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Censorship Australia The Internet Politics

On Eve Of Election, Australia's Conservatives Announce Mandated Filtering Policy 87

Posted by timothy
from the oh-by-the-way dept.
Dan B. writes "After Australia's Conservative party (LNP) quietly posted a policy [PDF] to impose mandatory internet filtering just one day prior to the country's election, local premiere internet forum Whirlpool has gone in to overdrive with the fastest 50 page thread ever. At 8:30pm, both sides of politics were busy running media releases, with the Conservatives hastily back-pedalling on the policy, and the Government attacking it, accusing them of hypocrisy after voting down their own proposed filter 3 years prior, stating there was no proof filtering works."
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On Eve Of Election, Australia's Conservatives Announce Mandated Filtering Policy

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  • Do politicians repeatedly insist on inserting their feet into their mouths hours before an election?

    • Re:Why... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Farmer Tim (530755) <roundfile AT mindless DOT com> on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:57AM (#44765795) Journal

      It's a test for future policy development: if they can get away with spouting crap before the election, they know they can get away with murder afterwards.

      • +1 Insightful (Score:5, Insightful)

        by zooblethorpe (686757) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @12:40PM (#44766781)

        It's a test for future policy development: if they can get away with spouting crap before the election, they know they can get away with murder afterwards.

        Not sure why that's currently rated at +5 Funny -- this is quite insightful. Politicians do indeed do this. Lay out a (sometimes batshit-insane extreme) policy position before an election, and if the electorate rolls over, the politicians know it'll fly just fine. If the electorate raises a holy stink, back off and propose something slightly less batshit-insane that's calibrated to squeak by. This is how bullshit becomes modus operandi. This is also how Microsoft has been working to make its Panopticon (a.k.a. XBox One) palatable to the buying public.

        This approach is a proven technique. Funny? More like frighteningly accurate.

        Cheers,

      • Re:Why... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @12:56PM (#44766925) Journal
        They've already back-pedalled on this policy faster than Tony Abbott walking into a gay bathhouse.
        • So instead of murder they'll limit future policy to the severe beatings the electorate seems to enjoy.

        • by mjwx (966435)

          They've already back-pedalled on this policy faster than Tony Abbott walking into a gay bathhouse.

          Which means they'll do it after the election.

          I wouldn't be surprised if Tony likes gay bath houses, the most ardent homophobes often hide homosexual desires.

          Needless to say, if Tony gets in I'm moving to Singapore, he's our George W Bush.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Yes, because the political system in Singapore is so much better...

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Do politicians repeatedly insist on inserting their feet into their mouths hours before an election?

      They were caught in a moment of honesty, voicing their opinions as they truly are, usually you see this sort of hubris after the election.

      if they were on the internet we'd call them trolls

    • I don't think this is what the usual "foot in mouth" or whatever it's called when a politician, required by the media to be talking 24 hours a day for about a year, inevitably proves human and something comes out wrong or is wrong. This was intentional. The mistake, if there was one, was thinking no one would notice.

      To their credit, if it's more complex than "THIS politician made a cuss and the microphone picked it up!" or "Someone said this politician rubbed their genitals against someone else's genita
      • by dywolf (2673597)

        it just always seems to happen to em the moment before it really matters, with no time to spin or back it off, or what have you.

        its like the trope of the cop who says hes just days away frm retirement. and similar to the obligatory XKCD ( http://xkcd.com/1113/ [xkcd.com] ) im surprised more politicians, or their handlers, dont lock them away in a secure room without contact to the outside world in the day or two before the election, considering this just keeps happening.

        of coure, its still endlessly amusing from where

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Ideally, they are supposed to do that during the campaign rather than surprising people with it after they are elected. It's what a campaign is for.

      And if they are too dumb to have a well-thought-out policy early in the election, and face the backlash the night before, well, again, be glad they did it beforehand.

    • Do politicians repeatedly insist on inserting their feet into their mouths hours before an election?

      Well, governmental buildings are well-known hotbeds of the foot-in-mouth disease.

    • by Pseudonym (62607)

      Short answer: the blackout [wikipedia.org]. Now is the perfect time to reveal bad policy, because a) you can claim it was announced before the election, and b) your opponents can't call you on it in advertising.

  • We clearly need more of it. The problem is, it doesn't seem to work as well here in the States, especially when we only find out the details after the fact. I would that the US government were as communicative as these Aussies about their bad policies before actually makign them law.

  • by Taantric (2587965) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:56AM (#44765781)

    These morons would rather put the entire country and it's IT infrastructure to the expense and trouble of a Opt out system, instead of just making it a Opt In system for those families or organizations like schools that may need such a filter.

    You think the ISP or the smartphone or modem manufacturers are going to absorb the cost of this additional layer of government mandated censorship? No they are going to pass on the cost to the consumer. So for every one household that might actually use this filter, nine would not and yet those nine would still pay for it.

    PS: I don't understand the logic. How does censoring my internet protect your children from porn? It just doesn't make any sense.

    • >

      PS: I don't understand the logic. How does censoring my internet protect your children from porn? It just doesn't make any sense.

      There is no logic. This topic comes up in politics as a way to make themselves look like they are doing something "for the children". Quite frankly, in Australia and here in the U.S. the elected officials should have better things to do with their time (and our money).

      • by mellon (7048)

        It's not the case that there is no logic. Rather, the logic just doesn't have to do with protecting kids from porn. It has to do with getting votes. But the public is developing a resistance to this tactic, and good for them for doing so. The only check on lying politicians is a skeptical and informed electorate.

    • by fritsd (924429)

      Taantric wrote:

      PS: I don't understand the logic. How does censoring my internet protect your children from porn? It just doesn't make any sense.

      Obviously, they want to block you from uploading those advanced ritual yoga [wikipedia.org] videos...

    • by dywolf (2673597)

      Oh no, thats not the logic. It's about protecting you from yourself. after all, you simply cannot be trusted with your baser instincts. they must be managed by an outside entity. for your well being. you dont know yourself well enough to know your emotional or physical needs, nor can you be trusted with the responsibilty of personal choice. Trust us. Its for the best.

    • The weird thing about the Liberal policy was their idea of rolling out filtering to new modems. These people must be seriously confused about what a modem does.

  • Just a distraction (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 05, 2013 @11:01AM (#44765827)

    Smells like a deliberate "mistake" to keep the news outlets busy for the final day before the election. Will prevent scrutiny of their policy costings they only just released today, 48 hours before the election.

  • by AHuxley (892839) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @11:03AM (#44765843) Homepage Journal
    The original old pdf thats now been replaced can be found via the above mentioned Whirlpool forum: http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2151781#r40092377 [whirlpool.net.au]
  • by Cimexus (1355033) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @11:05AM (#44765861)

    This was alluded to in the summary but in case people just read the headline and make a knee jerk post about it ... they have already back tracked from the plan. In fact they said they never had such a plan and it was a mistaken statement in the first place.

    Whichever it was, the correction certainly occurred in record time. Seeing the whole thing go down on Twitter there was barely a few hours between news outlets picking up the story of the filtering plan and Malcolm Turnbull responding and saying the whole thing was incorrect.

    Official Liberal Party press release clarifying that they do NOT intend to introduce filtering: http://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2013/09/05/coalitions-policy-enhance-online-safety-children [liberal.org.au]

    There's various other reasons that you shouldn't vote for the LNP this election. But thankfully this isn't one of them.

    • by Patch86 (1465427) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @12:13PM (#44766549)

      For something that isn't policy, was never policy, was never going to be policy, and will never be policy, it certainly looks remarkably like an official policy manifesto to me:
      http://www.scribd.com/doc/165690692/Coalition-2013-Election-Policy-%E2%80%93-Enhance-Online-Safety-final [scribd.com]

      Are you implying their finger slipped in just such a way as to write a 10 page policy document, cost the policy, put the correct date on the document, and post the policy to their website completely accidentally? Or are you claiming that this is some sort of absurdly elaborate (and dull) hacker forgery?

      At the very best, you can say that this is a policy that they entertained to quite a complete point before abandoning it- and that the almost-complete literature was made public accidentally. But that still implies that this is a policy that senior Liberals were happy to consider. The document is footnoted "authorised by Brian Loughnane", which is the party's Federal Director and Campaign Director; presumably a man who is at least relatively in tune with his party's policy attitudes.

      • by Cimexus (1355033)

        I'm not implying anything (hence the second paragraph beginning "Whichever it was..."). Not trying to judge either way whether it was an actual mistake, or a genuine policy which they've hastily backtracked from (I agree that it looks like the latter). Just putting the link up there for people.

        For the record, I've already voted (I'm overseas so voted by mail) and it wasn't for the Coalition.

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        For something that isn't policy, was never policy, was never going to be policy, and will never be policy, it certainly looks remarkably like an official policy manifesto to me:
        http://www.scribd.com/doc/165690692/Coalition-2013-Election-Policy-%E2%80%93-Enhance-Online-Safety-final [scribd.com]

        Are you implying their finger slipped in just such a way as to write a 10 page policy document, cost the policy, put the correct date on the document, and post the policy to their website completely accidentally? Or are you claiming that this is some sort of absurdly elaborate (and dull) hacker forgery?

        Neither actually. I'm of the firm belief that this being the party that voted against censorship when the Labor party considered it, concocted this all as an elaborate ruse to keep the media busy a day before the election. It was too absurd to be true, and they backed down waaaay too quickly for them to have actually considered this as a policy. Yet somehow I turn on the radio and the TV today and all I hear about the new former internet filtering policy.

        What I don't hear anything about is the Coalition pol

  • Now is your chance, Australia. Do the world a favor and show them, at this election, in no uncertain terms what you think of politicians who want to censor.

    • by mathew42 (2475458)

      So we can vote for the Labor party which attempted to introduce the legislation to censor the internet in the last parliament or vote for the Coalition which voted against censorship and has come out and said there was a mistake in wording of the policy.

      Let me tell you a personal story. When my daughter was six, she was playing a game on the computer. She had seen me search for her favourite characters, so she opened a web browser, typed "Charlie and Lola" and clicked search. I was in the room, but only hal

  • Another scandal too? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wisty (1335733) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @12:11PM (#44766545)

    There's a thread on reddit Australia - some guy claims a Liberal Party Facebook app is harvesting data using hex-encoded javascript. I'm pretty sure it's against their own privacy policy, the Facebook ToS, and possibly illegal.

  • Security Theater (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @03:49PM (#44768277)

    More security theater designed to make people feel like government is doing something when it's not.

    My son recently started public school. I took him on his first day only to find hundreds of kids milling about the front of the school, in the street, totally un-supervised. I tried to get in and the doors were locked. They didn't unlock until 7:30am the time class started so of course, every kid was late for first period. I went to the office and they told me due to all the school shootings (in the whole country we've had what? 1? In the past 5 years?) They said I'd have to take it up with the school board and blew me off.

    Well, I did take it up with the school board. I called and pointed out that they were locking an EMPTY SCHOOL. All the kids were outside, unsupervised with no-where to go should a potential attacker arrive. It was ridiculous. To my amazement they got me in touch with the school districts director of security who conceded my point, agreed with my assessment and made a district wide policy change on the spot. She said that the change had been requested by local politicians over the summer and she hadn't really thought it through. By the time I went to pick up my kid the school was back to being unlocked. At least there are a few in government with half a brain in their head.

  • How about some accountability? If they say this was part of their mandate they are bloody crazy.

    Poor Aussies, I thought this countries conservative party was bad. They're probably going to get up to the same kind of thing next election. Got voted in on a minor scandal involving some low tier politician at the wrong time. Sad.

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