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Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

And the award goes to...

Couldn't have been won by a more deserving guy, the Internet Villain of the Year is Australia's and Victoria's own Senator Stephen Conroy.
The 11th annual Internet Industry Awards ceremony, held in London this week and hosted by the Internet Service Providers' Association, named Senator Conroy Internet Villain of the Year over the federal government's unpopular plans for an internet filter.
Take a bow, you naive, nannying, authoritarian fuckwit. I hope you're fucking proud of making the place look backward and reactionary. But wait, let's hear the "acceptance speech".
The aim of the filter is to block material that is already illegal, Senator Conroy told reporters in Sydney yesterday.

"Unfortunately most people have been misled as to what the government is actually doing," he said.

"We have identified that this is sites like pro-rape sites, bestiality sites, and child pornography promotion sites.

"We've said it is confined to that.

"If people have a problem with blocking that material, well, I'm going to disagree with them."
Look, you fucking tool, you yourself have fucking admitted it won't fucking do that at all. So I think we must ask you, Senator Conroy, beyond pandering to Australia's various Helen Lovejoys and every feckless mouthbreathing parent who can't be arsed to keep an eye on what their kids get up to online and who'd rather you fucking did it for them, what the cunting fuck is the Clean Feed good for? Or did you just fall for the sales patter?

Whatever, it's clear that Steve Conroy doesn't see why it's both bad and stupid. I listed my concerns here in typically angry fashion, but I'm cheered to see the media making similar points. This nails some of the issues for me:
GOVERNMENTS detest and fear what they can't control. As such, the internet is cause for increasing regulatory angst across the globe, not the least in Australia.

So, memo to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy: Here is why your bloody-minded push for compulsory web-filtering in Australia won't work.

... what if the Great Firewall of Canberra was already in place? Would this column be able to publish information on how to get around it?

And, if we did, would The Courier-Mail website be blocked by the filter?

If I promised to email every individual reader who contacted me with new methods to thwart online censorship, would my mail traffic be monitored, taken down in evidence and used against me?

Would the countless thousands of computer geek forums and message boards devoted to arcane techno-babble matters also risk being blocked if such seditious discussion was hosted?

Answer me that, Senator. Or is this plan so half-cocked and politically motivated in terms of pandering to the Christian lobby that we're making it up as we go along?

For a start, Senator, there is a wealth of what is known as circumvention technologies available on the web.

Let's begin with a Google search.

Try keying in "bypass internet censorship filters", or perhaps try searching for what is known as "circumvention technology".

Surely your filter would never block Google searches? Would it?


Or, perhaps, for the slightly more tech-savvy, try looking for "open proxies".

These are tools, according to one very useful site, that will enable you to access "any resource that is accessible from the server it runs on".


Another useful resource for those of us wishing to duck below or fight the Orwellian radar is the Open Net Initiative, an academic site devoted to investigating, exposing and analysing internet filtering and surveillance practices in a credible, non-partisan fashion. Their words, not mine, and their resource can be found at

Another thing, Senator Conroy, you do realise, don't you, that the internet is the most rapidly evolving thing on the planet?

For every page you block, another two will spring up in its place. The material you want to block right now is like weeds in the back lawn – short of concreting over the entire back yard, they'll keep sprouting.

The compulsory internet filter is not about protecting our children from accessing unsavoury websites.

Any responsible parent, public library or school that wishes to do that can easily download (free) "net-nanny" software to block such material. Or, in terms of parenting, perhaps adopt the novel approach of monitoring what your kids do online rather than bequeathing responsibility to some third party.
[Or, as I suggested, simply pull the plug or ethernet cable out of the fucking wall - Angry Exile]


Nor is the filter about attacking child pornography.
[Well, yeah, because the deranged cunt's already conceded it won't do that anyway - Angry Exile]

That sort of vile material is not hosted on easily accessible web pages but, rather, swapped among shadowy user-groups of like-minded perverts, and massive police resources are already devoted to monitoring and catching the grubs who traffic in it.

No, the filter is about control. It is about control of what we watch, what we read and what we discuss.

It risks capturing everything from literature to film to games and ideological debate on issues such as euthanasia and abortion.

Euthanasia is illegal in Australia, therefore should we ban sites advocating its adoption? Bret Easton Ellis's controversial but confrontingly brilliant novel American Psycho (yes, I have read it, twice) is banned in Queensland. Should we stop northern users accessing the text online?

How far does the filter go in terms of blocking material of an "illegal" nature? Forget pornography, violent video games or banned arthouse material for a minute.

Just imagine if the internet had existed in the days of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen and how filtering might have been applied to sites advocating action on such issues as apartheid, street marching laws or police corruption.

Governments change. And they tend to adapt and amend existing laws to suit their own purposes.

Resist this madness at all costs. And spread the word.
Worth reading the whole thing. And remember that the argument that Senator Conroy and the other censor fans and bansturbation bunnies make is essentially this:

I'd settle for the stupid bastards just thinking.
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