt his brain. Bloody balance of power. At least Xenophon's bloody sane."

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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