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Australia Ranked Fourth In Internet Freedom 221

mjwx writes "A report published by Freedom House has placed Australia in fourth in Internet Freedom, below Estonia, the United States and Germany. Freedom House highlights the lack of actual censorship in Australia pointing out that the highly unpopular proposed ISP level censorship has been shelved since the 2010 Australian election. The Freedom House report is available here."
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Australia Ranked Fourth In Internet Freedom

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  • Where's Japan? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fullback ( 968784 ) on Friday April 22, 2011 @12:08AM (#35903432)

    It's not even on the list.

  • by GNUALMAFUERTE ( 697061 ) <> on Friday April 22, 2011 @12:42AM (#35903620)


    One of the very few things that make me proud about my country (Argentina) is our internet freedom. Our connections aren't great, but they ain't bad either, and they are cheap and just about everywhere (you can get unlimited, uncensored cablemodem 6mbps down, 1 mbps up for ~30 dollars a month, and unlimited, uncensored 3G 3mbps down, 512kbps up for ~25 dollars a month). Domains (*.ar) are absolutely FREE for life, and there's no limit on what you can register (I have domains that contain all 7 words, are anti-government, anti-religion, and anti-corporations, I've had them for years, and none of them has been taken away or filtered in any way). Our copyright laws are fairly sane (well, as insane as copyright itself is, they aren't as bad as the states), and we have no DMCA or any other similar shit). ISPs don't hand out information without a court order, and neither do host companies. Nobody has been sued for file-sharing, and no ISP is throttling or limiting p2p connections.

    But we aren't even on the list, go figure ...

  • Re:Below Germany? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dreampod ( 1093343 ) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:19AM (#35903736)

    While I agree with them that the US probably is fairly good in comparison to much of the world, the major flaw I see in the Freedomhouse report is that it seems to treat the spirit of the law as being more relevant than the actual application and only considers governmental action rather than corporate activities (enabled by a bought and paid for legislative branch) that reduce freedom. Beyond ICE domain seizures, we have rampant DMCA abuse, government subsidized regional monopolies creating poor service and removing competition, extensive (though largely concealed) monitoring, attempted violations of net neutrality, traffic 'shaping' that is not required for its stated purpose, extensive abuse of the legal system to suppress unpopular or offensive speech of individuals or small business' unable to afford the expense of defending themselves, aging internet infrastructure the monopolies are making minimal efforts to upgrade except in the most profitable areas, and undoubtably more that don't come immediately to mind.

    The US is taking baby steps towards a less free internet and by ranking them so highly without comment on the glaring problems in the system they are enabling it by creating a false impression that this is acceptable.

    Also I find the mention of the US tech innovation particularly funny given that those companies all insist that they are primarily based out of Dublin, Ireland which is why they don't have to pay their fair share of taxes.

  • Given that the US, in retaining control of ICANN, demolishing network neutrality, placing excessive restrictions on cryptography, pressuring organizations to drop any association whatsoever with wikileaks and encouraging Internet fraud through a lack of any kind of privacy legislation, has effectively crippled actual freedom without needing any censorship legislation per-se, it should be obvious that the US is only near the top for reasons that have nothing to do with freedom.

  • by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Friday April 22, 2011 @05:00AM (#35904480) Homepage

    I noticed that as well. Canada, the Netherlands and all Nordic countries are absent from the report. In their place a semi-nordic east-european country becomes the most free. I guess it would look too bad if there was 10 countries above the US, so they left out everybody above estonia.

    I would really have like to hear to position of France and Spain also though.

  • Re:Blow Germany? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday April 22, 2011 @12:35PM (#35907480)
    This is only a problem if you believe that breeding is a fundamental right. I do not.

    Free speech? Good idea. Freedom of religion? Good idea. Freedom of movement? Good idea. Free press? Good idea. A few obvious limitations of course, to prevent one person's use of their freedom from infringing upon the freedom of another, but in general good ideas. Freedom to pop out another human even if you are using known flawed genetic material, do not have the money to properly raise it or have a history of violence or mental illness? Not such a good idea.

    Look at it more like this: There are laws for adoption. Certain conditions which disqualify someone. Some criminal offences, mental illness, things which have been deemed by those elected to write laws to render a person unfit to be a perent. So we already recognise, in law, and with very little contriversy, that some people just are not fit to raise children. And yet if they can manage to get knocked up themselves - which is not a difficult task - they somehow have a right to go ahead anyway? That just doesn't make sense. If you can't meet some minimum standard of parenting, you shouldn't be entrusted with that type of responsibility.

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