The government's nicely timed announcement last week that it will proceed next year with its internet censorship scheme has not only drawn widespread ire in Australia but has continued to raise eyebrows overseas. The filter has been covered around the world from the BBC to news outlets in Poland, Pakistan and even China. Unfortunately, it's not a good look -- despite any nuances the policy might have -- that we're gaining a reputation as the Iran of the South Pacific.

This has culminated with no less an organisation than Reporters Without Borders, a global watchdog of press freedom, writing to the Prime Minister, urging him to abandon the scheme. Given that one normally encounters RWB in association with jailed reporters and post-coup news blackouts, this development should be alarming to anyone concerned with our image as an open democracy in the world.