Dec 17, 2009

Internet filtering: first step on the path to Burma?

It's a strange day indeed when retired Justice Michael Kirby and Fox News sing from the same hymn sheet. But Senator Stephen Conroy’s internet censorship plans have created that day.

Stilgherrian — Technology writer and broadcaster


Technology writer and broadcaster

It’s a strange day indeed when retired Justice Michael Kirby and Fox News sing from the same hymn sheet.  Senator Stephen Conroy’s internet censorship plans have created that day.

Kirby says mandatory filtering is opposed “on the basis that this is the thin end of the wedge of government moving into regulating the actual internet itself”.

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97 thoughts on “Internet filtering: first step on the path to Burma?

  1. Mr Pastry

    The issue appears to be child pornography and it is being used to create a mechanism for the centralised control of the internet. Blocking chat rooms may have more impact in dousing paedaphile opportunities but this does not appear to be within scope. Adult Pornography is available in Canberra, so do we ban all children from Canberra – there appears no consistency which leaves a suspicious odour to the proposal. Having said that, some advisor has seen a massive cash cow ” ye,s we can block this type of traffic but there will be a maintenance fee ” pollies are out of their depth when it comes to technology, the holes in their national blocking intentions already sexist.

  2. David Sanderson

    The headline “Internet filtering: first step on the path to Burma?” says it all about the scaremongering on this issue.

    Only a total ignorance of history and politics could lead one to make this kind of link.

  3. mtats

    David S is right.

    The headline should refer to ‘Republic of the Union of Myanmar’.


  4. Stilgherrian

    Bah! The headline is a perfectly accurate reflection of what Michael Kirby actually said, and has a question mark at the end inviting one to consider whether that’s true or not.

  5. mtats

    Don’t try and trick us Stilgherrian with your fancy ‘punctuation’ and your ‘accurate quotes’. We don’t take kindly to you folk around here.

    Seriously though, it is rare that an issue unites so many people. This is one of them.

    And as much as i hate playing the man, you really aren’t paying attention if you support such a thing.

    Theoretically, if the filters actually worked, there’d be a argument to be had.

    But they don’t, and the money could be better spent elsewhere.

    Then again, it’s more about ticking a political box to please special interest groups, than actually doing anything.

  6. RaymondChurch

    I will take the opinion of Justice Michael Kirby over that idiot Conroy any time. It is scary that being the control type Rudd is, he obviously endorses everything Conroy has done. That is disturbing when Rudd gives the impression he has some knowledge of the Internet plus has a high level of intelligence. If he keeps this approach going he will start pooing in his own nest. That old saying ‘we voted them in and we can vote them out’still has a ring of truth about it. One would imagine the Greens will be opposing this completely.

  7. orpheus

    So we have moved from optional client side buy in to mandatory filtering. Coming in the same week that Kevin Rudd attempted to persuade Tuvalu that a 3 degree mean temperature increase was in Tuvalu’s interests (they are unlikely to survive even a 2 degree increase), do we need any further evidence that Labor has become lost in the public policy wilderness?

  8. peach1

    I am not concerned if the govt is filtering porno but while they are at it they should block politicians drivel at the same time. Now that would be an improvement to net content

  9. glengyron

    Good to see at least one devil’s advocate on Crickey with David Sanderson.

    I do have to ask, seeing how much effort you put into posting: are you connected with this policy or working on behalf of any group?

    If you’re a private citizen, then great.

  10. David Sanderson

    Glengyron, I am very much a private citizen who has a strong dislike of special pleading and scaremongering. It is special pleading to say that the internet, uniquely among all media forms, should be free of any limitations whatsoever. Stilgherrian, and his supporters on these comment threads appear to believe that but have presented no case. That is both weak and arrogant.

    It is scaremongering, and utterly nonsensical, to suggest that we may be “on the path to Burma” (whatever that means). I respect Michael Kirby but it was a far-fetched and unwise comparison to make (to be fair he said “get into the situation” which has a slightly different meaning to “on the path”). Given the totally different histories, cultures, institutions and politics of the two countries it is a worthless comparison

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