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Australia Says No to Internet Censorship

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the war-of-attrition dept.

Censorship 209

Brenton Fletcher writes "A nationwide protest rally against the internet censorship filter proposed by the Australian Labor Government was held today. Over 9,000 people were slated to attend. I was fortunate enough to go to the rally on the steps of Parliament House in Adelaide, South Australia. I heard speeches from the Digital Liberty Coalition, the Green Left Weekly, and other concerned members of the public." Reader mask.of.sanity adds a link to ComputerWorld's photo-heavy coverage of the gatherings.

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Good (-1, Troll)

mewshi_nya (1394329) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105479)

The fewer countries we have trying this utter shit, the less likely other places are.

To the jackass who pushed for this: FUCK YOU. Go suck on Jesus' cock. We all know it's your secret fantasy, you fucking Christian nutter.

Re:Good (5, Funny)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105529)

Removing the 'Passive' from passive-aggressive I see

Re:Good (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105573)

Good news indeed. Now if they could only be more reasonable about Simpsons porn... [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Good (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106483)

New sig! Thanks!

Re:Good (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26105713)

i guess you have a point. if it were a muslim he'd just put a bullet in your head and claim that it's the will of allah.

Re:Good (1)

Explodingchopsticks (1387803) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105733)

The fewer countries we have trying this utter shit, the less likely other places are.

To the jackass who pushed for this: FUCK YOU. Go suck on Jesus' cock. We all know it's your secret fantasy, you fucking Christian nutter.

While they are at it, they should get rid of the stupid det portal. All it does is slow down the internet at schools. It hinders learning because you cannot go on almost ANY informative sites etc. so, to the aussie gov techies, refer to the above comment.

Re:Good (3, Funny)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106679)

No way, it teaches school kids about proxies. :P

Re:Good (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26105871)

huh. how about that? calling christians nutters and claiming that they're behind this is insightful but if you talk about what happens in muslim countries every day you get modded flame bait? i wonder who's sucking on allah's dick around here. if nothing else the hypocrisy is pretty clear.

FUCK ALLAH, FUCK IRAN, FUCK ISLAM.

Re:Good (0)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106231)

It's always amusing to see how people fail to see that there isn't really any difference in how you call your god and that they are taking their big invisible friends far too important when they start attacking other religions...

Re:Good (2, Interesting)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105991)

[Parent comment omitted]

It's nice to see all you have to do to get a +5 Insightful on Slashdot these days is spew unrelated obscenities in a semi-literate fashion. Well done.

I'll bet that this whole thing really has little to do with "Christian nutters" as you so eloquently put it. To get the government to spend that kind of money on that kind of project just screams corporate lobbyists. The real targets of this "censorship" project is probably downloaded music, movies, and software. They can block torrents for movies and software as well as any unofficial music sites like AllOfMP3 (now defunct) and MP3Sparks (still online) -- all in the name of protecting the children.

The fact is, it is incredibly hard to effectively censor pornographic or other generally illicit websites. There are always exceptions to the contextual rules the filters try and use to determine what shouldn't be allowed and URL blacklists are completely worthless. Since the filtering is done at the ISP level, how are you supposed to bypass the filter so you can read that Wikipedia article? On the other hand, blacklists are easy and work great to block domains and IP addresses of the most popular torrent sites and trackers.

The whole thing smells like an attempt at continent-wide piracy prevention, Internet DRM, or whatever you call it. Don't be surprised when port 6969 all of a sudden stops working.

Re:Good (1)

mewshi_nya (1394329) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106171)

No, the senator pushing for this is the "family" party. The majority party, in order to get his support, decided to go with him on this... to my understanding, anyway...

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

Fleeced (585092) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106351)

No, the senator pushing for this is the "family" party. The majority party, in order to get his support, decided to go with him on this... to my understanding, anyway...

Your understanding is incorrect. This is ALP's baby - though it's true that Family First would like to ban "hard-core pornography" altogether. Libs are not much better (and are only likely to oppose it for their own political reasons - there's no driving principle of free speech, etc)

This has less to do with "religious nutters" (of any persuasion) and more to do with control. The problem with politicians (on all sides), is that they just love to control people... they'll say they believe in freedom of choice, but only if you make what they consider the "right" choices.

Even people opposed to the censorship law include socialist mobs like Green Left Weekly... hardly a pro-freedom movement.

Re:Good (4, Informative)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106223)

I'll bet that this whole thing really has little to do with "Christian nutters" as you so eloquently put it.

The whole 'censor the internet' thing has been a vote-grab by Labor to pander to the permanently-morally-outraged socially conervatives, who became increasingly more visible during the last decade.

It is exacerbated by the balance of power being held by "Christian nutters".

While I would never suggest the whole "corporate lobbying" thing doesn't happen in Australia, it is nowhere near as widespread and blatant as the US.

In short, yes, it is the "Christian nutters" who are responsible.

Re:Good (3, Informative)

Chuq (8564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106277)

Actually, the current Government (Australian Labor Party) does not have a majority in the senate, requiring the co-operation of a Family First (christian) senator to pass other legislation. So yes, religion probably DOES have a lot to do with it.

Also, the filter is only http - no P2P is being blocked (how can they?) and presumably https will not be blocked (as they will not be able to see the traffic).

Re:Good (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106455)

oh, and I thought they were in fact censoring "Christian nutters" from the unaware youth.

Re:Good (4, Informative)

CaptainDefragged (939505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106323)

This is totally to do with "Christian nutters", in particular one Senator Steve Fielding [aph.gov.au] from Family First Party [familyfirst.org.au] (i.e. the Christian Right). Other party site here [stevefielding.com.au] . He holds the balance of power in the Senate and this is totally about getting his vote so as to enable the sitting government to get their legislation through. There are plenty of press [stevefielding.com.au] [pdf] releases [stevefielding.com.au] [pdf] on these sites to demonstrate their position and lobbying [stevefielding.com.au] [pdf].
Big Media may be lobbying and pushing, but this is nothing to do with what is happening here in Australia with regards to the current push for filtering.

Re:Good (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106883)

It's nice to see all you have to do to get a +5 Insightful on Slashdot these days is spew unrelated obscenities in a semi-literate fashion. Well done.

I was thinking along the same lines earlier this week: Graffiti On The Men's Room Wall [slashdot.org] The geek writes himself out of the political equation when no one has to take him seriously as an adult.

Re:Good (2, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106905)

I'll bet that this whole thing really has little to do with "Christian nutters"

The nutters that pretend to be Christian unfortunately are the difference between the government getting laws passed or not. This makes politicians nervous that their own backsides may not be on their parlimentary seats after the next election if they don't do something about it - and that's about the most powerful force in politics.

We've imported a bit of US pentacostalism (despite being excommunicated as a nation by Oral Roberts) but then got it wrong and given it an even more unfortunate twist with cults like Magnificant Meal and Exclusive Bretheren. The EB in paticular put a huge amount of effort into the last two elections. That is the "corporate lobbyist" you are loooking for.

Personally I think it was seen as a quick way to appease some single issue nutters which got badly out of control. Anything with secret rules and secret lists is anti-democratic in my opinion, and I really think we should be worrying about the people doing horrible things to children a lot more than worrying about pictures (which is bizzarely beconming the greater crime).

Surely you mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26105485)

[CENSORED] says [CENSORED] to [CENSORED]ship?

OVER 9000?? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26105491)

/b/ is going to be all over this story...

Re:OVER 9000?? (1, Troll)

FugitiveMind (1423373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105513)

Who's to say a /b/tard didn't submit the story? Anonymous is everywhere...

Re:OVER 9000?? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26105605)

YES. WE ARE LEGION.

Re:OVER 9000?? (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105623)

Yes, x > 9000

Re:OVER 9000?? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106773)

Original poster here.

Yep, I am a /b/tard, but the speaker at the protest really did say 9,000 people.

Re:OVER 9000?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106861)

rules 1 and 2

Re:OVER 9000?? (1)

ThePengwin (934031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106931)

Those guys are like the fucking Illuminati! also, i suspect it would be way over 9000, because there is one in every major capital city, or so ive heard and There are also a lot of ausfags XD

Re:OVER 9000?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106143)

That's 50% of the population down there. There must have been free beer involved.

Re:OVER 9000?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106151)

WHAT?! NINE THOUSAND?!

Re:OVER 9000?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106305)

Re:OVER 9000?? (3, Informative)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106697)

I was at the Sydney protest, and there were definitely some /b/tards there. Among the shouted replies of "none" and so on to the question of "How many 'accidents' are we going to take from the Australian government?!" there were a few "OVER 9000!".

We also had dave the happy singer. He sang never gonna give you up and still alive. XD

Australia Says No (3, Funny)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105499)

But "Australian Government Says Yes" The government always knows whats best and do not question their motives.

Re:Australia Says No (4, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106105)

Then it's time to kick that government out of its cushy seats. A government governing against the will of its subjects has to be removed from power. Unless you don't mind being called a dictatorship.

Re:Australia Says No (3, Informative)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106943)

The election isn't for another two years. We'd overthrow them by force, but overthrowing a democratically elected government does not have a good track record in making a good successor.

I think this is all a good experience for Australian democracy, we had a Liberal government for close to twelve years. We had forgotten how much of irresponsible populists the Labor party are. The Labor opposition had drawn us to things like mandatory detention of asylum seekers and had the Australian people convinced that they were somehow a "freedom party" of sorts. So as their first memorable act they go out to censor the Internet.

Now we have that idiot Rudd spending education dollars on free laptops, telecommunications infrastructure dollars on censorship and tax dollars on allowances to buy Christmas presents. I can't believe that I voted for these arsehats.

OVER 9000 (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26105533)

no wai OVER 9000 ?

Sadly there is no off switch for crap. (2, Insightful)

Mal-2 (675116) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105535)

By raising a big, public stink about it, all that has been done is to teach the politicians that they need to sneak this through the next time -- either by hiding it within some broader "anti-terrorism" or "think of the children" bill, or by passing it before the public can get wind of it. This is the main failure of legislative bodies -- a given bill can be put up for a vote repeatedly (maybe worded a bit differently) or integrated into something larger that is difficult to oppose. It can face any number of deaths in committee, or beat-downs when held to a vote, and it doesn't die. Yet it takes only one passing vote to put it on the books forever.

Mal-2

the people who push this crap (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105651)

depend upon your defeatist attitude to make sure opposition is muted

i mean seriously, wtf: "all that has been done is to teach the politicians that they need to sneak this through the next time"

really? all of our representatives are programmed androids? they aren't people like you and me?

"Yet it takes only one passing vote to put it on the books forever"

forever? seriously?

look, your attitude is part of the problem

a legislature is a representation of the will of the people. does the people's will get warped? absolutely. does it get betrayed? absolutely. but not all the time, and not forever. if the right thing is ever going to get done, defeatist attitudes that accept bullshit, like yours, must be destroyed just as much as bad legislators need to be brought down

yeah, really: you're part of the problem

ultranegative, ultracynical attitudes are the beginning of acceptance of the crap you complain about

i don't accept this bullshit

by your words, YOU DO

change your retarded atittude, pronto

I'm prepared to offer a solution (5, Insightful)

Mal-2 (675116) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105781)

Hey, I do have an answer for this -- sunset clauses. They should work both ways and be MANDATORY.

Propose measure X, with a sunset clause of five years. If it passes, it has to be re-passed after those five years or it goes away. On the flip side, if it makes it to a vote and is defeated, it CANNOT BE PROPOSED AGAIN for five years. This should stop legislators from trying to bite off more than they can chew. Laws confirmed to be a good idea can be given longer sunset clauses the second time around -- say up to some multiple of the original. If it can get passed a third time, then some "cap limit" such as 99 years would come into play.

But do you think the legislatures would actually want to DO this? It would require them to not only pass laws, but to examine and renew those that have already been passed... and that would be WORK!

Mal-2

Re:I'm prepared to offer a solution (1)

GXTi (635121) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105933)

Would there be a sunset clause on the mandatory sunset clause?

Head asplode in 5... 4...

Re:I'm prepared to offer a solution (1)

frieko (855745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106077)

The only problem I see with this - one legislator hates, say, education. So he puts forward the "Fund education and also shove a baseball bat up everybody's ass bill of 2008". Bam, no education funding for the next five years.

Re:I'm prepared to offer a solution (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106153)

1. Prohibit bill names. Just give them a number.

2. Prohibit omnibus bills.

Re:I'm prepared to offer a solution (1)

frieko (855745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106321)

Okay, what if you propose a bill with an education budget of $1? Then the choices are either $1 or nothing. It totally eliminates the opportunity to tweak/compromise on good bills that actually need to get implemented.

I think your 1 and 2 are much better ideas than the original no-do-over idea.

Re:I'm prepared to offer a solution (1)

CaptainDefragged (939505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106343)

We don't have "riders" here in Australia

Re:I'm prepared to offer a solution (1)

Mal-2 (675116) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106703)

No, it only means THIS PARTICULAR proposal is off the table for five years. One proposing ONLY to fund education, or one proposing ONLY to put baseball bats up everyone's asses (or in some other combination, just not with each other) would still be allowed to be proposed. Not only that, but only reasonably connected items should be allowed to be on the same bill in the first place. No more "increase veterans benefits (and build a bridge to nowhere)" kind of omnibus bills. Thus, unless the proposal was to educate everyone about the benefits and proper technique of shoving baseball bats up their asses, it would not be able to be on an education bill.

Mal-2

Re:I'm prepared to offer a solution (1)

Mal-2 (675116) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106747)

Also note that I said it has to come to a full vote and be defeated. There is no penalty if it is shot down in committee and never brought to the floor.

Perhaps there should also be no penalty if it passes in one house of the legislature but is defeated in the other. This would only kick in if both houses say no -- though as things are now, the second house usually does not vote if the other has already shot something down. This way, the Senate or House (in the U.S., I do not know their equivalents in Australia) could step up and say "this is so stupid, we're going to shoot it down too -- just so the sponsors of this bill have to shut the fuck up."

Mal-2

Re:the people who push this crap (1)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106071)

a legislature is a representation of the will of the people.
I believe that it was INTENDED to be such, sadly it seems to me that South Park summed it up very eloquently with their episode Debate 2004 [southparkstudios.com] .
In Australia we do not even have an option [wikipedia.org] to protest against the major parties, we had a person (Albert Langer [wikipedia.org] ) gaoled for showing people how to legally make sure their vote does not end up going to a major party. The rules were changed to "fix the loop-hole".

in other words (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106537)

the legislature still represents the will of the people

but you just don't understand that, because you think "major party" is some sort of abstract concept of oppression, rather than what it is: the fucking will of the fucking people

you are cynical, ultranegative, helpness, and uneducated, and prone to hysterical conclusions about the society you live in and how it really works

you fucking cite SOUTH PARK, jesus christ. you apparently like to telegraph your lowest common denominator thinking and expect what, respect?

you are one step above a slave, by your own thinking

if democratic societies fail, and they do, they do through the thinking of people just like you: the perfect cowered helpless sniveling worm

when an autocrat rises in a democratic society, and begins to chip away at its democratic institutions, he depends upon the common man to do nothing about it, for reasons THAT ARE YOUR EXACT SAME THOUGHT PROCESSES

your government, worm, is an extension of your will, REALLY

go ahead, refute that

when you do, you do it for reasons that are failures of your own retarded thinking, and become part of the fucking problem

fucking loser

Re:Sadly there is no off switch for crap. (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105699)

"It can face any number of deaths in committee, or beat-downs when held to a vote, and it doesn't die. Yet it takes only one passing vote to put it on the books forever."

Different time-periods have different people with different opinions. You can't expect a law that was voted down once to remain undiscussable forever because it would hamper any change and would allow sneaky blockage of laws(by trying to introduce a law that will never pass thus banashing it forever).

Trying to create a bureaucracy that will these kinds of laws is impossible. If you want to stop cencorship laws like these you will have to go to the root, the politicians who voted for this and the people who voted for the politicians.

This message does not imply any endorsement of certain politicians and/or civilians or viewpoints about the laws of Australia nor does this message denounce any politician or other civilian.

Over 9000 people? Australia? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26105551)

Yeap ... leave it to the leftards to confuse pitiful folkloric gatherings with mass rallies and a full country behind it. /P

Austrailians? Coming out of the basement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26105575)

"Vegeta, how many Australians are protesting internet censorship?"

"OVER 9000!!!"

"If they are out there protesting, who's gonna feed the children they keep in their basements?"

A DINGO ATE MAH BEBEH (5, Insightful)

SinShiva (1429617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105585)

http://nocleanfeed.com/ [nocleanfeed.com] - i personally have not been and likely never will go to australia, but if you are a citizen, you would be hurting the rest of the world if you didn't help fight censorship. keep on trucking, aussies.

21,531,615 ppl strong! (2, Insightful)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105603)

Incredible showing of people and protest. That % of people rallying behind anything is sure to make a change!

I'd type in the sarcastic font but /. doesn't support that tag, pity really.

7000 people, that is a joke! (5, Insightful)

viiviiviivii (459313) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105631)

I haven't been back home for almost 5 years, but it saddens me to see that only 7000 people were in protest.

Come on, there was 1/2 a million for the anti Iraq rallies, I guess since the public couldn't stop the government on that one they just can't be bothered anymore.

I never realised Australia had a problem with an over controlling government until I moved to Europe.

Something has to be done before you all just give up all of your rights!

Re:7000 people, that is a joke! (1)

QCompson (675963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105787)

I haven't been back home for almost 5 years, but it saddens me to see that only 7000 people were in protest.

It is sad. Those pictures of the protest on computerworld.com make the gathering look pathetic. I've seen more people waiting in line for "doorbuster" sales at box stores. Not a diverse bunch either, mostly 20something nerdy types.

Re:7000 people, that is a joke! (1)

CaptainDefragged (939505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106369)

It is sad, however, the media has not got behind this like they did with the anti Iraq rallies, anti gun rallies etc. Without the self righteous media - I'm looking at you Daily Telegraph - telling the sheeple what to do, they won't do it.

Re:7000 people, that is a joke! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26105939)

It was raining heavily, and it's the pre-xmas party season.

Parts of europe already have internet censorship, so .au is ahead there.

Mostly people don't want it I think -- from the various people I've talked to, and the reactions in different media. However people aren't as passionate about it as going to war for bullshit reasons.

Hopefully this new government will listen to people. We kicked the last government out when they didn't listen.

Socialism, Nanny state knows best (-1, Flamebait)

dinther (738910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106137)

Hey, you Aussie guys were fine until you voted the socialists in. Stupid thing to do which will bring Australia down on it's knees in this economic climate.

So glad here in NZ we finally managed to kick out the socialist nannies and see their crazy laws repealed every week.

Pitty everywhere else people turn towards socialism like the Americans with their Obamesiah. It will kill the land of the free if it still exists.

Re:7000 people, that is a joke! (4, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106413)

I haven't been back home for almost 5 years, but it saddens me to see that only 7000 people were in protest. Come on, there was 1/2 a million for the anti Iraq rallies, I guess since the public couldn't stop the government on that one they just can't be bothered anymore.

I agree that the number is rather low, but keep in mind that a war based on false intelligence is something more people can understand, as opposed to internet regulations that only (well mostly) internet techies really care about.

Re:7000 people, that is a joke! (3, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106481)

Nobody turned up except the tinfoil hat types because most people who know anything about it also know it's not going to pass the senate. The entire project was set up to plactate senator Fielding from the "Family First" party. Because of the current make-up of the senate he gets to be "the decider" in certain political stand-offs. The previous government did something similar because belive it or not some people do want the govt to censor the net, and they have themselves a senator.

"Something has to be done before you all just give up all of your rights!

If the "Family First" party was more popular then I might think about getting off my arse, but as it stands my "rights" are intact and are likely to stay that way.

"Come on, there was 1/2 a million for the anti Iraq rallies, I guess since the public couldn't stop the government on that one they just can't be bothered anymore."

As with the US, Aussies had a chance to show their displeasure at the war by kicking the bums out at the next election, they chose not to do so.

Re:7000 people, that is a joke! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106867)

Original Poster here:

I think the protests could have been better adevertised (viral etc.), and there could have been A LOT more interaction with the public (talking to people individually, etc.). They should have held the protest in Rundle Mall, where there's loads of people, instead of the steps of Parliament on North Terrace were there were very few people apart from the protesters.

(Maybe they wouldn't have been able to get a protest permit for Rundle Mall, but at least get a couple people down there advertising the protest.)

Re:7000 people, that is a joke! (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106951)

It's your right to protest but having seen the same political theater many time before I firmly belive you are tilting at windmills.

Re:7000 people, that is a joke! (1)

daBass (56811) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107027)

The problem is that mainstream media completely ignores this and so most people don't know that it is happening.

Unbelievable, but true. I have seen some coverage on the clean feed plans in the opinion and IT pages of The Australian, but nowhere else.

Freedom isn't free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26105701)

Freedom isn't free. In order to be free, we need to fight terrorism. And how are we going to fight terrorism if we let people read whatever they want? Don't we need to censor things for their own good? Did Australia leave the British, ditching the Queen, just for they could have freedom of speech?

Oh wait.

Re:Freedom isn't free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26105989)

If you don't chuck in your Buck 'o Five, who will?

a different take (3, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105725)

What amuses me about this censorship is the fundamental lack of understanding of the Internet as it stands today.

There is a perception that it is websites that contain the kinds of material to be blocked, and for some countries, the conversations to prevent.

Whats wrong with this? Online games, that's what. Even at this early stage its possible for people to meet in groups online in games and talk.

mummorpegers are becoming more complex as time rolls on, and with them, the ways in which players can interact. My son does all his online chatting in game, or through things like steams speech comms.

Can these be censored? Not easily, if at all, about the best the can do is prevent swearing, and that assumes a list of pre-established stop words. Apply censorship more complex than swear filters to online games and you kill them, because the costs of administering the censorship would outstrip the money to be made, or dent it so much as to make it non viable.

Then there's the fact that not all online games are run by conveniently visible corporations, a trend also likely to continue.

Re:a different take (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106157)

Wait, wait, it's not really about keeping kids from getting access to obscene material or being molested online. For that, as you point out, it would fail on so many levels. That's just the smokescreen to make people agree with it who only give it a cursory glance and now question the efficiency (as you do). Too few do that. The usual reaction is a nod and a "if they say so, it sounds like something that might work". People in general don't know too much about the inner workings of the internet. And when the government says that something they use will block out those threats to kids, the train of logic is usually that they prolly employed some expert eggheads who know their shit and that those eggheads developed that, and that this should work out and do its job.

What people don't question is the governments motivation to do something. After all, we live in a democracy, right? So our governments have to do what's good for us, if they didn't they'd be voted out, right?

That's the fallacy here.

Re:a different take (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106749)

Even at this early stage its possible for people to meet in groups online in games and talk.

Ever hear of IRC [wikipedia.org] ? It's only been around for... um... 20 years.

Australia says "Show us your map of Tassie!" (3, Informative)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105755)

For those of you that don't understand the reference Tasmania is a state of Australia that is an island and shaped something like an upsidedown triangle. "Show us your map of Tassie" is slang and translates to "show us your pubic hair".

Re:Australia says "Show us your map of Tassie!" (1)

cfryback (870729) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105921)

Let's not forget the two-headed jokes as well!

Re:Australia says "Show us your map of Tassie!" (3, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106813)

An upside-down triangle? What does that even mean? I didn't know triangles had a "right " way up. A triangle is simply a triangle, whatever its orientation.

Re:Australia says "Show us your map of Tassie!" (1)

Scott Francis[Mecham (336) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107007)

I can't determine whether this post needs the "-1, Missing the forest for the trees" moderation, or the "-69, What do you mean it's not normally blank down there?"

slated (2, Insightful)

julian67 (1022593) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105783)

"Over 9,000 people were slated to attend" Slated to attend? That's not even English, it's barely bad journalese. It seems to be a way to avoid saying "25 people attended, with 2 crappy banners, and nobody cares. We'd better make up some shit so we don't look totally ineffectual".

Re:slated (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106049)

Seriously! Over 9000!? Using /b/ memes to prove we don't need internet censorship might not be the best way to go about this...

More info, Really, don't click this. [encycloped...matica.com]

Re:slated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106981)

Original Poster here:

The first speaker at the protest rally was one of the people who participated in organising the event. He said in his speech that more than 9,000 people were supposed to attend (obviously nobody would know the actual number until the protest were over). I realised the meme-ish-ness (more bad English, don't you love it?) of my statement but that's what he said.

Re:slated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106933)

I should ring up the Oxford English Dictionary headquarters and tell them that "slate" doesn't mean (among other things) "to schedule or designate".

Wikipedia still censors. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26105817)

Jimbo Wales should be ashamed of himself [wikipedia.org]

He is a hippocrite when comes to censorship, if any one remembers last weeks wiki-censor.

There are always censors, doing it in the name of their "god" or "for the children".

green left weekly (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105865)

omg where do i start with this one. for a start, what the hell does the green left weekly mag have that's informative on isp filtering? I'm sorry i missed it though, it'd be nice to attend just to see them eating their words because they are the type that rabidly supported rudd during the election.

Re:green left weekly (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106041)

"[The green left] are the type that rabidly supported rudd during the election"

Ummm, wouldn't they rabidly support the greens?

Re:green left weekly (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106345)

yes, but they knew the greens have no chance at winning government. they supported them for the senate. they hated howard with a passion even though they've never had it so good as they did under him.

Re:green left weekly (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106613)

"they knew the greens have no chance at winning government. they supported them for the senate."

Ahhhh timmarthy, your flame has burnt your brain out again. If you had a glimmer of understanding about how the Australian political system works on preferential voting you would realise the glaring error in that statement. Now run off and look at how in the end Howard was "hated" by the people who voted for him, so much so that he was only the second PM to ever lose his own seat.

Re:green left weekly (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106979)

please enlighten me with all your understanding then. i know exactly how the preferences game works, it's why you get accosted at the polling boths because all the parties want you to just tick their box and let them deciede how to cast the rest of your vote. The greens have always sucked up to labour for them, hence the support.

howard was on the recieving end of the most concerted ad campgain ever, labour trotted out Mccue like a celebratie, and it was still down to the wire inspite of it.

Re:green left weekly (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26107009)

Great stuff, you should write for "the Onion".

Re:green left weekly (1)

Wasteland_Frier (1419775) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106327)

OT: I hate these people :/ They always seem to want to yell at me in union court for loving my own consumerist ways and wanting to earn my own money.

Doesn't just affect radicals and porn. (1)

swordfishBob (536640) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105879)

I missed news reports, but going off the story here and comments I'm disappointed in the focus.
I don't want the pollies to think this is only an issue for civil-liberarian fringe groups, greens, and porn consumers.
No, I wasn't there; I live 600km from the nearest held rally.

Re:Doesn't just affect radicals and porn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106225)

In a few years when the thought police are kicking down your door for posting on subversive websites like slashdot, will you say "Oh well, I could have prevented my country turning into an even bigger shit hole but unfortunately I was 600km away" ;) .

Children's Groups don't like this either (2, Informative)

cfryback (870729) | more than 5 years ago | (#26105899)

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2008/11/28/1227491813497.html?page=fullpage [theage.com.au] You know it is bad when children's groups want clean feed as well.

Re:Children's Groups don't like this either (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106213)

If they're serious about protection of kids, the last thing they want is governmental filters.

As a parent, you and only you should be the one telling what your kids can and cannot see. It is your job to educate and raise your kids. Not the government's. And certainly not mine. More importantly, why the heck should I suffer from blocked out webpages because someone cannot be bothered to supervise their kids online?

If you are to protect kids, give them the tools and knowledge to defend themselves against predators using the internet. Teach them that they may never give away personal information online. Teach them that privacy is important, and why it is. Teach them that personal data is valuable and that people and even organisations can and do abuse it.

That's something your government won't do for you. After all, they're in the business of wanting to know everything about you, too, so the very last thing it will teach your children is to keep their privacy private.

Re:Children's Groups don't like this either (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106869)

Thanks for the link, the Age is one of our better rags. Notice the last sentance - "Senator Conroy's spokesman, Tim Marshall, has consistently failed to respond to requests for comment on the issue.".

I have said from the beginning that Conroy does not support this, however going through the motions of a "trial" is the price KRuddy must pay to get senator Fielding on side for a majority in the Senate. Conroy has provided what Fielding wanted and is now trying to point the media back at Fielding, by the time the next election comes around the only thing people will remeber about Fielding will be his failed attempt to censor the net.

"You know it is bad when children's groups want clean feed as well."

All "childern's groups" are not created equal, for example Fielding is from the "Family First" party but he represents religious nutters.

Violence is the best protest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26105985)

A nationwide armed revolt and mass execution of government officials would have been a more proportionate response, but I suppose 9,000 people shaking their fists is a start.

Re:Violence is the best protest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106279)

Shame aussies are complete pussies and will gladly bend over for the government cock up the rear. Over here this would never happen because even though we got a house nigger voted in, he has enough sense to remember what happened to MLK. God bless the USA!

Is this the best that you can do? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106073)

HUNDREDS of people attended rallies in Australian capital cities yesterday to voice their opposition to the Rudd Government's planned internet filtering scheme. In Sydney a crowd of up to 300 mostly young and tech-savvy protestors gathered at Town Hall to hear guest speakers including bloggers and musicians criticise the web filtering scheme Digital Liberty Coalition protests against web filter held across Australia [news.com.au]

.

A crowd of several hundred gathered at Stirling Gardens in Perth today to rally against the Australian Government's plans for mandatory censorship of the Internet. A Facebook page titled, Perth Australians against Internet Censorship, Say No to Mandatory Internet Filtering states that the Australian government was 'quietly going ahead with plans to filter all Australian's access to the internet in a manner similar to the People's Republic of China and Iran.' Protestors rally against internet censorship [thewest.com.au]

A rally to protest against the Federal Government's plans to filter the internet is underway in Brisbane. About 200 people are at Brisbane Square in the CBD for the rally which is part of a national day of protest. They say the Government's proposals are internet censorship and will make the net slower. Brisbane protesters rally against web filter plans [abc.net.au]

I've seen bigger crowds line up to drop coins in the kettle for the Salvation Army.

Re:Is this the best that you can do? (1)

Chuq (8564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106377)

The weather was fairly bad all across the country on Saturday which would have put a lot of people off. In Hobart it was so bad they postponed the entire event until next week. It will be interesting to see how many we get ...

SAVED! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106201)

I thought I was going to have to endure an entire day on Slashdot without the obligatory Australian story and almost committed suicide, but Timothy came through for me at the last moment!

Bless you, little Timmy! The whole world needs to discover just how great and important we are, which is why everybody is so lucky to have you and kdawson leading the Aussie cheer on Slashdot!

More like ... (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106301)

... Australia says "No [expletive deleted] way!" to Internet censorship.

not helping this guy... (1)

steveaustin1971 (1094329) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106319)

Our liveleak friend is looking at 15 yrs for reposting the "swinging baby" video in australia... I hope they stop ARGO before he lands in jail... http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=769_1228810670 [liveleak.com]

The Right to Freedom on the Net (0, Troll)

rarez (107909) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106585)

I am Australian and I do not accept internet censorship lightly although I was unable to attend the protest. Krudd (Kevin Rudd) wants to copy china and maybe he even has plans to stop people talking about the government in the future too.

I believe we need freedom of speech in our democracy we have a echelon(well one i know of), spooks (people posing as children to catch pedophiles) which most other countries have but we've seen ads on television about it. And well last I knew the AFP where allowed to break into your computer without a warrant if you fall into a certain category.

So there are enough crazy measures in place without the need for "Australia's Great Firewall".

That's all.

Two likely outcomes: (1)

D_Blackthorne (1412855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106657)

  1. The Australian government listens to the people and to experts on the subject and dumpsterize the whole idea
  2. The Australian government doesn't listen to the people, go ahead with their plan, it fails miserably. Government officials backing the plan are discredited for time and taxpayer money wasted, hopefully are ousted

Either way this sort of ill-conceived idea is discredited even further, and hopefully more governments will take heed and NOT consider it.

No news coverage (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26106795)

One of the reasons for poor turn-out is that I have not seen even ONE news report, nor newspaper article on this. The only information regarding this has purely been on slashdot, computerworld, and a couple of youtube videos. How can people protest something if they don't know what is going on? I certain that there are many other people who would protest this, but they don't even know that it is happening behind their backs

real crowd may be closer to 1,000 (2, Informative)

Michael Wardle (50363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106825)

According to news.com.au, the attendance in Sydney was about 300 [news.com.au] , so you'd assume nationwide it was closer to 1,000.

It was also raining, which didn't help.

Let's be clear. (1)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 5 years ago | (#26106887)

Internet censorship like this isn't just internet censorship.

The internet isn't a thing - a single service - it's the end result of a whole bunch of private and public networks voluntarily choosing to use common protocols and volunatrily choosing to let certain groups administer some limited aspects (IP space, name space, etc).

The government making it law that this must be censored is the government saying :You are not allowed to establish digital communication with anyone else unless it's passed through our filters, and we decide what data goes and stays.

This remains true no matter how pretty you dress it up.

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