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Will Australia Follow China's Google Ban?

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the we-come-from-a-land-down-under dept.

Australia 280

gadgetopia writes "A news report in Forbes says that China has blocked Google with its great firewall; now the world waits to see if Australia's Minister for Censorship, Senator Stephen Conroy, will do the same following his outrageous attacks on Google."

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Lol? Sif it will happen. (4, Insightful)

quarrel (194077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672350)

Politics might be stupid in Australia, like lots of places. But no, it won't go the same was as China.

We have transparency and rule of law.

However fucked out Communications Minister might be.

--Q

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672430)

>>>rule of law.

"What's that?" - leader
"No clue." - other leader

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (4, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672584)

>>>rule of law.

"What's that?" - leader
"No clue." - other leader

"Well, fuck off then." -voter in next election*

*only valid in literate and civically active cultures

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672648)

Most voters don't know what rule of law is either.
Look how many of them think the Constitution is just a piece of paper,
and therefore Parliament can do whatever it wants.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (2, Informative)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672964)

Most voters don't know what rule of law is either. Look how many of them think the Constitution is just a piece of paper, and therefore Parliament can do whatever it wants.

The Tea Partiers seem to be stirring up some interest. If they ever discover the real cause of their tax burden [warresisters.org] and the reality of effective commercial tax rates [reclaimdemocracy.org] , I'm afraid their loving relationship with the GOP and it's corporate outlets [foxnews.com] will quickly deteriorate. [debbieschlussel.com]

PS (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673056)

PS. Be careful - you could end up arguing for publicly financed, non-profit news sources.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (4, Interesting)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673478)

You're forgetting that the "tea partiers" are largely defined by Faux News. They are whatever Fox tells them to be.

My favorite was Stewart's last-night moment of Zen - they had a clip from Fox with some woman going "well we need to fight this because he's a communist!". The commentator says "well, he's not a communist" and she says "well then he's a progressive which is the new code word for communist. Glenn Beck taught me that"

I find it terribly hard to believe those people actually have any independent beliefs. If they really were annoyed about parliamentary procedures that circumvent the will of the people, how about the Bush tax cuts for big business that were done the same way?

LOOK! Over there! A DAMN DIRTY WHIG! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673750)

That woman was Saturday Night Live alumna Victoria Jackson [wikipedia.org] . Made me wonder if she wasn't intentionally trolling Fox in some sort of lame attempt at guerrilla comedy to resuscitate her non-existent career.


It's kind of sad that our country has that large a group of people dumb enough that their well-founded ire can be so crassly misdirected like that.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (4, Interesting)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673812)

As any good democratic socialist, I believe that people will eventually arrive at the truth. Fox is damming a flood of people asking questions, and hoping that they will stick to the script. Throw in a few dark horses like Ron Paul, who doesn't toe the line on the narrative Fox likes to present, and Fox is only ensuring that they will be completely washed out once the dam breaks.

The damage they are doing to our country in terms of the destruction of the middle class, our ability to manufacture our own goods, and our outright dependence on islamic fundamentalist states for our energy needs may end up catapulting the nation into a great period of misery. That's why I'm headed outside of the fallout line.

China is scooping up every bit of available raw resources, and we're patting ourselves on the back for innovations like facebook and the iPad and air conditioned seats. Rome will fall, but how hard and how fast is largely dependent on how long people continue to delude themselves.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (2, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674104)

>>>Stewart's last-night moment of Zen - they had a clip from Fox

No they didn't. That was a comedy bit. It was fake. You can't tell the difference? As for the communist bit, I think Obama's policies are more simply: Anti-choice. And being I'm a Pro-Choice kind of guy, I find Obama's taking away of my choices ("buy healthcare or be fined!") to be objectionable. It makes me feel like I'm a serf rather than a free individual.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673752)

The tea partiers have no love for the GOP and are not comprised of only republicans. The thing is that the GOP is essentially trying to co-opt the movement.

And some of those stats you provide are outright nonsense. I'd consider this [nytimes.com] a more legitimate source. The highest I've seen elsewhere was on CNBC where they report 42 cents of every dollar goes to the military, 28.7 cents to current spending, 10 cents to interest on past and present military debt and 3.5 cents to Veterans.

I call BS on the story about commercial tax rates but I currently don't have the time or inclination to find evidence to back up my claim.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673918)

I call BS on the story about commercial tax rates but I currently don't have the evidence to back up my claim.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673998)

>>>GOP and it's corporate outlets

I have no great love for the GOP, but if they keep their promise to return to conservatism, they are still the lesser evil from the Tea Party point-of-view.

After all, it's not the GOP that's trying to shove ACTA down our throats and the Mandatory Hospitalization Suppository up our ass. ACTA and this recent healthcare reform directly benefits the Democrats' buddies in Hollywood and the Insurance Corporations. Pople who think the Dems are not in bed with corporations are in denial.

BTW your pie chart is wrong.

For some odd reason it excludes Social Security and Medicare which are the biggest pieces of the pie. It would have to be, what with the government sending ~$700 checks to ~60 million Americans each month. That's about 6 times the military budget. (Please note I'm not saying military is okay; I'm antiwar and think Obama is an ___ for not ending it in 2010 as he promised.)

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674300)

Please note I'm not saying military is okay; I'm antiwar and think Obama is an ___ for not ending it in 2010 as he promised

He's also an ass for breaking his promise not to impose a health insurance mandate, his promise to support a filibuster of any bill containing telecom immunity, his promise not to raise taxes on those earning <$250,000, blah, blah, blah.

Meet the new boss, same as the old.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674318)

it's not the GOP that's trying to shove ACTA down our throats and the Mandatory Hospitalization Suppository up our ass

Yeah. They just suspended habeas corpus, cut taxes for the wealthy while leading the country to war, and reduced corporate income tax rates for every corporation, not just "Hollywood" and insurance companies. I can see how draconian copyright laws and mandating health insurance and requiring insurance companies to pay out - the same way we mandate car insurance - can really get on your nerves.

I hold no loyalty to any political party, and I don't delude myself with visions of (D) fixing all of the problems. As far as extricating themselves from corporate influence, the GOP has zero chance, and the Democrats maybe one in five.

For some odd reason it excludes Social Security

People pay into social security, and then get money out. It has not cost the Federal Government any money in it's history. The disaster scenario you keep hearing about is that if no changes are made to the retirement age, due to the improvements in life expectancy, Social Security would only fund 75% of what is promised in 2020 or sometime thereafter.

Our analysis is based on federal funds, which do not include trust funds -- such as Social Security -- that are raised separately from income taxes for specific purposes.

http://www.warresisters.org/federalpiechart [warresisters.org]

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (0)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673116)

Most libertarians completely misinterpret the Constitution and its creators' intent to satisfy their own selfish ideas. Look how many of them fail to realize the founders created the Constitution in secret, undocumented save for one man, and without the mandate of the people who were already governed by a decentralized Articles of Confederation.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31673926)

You forget (or omit) that the states still had to ratify the new constitution, and that the Continental Congress ultimately voted to send the new Constitution to the states for ratification.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674200)

>>>without the mandate of the people who were already governed by a decentralized Articles of Confederation.

The Articles of Confederation was a contract between sovereign States.
The U.S. Constitution was a contract between sovereign States.

Nothing really changed, other than the organization of the central government. And you say it was "hidden" but the words are right there on the page. Just read them. If you have doubt of their meaning, do what the U.S. Court does and read the original intent of the words from Madison (the guy who wrote the thing) - a weak central government with specific, enumerated powers, where most power was reserved to the original 13 State Governments.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31673554)

*only valid in literate and civically active cultures

Which pretty much excludes Australia.

The Australian sense of superiority to the U.S. has always made me chuckle. I've lived in Australia, and have had Australians live in my house here in the states. By all measures they're rednecks with an amusing accent. Sophisticates they are not.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674248)

*only valid in literate and civically active cultures

Have any of those existed since Athens?

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672632)

At the risk of invoking Godwin's Law, I should point out that Germany before the 1930's was almost unquestionably the most academically and intellectually sophisticated country in the world. If you had went back to Germany in the 20's and told them that within 20 years, their country would elect one of the most intolerant demagogues and world history as dictator and begin systematically committing the genocide of a sizable portion of their population, they would have laughed at the thought. We always like to think that we're above devolving into brutality, oppression, and totalitarianism; but things can fall apart amazingly fast once you start heading down a certain road. I wouldn't just dismiss it so casually.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31673050)

*phew* Good thing the US of A got off that path before it was too late!

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (5, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673166)

...but things can fall apart amazingly fast once you start heading down a certain road.

They sure do, but it is still by no means certain this legislation will pass. The Australian Government needs the support of the Senate to get its legislation through Parliament, and it has already had several setbacks in that regard, hence the likelihood of a double dissolution election this year.

Conroy himself is an arrogant little shit, and apparently Kevin Rudd is being equally so by leaving the asswipe in that portfolio. But we can hope that the Opposition's taste for obstructionism might yet be put to some worthwhile use.

specifically (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673278)

when your economy is trashed by greedy speculation then fear and hysteria. that's what sent germany to the dogs: the great depression, the collapse of the financial world

aka, what the world just experiences in 2008 (on a much smaller scale, true)

but this historical parallel leads us to four observations:

1. the angry tea partiers, with their brick throwing and insane murderous anger, IS kristallnacht, on a smaller scale

2. intolerant deluded propagandized fools hording guns in the woods are the seeds of fascism, NOT our protectors from fascism

3. we need strong government regulation in the financial sector, and the assholes (greenspan and co) who dismantled the 1930s era (irony) protections need to be grilled a la congressional hearings and roundly castigated for their dangerous irresponsibility

4. hopefully the world, and the usa, can weather this horde of angry morons out of work, the seeds of fascism, without them crystallizing around some modern day hitler-like demagogue and mounting a political (and visceral: they love guns) challenge to civilization. and then let the retards fade away into history

interesintg note: many tea partiers receive government benefits (unemployment, medicaid)... while they rail against government aid. they go to tea party rallies... instead of looking for work. fucking ignorant hypocrites

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/us/politics/28teaparty.html [nytimes.com]

Re:specifically (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673650)

"the seeds of fascism". One of the most well-coined expressions I met this year in a political debate. I will be using that one when arguing against the current security hype. Thanks, mate.

yeah but i am referring to (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673814)

paranoid idiots with guns, not the government

Re:specifically (0, Troll)

Jerf (17166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673786)

You're being manipulated. Evidence that Tea Partiers are violent has been almost entirely fabricated; when pressed for concrete evidence, nobody can actually produce any despite significant motivation. If you feel otherwise, please feel free to link the video on YouTube that proves your point.

Skip the part where you link to more vague hit pieces on the New York Times, please. I'm asking for concrete evidence, which in this age of video-cameras-on-every-phone is hardly asking for much.

IMHO, Tea Partiers are the ones trying to stop the full-on march to fascism, not create it. You can not create a fascist government regime by campaigning to strip the government of power! That's just stupid. Look to the ones trying to collect government power.

that's right! (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673888)

there's no fascism in somalia for example. it is a utopia of people free of government living in happiness and prosperity. unlike socialist european countries with their silly concern for the common good, mired in poverty and misery

and i am sorry for smearing the tea party the way i do. clearly, i have absolutely zero evidence of any tea party anger. it's a meek polite debate society of highly intelligent philosophers. all of their language and actions is something out of '60s love in. and i have absolutely zero, zero! proof to the contrary. i apologize deeply for my horrible misunderstandings

pfffffffffft

Re:that's right! (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674208)

You did it again...

Re:that's right! (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674226)

You're acting like a complete moron.

No, there is no fascism in Somalia. It's basically an anarchy. What we have in the USA, today, is fascism: corporations running the government and writing our laws. Neither fascism nor anarchy are desirable things, but you're not going to gain any fans by calling things things they aren't.

As for European countries, they're democratic socialist, and a far cry from the style of government we have in the USA, because they don't allow corporations to have complete control over their government the way we do.

As for the Tea Party, no you don't have any real evidence against them, except for the smear campaign in the media. That doesn't mean they're wonderful; after all, they had Sarah Palin do speeches for them, which immediately turned me against them, and they've hooked up with a bunch of other crappy corrupt politicians (like JD Hayworth here in Arizona), but that doesn't make them violent, just angry. The Tea Party is just an expression by a lot of voters of the frustration they have with the corrupt government (which you apparently are a big fan of) which has enacted deficit spending to levels unheard of in history, which has only served to bail out rich people and done nothing for regular middle-class (or lower) people.

It's funny how liberal Democrats like you used to claim that you were in favor of helping out the lower classes, but when the shit hit the fan (the mortgage meltdown), you proved that the only people you really cared about were the very rich, just like the Republicans. (Before you object to my statement, your beloved Democrats are in control of the government, and I'm only judging them by their own actions.)

For anyone sick of these corrupt politicians, the only REAL answer is to vote out ALL incumbents, regardless of party, and ONLY elect INDEPENDENT candidates. Anyone who's a Republican or a Democrat should NOT be elected, under any circumstance. These corrupt parties (which are really just two sides of the same coin) are the source of our problems, and the only way to fix the problems is to eliminate these parties. Our Founding Father George Washington wrote about his dislike and distrust of political parties, because he knew they would simply cause the very problems we're having with them now.

"What we have in the USA, today, is fascism" (2, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674332)

i stopped reading there

the usa has plenty of problems

but if you believe the usa government is fascist, in any way, simply means you're low iq, highly propagandized, and beneath the intellectual charity of paying anymore attention to your ignorance

please wake the fuck up from your delusions

Re:specifically (2, Insightful)

frog_strat (852055) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674430)

The Tea Partiers are right when they say power corrupts and we should be wary of it concentrating too much in the govt. But why are they blind to the same thing happening with corporations ? It is just as bad or worse.

Re:specifically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31674030)

I keep hearing this BS about how tea partiers have this insane murderous anger. Outside of a handful of fringe idiots, where is all the violence? You would have thought, that if these people were all violent lunatics given all the demonstrations that there have been held we'd be seeing riots. Ironically, it was the anti-war nuts who went on rampages during the Bush years vandalizing property and causing trouble. If you disagree with this administration and it's policies you're either a bigot or some gun-toting, bible-thumping nut. Apparently it's okay to stereotype and cast aspersions when you're talking about conservatives.

i'm certain (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674130)

there's some very polite well tempered tea party activists

but what is the basis of tea party passion?: anger. anger at the government

you don't have a large movement whose root emotion is anger, without violence somewhere. which we've already seen, and will see more of. its inevitable. the way you talk, the tea part is some sort of philosophical debate society. sell that bullshit elsewhere please

Re:specifically (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674326)

>>>1. the angry tea partiers, with their brick throwing and insane murderous anger, IS kristallnacht, on a smaller scale

You clearly don't know history. The destruction of Jewish stores/homes was perpetrated by government employees working for the National Socialist Party. Tea Party supporters are not government employees.
.

>>>2. intolerant deluded propagandized fools hording guns in the woods are the seeds of fascism

No. Hitler banned private ownership of guns in order to prevent backlash, because he knew the danger if citizens finally got fed-up and started shooting back. (See the Jewish Ghetto uprisings for examples.)

In a truly free society government does not need to fear the gun, because it is obeying the people's wishes rather than ignoring them.

Re:specifically (3, Informative)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674342)

when your economy is trashed by greedy speculation then fear and hysteria. that's what sent germany to the dogs: the great depression, the collapse of the financial world

Germany went downhill because of the brutal raping it received in the peace treaty after WWI. That is also what caused the overwhelming resentment of the rest of the world (or at least the rest of Europe and the US) which resulted in Hitler's rise to power.

we need strong government regulation in the financial sector

We need regulation - however, once you hit a certain point, regulation turns into control, which then harms the economy due to government officials not having the slightest clue about how to run a company, let alone an entire industry.

the assholes (greenspan and co) who dismantled the 1930s era (irony) protections need to be grilled a la congressional hearings and roundly castigated for their dangerous irresponsibility

Actually it was the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) that lead to the housing bubble / slew of bad mortgages. The CRA was started by Carter and strengthened by Clinton and it existed to put pressure on banks to give loans to people (specifically mortgages) who would normally be turned away by banks (due to the high risk of them defaulting) because the government thought everyone should own a home, even if they can't afford it. That resulted in millions of people getting mortgages when they never should have had one as well as ballooning home prices. Add on top of that the fact that the average American spends way more than they earn each year (usually on crap they don't need) and you have a recipe for financial disaster. If the banks had been left alone and the CRA never existed, then home prices would have stayed in check (look at historical averages, home prices always adjusted for inflation but in real dollars, they stayed essentially constant - once the CRA was strengthened, all of the sudden home prices started going up way faster than inflation) and there wouldn't be anywhere near as many people defaulting on mortgages. The current recession is about 60% the fault of average citizens racking up way too much debt (mainly on credit cards) and about 40% the government naively pushing banks to give risky mortgages (which exacerbated the problem of people racking up too much debt).

I find it amusing that you demonize the Tea Partiers (who have no official group, it's a generic term given to anyone upset about government control of our lives and government taking away our freedom) for being "fascists" when the whole reason they're upset is because they don't want fascism.

the banks were being deregulated (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674462)

under clinton and then gwbush

that's the source of the 2008 collapse

really, that's the truth, plain and simple, deal with it

but thanks for the attempts at partisan smearing: "it's carter's fault! and then (insert creative reasoning in which no republican is ever mentioned) it's clinton's fault!"

carter?! LOL

how do you brain dead partisan assholes keep a straight face when you regurgitate this mental diarrhea? oh, right, you're brain dead, you're beyond the forces of embarrassment or irony or humor when you retch and cough up this mental pap. do you really believe the words you right? are you that fucking hypocritical and blind?

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (5, Insightful)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673358)

I am not sure if that is completely right. Sure, Germany in the 20s was on the one hand a academically and intellectually sophisticated country. On the other hand, it was a severely torn country, with large parts of the population not standing behind the transition from monarchy to democracy, a hugely polarized political scene with fighting between communists and fascists on the streets - a pressure cooker waiting for the lid to blow. That is probably actually one of the reasons for the vibrant cultural scene of the 20s, everything being overheated, everything being in overdrive. I am pretty sure that there was a significant percentage at least of the intellectual groups of Germany's society in the 20s who would not have dismissed your prediction, who felt that there was an explosion to come.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673600)

Very well seen. If the 20th century taught us anything, then it was this: any innocent-looking, peaceful society can almost without prior notice degenerate into a self-destructing monster, ruled by a tyrant. Which is a terrible and sad thing to say, but - alas - a true one.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (3, Informative)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673712)

Very well seen. If the 20th century taught us anything, then it was this: any innocent-looking, peaceful society can almost without prior notice degenerate into a self-destructing monster, ruled by a tyrant. Which is a terrible and sad thing to say, but - alas - a true one.

Perhaps then you can cite an example where this occurred?

The problem with the Weimar Republic was that it was a weak government deliberately imposed by outsiders who wanted Germany to stay crippled after the First World War. In addition, Germany paid huge war reparations and suffered through two horrible depressions including some of the worst hyperinflation ever seen. There were brutal suppression of certain dissent (for example, the National Socialists and the Communists). Finally, you have numerous parties including the German military and various categories of elites plotting the end of the Republic. The Republic mostly certainly was not an "innocent-looking, peaceful society".

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674422)

Italy was peaceful.
Spain was peaceful.
Cambodia was peaceful.

They all fell to facism (aka corporatism).

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673690)

Germany before the 1930's was

You can be the most academically and intellectually sophisticated country after you kill your left wing leaders in 1919-01-15, send right wing radicals to prison in 1923, economy is booming and your military expenditures are limited by treaty.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31673742)

That would be to ignore everything that happened before WWII. He did not end up in power because he was brutal. He ended up in power because the people of Germany LET him be there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I [wikipedia.org]

Many historians consider World War II to be the continuation of World War I. Everyone just was worn out after 1 and just decided to call it off for a bit. The reasons for WWI were not resolved.

EIN VOLK, EIN REICH, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31673988)

EIN OBAMA!

...let's check the facts. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31674250)

If you had went back to Germany in the 20's and told them that within 20 years, their country would elect one of the most intolerant demagogues and world history as dictator and begin systematically committing the genocide of a sizable portion of their population, they would have laughed at the thought.

They might not have expected actual genocide (I mean, no-one expects the Spanish Inquisition), but Weimar Germany was never a stable polity and everyone knew it. There was a monarchy before the war, which might not be Slashdot's favorite form of government, but it only got worse thereafter. The Kaiser's abdication in 1918 was immediately followed by violence in the streets between leftists and nationalists (who eventually all threw in their lot with the Nazis). There was even a short-lived "People's Republic of Bavaria" around this time, as well as the founding of the Nazi party itself. The various rebellions were eventually put down and replaced by the perpetually weak Weimar Republic, but they continued to operate. The brutal provisions of the Versailles treaty kept the country in a state of perpetual depression throughout the twenties (the famous hyperinflation was in 1923), causing widespread political discontent, characterized by street fights between socialists and nationalists. The government was already harassing leftist media outlets by the late 20's, before the Nazis even took power.

They might have been intellectually sophisticated, but politically and economically sophisticated they were not. I know Australia and the UK hate freedom a lot, so I'm not saying it couldn't happen there, but the situation in Weimar Germany is really not at all comparable.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31674286)

To clear something up: Hitler was not elected, the problem is nobody else was either. The parliament in germany was splitt in to too many groups so it was almost impossible to get the majority for president. To get around this the german cancelor had to hand the title from one group to the next. Hitler with his contacts within the police used the power to imprison all members of the oposing groups.
Since there where now laws dealing with this situation Hitler could and did rule germany with only the NSDAP in parliament. For the most germans the only visible change was positive. The parliament passed laws, created jobs (giant warmaschine) and found a group to blame for the poverty of the last decade (jews). Anyone speaking up against him was quickly silenced and the rest didn't care. After all the democratic goverment failed to provide any results in the years it existed and many people still remembered being ruled by a king where most things just worked (tm).

The german grundgesetz now has severall laws which only exist to stop a repeat of this. Members of parliament cannot be imprisoned, any group needs a minimal percentage of votes to get seats in the parliament and the german president is only there for public events.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31672646)

I don't think you can claim to have transparency while having a Minister of Censorship.

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (2, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673262)

I don't think you can claim to have transparency while having a Minister of Censorship.

The good thing is that the minister himself obviously doesn't believe in the effectiveness of his undisclosed blacklist. If the filter is any good, it shouldn't matter whether the contents of that list were made public or not, since the sites are supposed to be inaccessible in any case.

Bring on a minister who understands his portfolio...

[sigh]

Re:Lol? Sif it will happen. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31672680)

In the US they have transparency and the rule of law also. Problem is their government refuses to enforce the laws and claims national security trumps transparency.

Good Luck to us all Mate

You, sir, lack imagination (3, Interesting)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672686)

Ok, so Google has this "safe search" setting. Presumably if safe search is turned off at least some of what it returns will be material subject to bans in Australia. So it seems that is a perfect justification for banning Google, or at least requiring that Google queries pass through a government-controlled proxy server that can ensure that safe-search is always turned on.

Furthermore Australia has not had the best record of transparency regarding censorship either. For example, 9 Songs was given permission for screening but Comstock Films' documentaries were not, despite those documentaries winning awards (both contain graphic, explicit sexual content). Given that the government won't let citizens see what they are banning, what makes you confident that this won't be exercised in arbitrary ways?

Senator Stephen Conroy == Senator Joe McCarthy? (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672378)

Only a matter of time until the former discredits himself like the latter did. His railing against Google makes him sound foolish.

Re:Senator Stephen Conroy == Senator Joe McCarthy? (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672504)

Let's hope that his "McCarthy" moment comes soon. Unfortunately these kinds of delusional windbags are all too often give far too much rope, and while their fall is spectacular, there are a lot of casualties along the way.

Re:Senator Stephen Conroy == Senator Joe McCarthy? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673428)

Let's hope that his "McCarthy" moment comes soon.

I suspect that will only come when Kevin Rudd recognises him for the political liability that he is. His Senate seat is unfortunately safe, so he can only be kicked out from above. He certainly doesn't pay attention to submissions from the public. I have sent several, which have all elicited a premasticated PDF "fluff piece" response from his office.

I understand he (or his office) is probably too busy to respond properly, in which case it is better to say nothing at all than to insult the intelligence of someone who has taken the trouble to write to him.

Re:Senator Stephen Conroy == Senator Joe McCarthy? (2, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672578)

Since slashdot doesn't link to the actual comments, here's what was said:

Conroy went on television to take a shot at Google: "Recently the founders of Google have got themselves into a little bit of trouble because notwithstanding their alleged 'do no evil' policy, they recently created something called Buzz, and there was a reaction and people said, well look aren't you publishing private information?"

"They said the following: 'If you have something that you don't want anyone to know maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place'. This is the founder of Google. He also said recently to Wall Street analysts, 'we love cash', so when people say, shouldn't we just leave it up to the Googles of this world to determine what the filtering policy should be...."

Notice how this politicians ASSUMES that we want filtering (either by google or the government). We. Do. Not. I don't need my internet filtered either for me or my kids. Show me all the dirt and disgusting things that exist in the world. I can handle it.

So fuck off Conroy. (Yes I'm angry - I'm tired of politicians treating adults like their children to be babied.)

Re:Senator Stephen Conroy == Senator Joe McCarthy? (2, Informative)

tcr (39109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673222)

The comments look a bit suspicious to me.
If he's trying to spin it so the Eric Schmidt quote was _a reaction_ to the buzz privacy cockup, he's way off.
The quote was in Dec '09, and Buzz was released in Feb '10.
The Schmidt quote sounds inflammatory, but the gist is don't submit sensitive stuff to a public network that is constantly spidered.

Re:Senator Stephen Conroy == Senator Joe McCarthy? (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672592)

It took around a decade to discredit McCarthyism, and there's a small but significant group of right wing pundits who still defend him. While waiting for people like this to self destruct, it's important do your part and give them a good shove in that direction whenever possible.

Re:Senator Stephen Conroy == Senator Joe McCarthy? (2, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672748)

It took around a decade to discredit McCarthyism, and there's a small but significant group of right wing pundits who still defend him. While waiting for people like this to self destruct, it's important do your part and give them a good shove in that direction whenever possible.

A new generation of McCarthy sympathizers is possible, given that the Texas textbook requirements have now been revised to show McC in a positive light.

Re:Senator Stephen Conroy == Senator Joe McCarthy? (1, Interesting)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673188)

A new generation of McCarthy sympathizers is possible, given that the Texas textbook requirements have now been revised to show McC in a positive light.

And then there are Andrew McCarthy's columns, which, for example, accuse lawyers who render services to Guantanamo detainees of treason.

More likely we will just see a new McCarthyism rise up based on Andrew's work rather than Joe's....

Re:Senator Stephen Conroy == Senator Joe McCarthy? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31673076)

The real mindfuck here is that McCarthy was right. The communists were everywhere, and they did go on to take over one of the major parties (perhaps both, depending on your view of the neocons). The people who discredit him were the kind of people who he was trying to ferret out.

Venona evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31673206)

Just do a search... Venona McCarthy [google.com]

Re:Senator Stephen Conroy == Senator Joe McCarthy? (4, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673346)

Even if you grant that he was right (which I absolutely 100% do not) what he did was still horrible. He ruined people's lives out of idle suspicion, with little to no evidence to back it up. He split the country and indeed the world on how to handle communism and communist sympathizers and probably damaged his own goals at least as much as he helped them. Anyone who disagreed with him was immediately investigated and accused, regardless of how flimsy the evidence was. The man who called him out on the senate floor (Joseph Welch) was an American hero who showed real courage and could have just as easily have found himself being accused next.

As for the communists being 'everywhere', research has shown that of the more than 150 people accused by McCarthy evidence against them exists for only 9 of them. A significant minority of the people would have come back clean enough on a background check that they would have been granted security clearances. Finally, your assertion that communists took over one of the major parties I can only assume is idle trolling, I will simply respond by saying that if soviet controlled militant communists controlled 50% of the government for the past 40 years history would have turned out rather differently.

Espionage versus communists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31673748)

Your numbers are wrong. 9 were probably guilty of espionage. Most of the rest were in fact communists.

Re:Senator Stephen Conroy == Senator Joe McCarthy? (0, Troll)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674450)

I don't know enough about McCarthy to make a solid statement on him one way or another, however, the Venona Project (released to the public in 1995) [wikipedia.org] proved that McCarthy was at least partially right, by showing that there were communist spies in the US government.

Could it have anything to do with... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31672380)

...one of the top google search results for "Stephen Conroy" being the less than flattering http://stephen-conroy.com/ [stephen-conroy.com]

Re:Could it have anything to do with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31672924)

Boom goes that server.

In the name of the Greatest US President ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31672520)

... of all time - "Bring It On!!!"

No, wait - that didn't work out so well last time.

Re:In the name of the Greatest US President ... (4, Funny)

ivan_w (1115485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672580)

Do you mean *Bing* it on ?

(I know.. sorry.. you may mod me down as appropriate).

Re:In the name of the Greatest US President ... (1)

jeti (105266) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673040)

Certainly. Microsoft provides filtering / censorship solutions since 2006 and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donates millions to groups like "Save the Children" that lobby for blocking child pornography.

Re:In the name of the Greatest US President ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31672664)

no, "The Buck Stops Here"!

Re:In the name of the Greatest US President ... (1, Funny)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672928)

"Hillary, Hold on a minute while I put my pants back on. I can explain."

Okay maybe not the greatest, but to me the coolest.

Take your ball and go home (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672596)

More like Google decided to punch the guy in the face and get thrown out. I suppose this is more appropriate when the other team has taken a liking to unwanted groping of the cheerleaders....

Oblig? (1)

Nesman64 (1093657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672764)

That's not a firewall...

That's a firewall. :)

Re:Oblig? (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672840)

I assume you meant: "That's not a firewall...this is a firewall."

I would (0, Flamebait)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672778)

Clearly Google's don't respect a country's right to manage their own laws. If I ran a country, and enacted some laws, and law a company refusing to follow my laws in my coutry, yeah I'd ban them, of course.

A country's laws, and culture, are their own to set, and not to be controlled by any outside nation. Sure we'll make enceptions for real human rights like food and water and torture. But censorship of illegal material and such doesn't come anywhere close.

Re:I would (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672958)

What about censorship of political, religious, and controversial viewpoints? This is about Freedom of expression and Freedom of communication more than it is about any single issue. If the blocking were voluntary so that people could decide individually if their internet should be censored, I could understand. If the black list were publicly available so that people inside and outside the country could audit what is being blocked, I could maybe understand. If the previously leaked block list hadn't included material that they had claimed wasn't going to be blocked, I could maybe, just possibly agree with you.

As it stands, you have a government organization which will have the ability to block any website that they want without warning or explanation. There will be no way for people inside the firewall to know what is and what isn't being blocked. And said government organization has already been shown to be either incompetent or nefarious regarding what is being added to the blacklist. It's a bad situation, and it in fact does trample on human rights.

Re:I would (1, Interesting)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673364)

What about censorship of political, religious, and controversial viewpoints? This is about Freedom of expression and Freedom of communication more than it is about any single issue.

I don't know. It's still Google turning round to a country and saying "Your laws are wrong". If Google tomorrow decided that actually they were fully in favor of something we see as universally despicable (child porn, say), we'd be all up in arms about Google being immoral and acting counter to the rules of our country, I don't think anyone would be claiming that actually Google are fighting the good fight for internet freedom, and child porn images should be allowed to be distributed freely. It just depends where you draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable. Google's line is pretty far from Australia's, and far closer to that of most of the rest of the west.

Re:I would (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673538)

If the US passed a law mandating filtered internet to only filter child porn websites, then refused to publish a list of which sites were blocked, then leaked the list by accident and it was found that the list included many sites that had nothing to do with child porn, you can bet your ass I'd be up in arms over that law and I imagine so would Google and a lot of other people.

Re:I would (2, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673654)

I don't think anyone would be claiming that actually Google are fighting the good fight for internet freedom

That's exactly what we're claiming. Google believes that information should be free, not controlled by those in power for their own ends, and it has shown a willingness to fight for that freedom.

Before you say "But it's only kiddy porn!" just ask yourself how often bad and self serving legislation is passed under the mantra that it's "for the children"?

Re:I would (1)

tapanitarvainen (1155821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673746)

It's still Google turning round to a country and saying "Your laws are wrong".

Of course. And Google (and everybody else) should do exactly that to every country whose laws are wrong

Now, most laws are really neither right or wrong in this sense, they're just different ways of doing things - but if you believe in right and wrong in the first place, you cannot avoid considering some laws to be wrong as well (against human rights, say) and then you should say so and and act accordingly, whoever or whatever you are.

As for child porn, the proper reason for banning it isn't the (admittedly disgusting) nature of the material as such but the fact that making it is child abuse. If you think it's just an arbitrary line between what kind of material is and what isn't acceptable as such, you're already too far down the slippery slope. Remember the Australian MP wanted to ban sex films with small-breasted women because they'd titillate pedophiles?

Re:I would (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673474)

First, Australia's censorship regimen is directed almost exclusively at sexually explicit content. It's not that different from obscenity law here in the US, except that the government (rather than a committee of twelve specially selected for their lack of qualifications) gets to make the decision. So I think the Australian censorship purpose is not directed at political viewpoints, etc. However, the fact that it is centrally managed makes it open to abuse. Believe it or not, we went through a lot of the same sort of crap during the Reagan Years and the Meese Commission. Thank goodness our courts stepped in (here in the US) and put an end to some of those abuses.

At the same time, I am not entirely sure the situation in the US, post-Miller v. California, is much better. Miller basically allowed individual communities what sexually explicit content they wanted to be allowed. This means that individual communities can serve as venues for attempts to censor the porn market in the US. The Meese Commission made great use of this, usually bringing prosecution against porn companies in as many jurisdictions as they could trying to force either bankrupcy due to defence fees or a conviction somewhere (anywhere!). Of course charges would be dropped if the defendant would sign away his/her Constitutional rights...... Lawyers involved said "we never lost a case." (That is, until they went after "Adam and Eve" and that company countersued... The government lost the countersuit and had to drop charges.) Eventually this tactic was declared to be Unconstitutional but only because of the terms of the proposed settlements. The idea of multi-jurisdictional is not entirely foreclosed. All we need is an overreaching executive and they could do something worse: instead of filtering the internet, they could put folks in jail.

Re:I would (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673620)

Freedom of Expression is a factor of your country's culture. Not every culture believes it's so great. And even the USA censors many stupid things -- like a naked Bart Simpson. Go figure, he's twenty years old, but he looks like a fourth-grader, and so it's considered child porn and illegal to draw a naked cartoon.

You think Freedom of Expression is important. And you like in a country that agrees with you. If it didn't, you would leave. Others would not.

And either way, that's not to say that your culture is the better way. You don't get to control aliens -- terrestrial or otherwise. Your vote simply doesn't count in other countries. It's that simple -- and no one asked you.

Re:I would (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31673830)

Freedom of expression is a universal human value. Cultures that don't value it are simply composed of people with wrong views. The USA does lots of things wrong, including reacting to child abuse by sweeping images of it under the rug.

Freedom of expression is vitally important. People who disagree with that universal truth sometimes leave countries that are more congenial to it in favor of countries that are not. Others do not. The truth remains, regardless of their opinions or actions.

Either way, your culture and any government that grows out of it doesn't get to control me or any other person. Your culture simply doesn't count with regard to establishing moral truth. It's that simple -- and nobody asked your culture.

Re:I would (1)

colonelquesadilla (1693356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674046)

Erm.. did you see the simpsons movie? It wasn't censored.

Re:I would (1)

Sprouticus (1503545) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674116)

A counter argument to this goes as follows.

We as people give up control of certain functions to the government. The control is given in a semi-voluntary fashion (unless your one of the founders of the government). As such the right to dissent against the rules and laws of the government is heightened from a privilege to a basic human right.

Without this right the government can impose undue hardship and often devolves into totalitarian rules, regardless of where it started (Chavez says hi).

As a race(human) we have decided in the last 75 years to highlight and spread the gospel of basic human rights for all people, across cultural and national borders. It is true we do not have a vote in another country but other impacts from such crusading are tangible and can cause change. It depends on a lot of factors, but it can happen.

This is how someone can come to the conclusion that regardless of local law or culture, censorship is a human rights issue.

I am not saying I agree with this 100%,(I have given it some thought and there is a great deal of merit in the premise). I am just saying that your blanket statement is not accurate and does not address the nuances of the issue.

Re:I would (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673858)

This is about Freedom of expression and Freedom of communication more than it is about any single issue.

Ok, but if a country doesn't feel that their people have that right, who gives Google a right to usurp it?

Re:I would (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31674186)

Countries don't have feelings. But if they did, what would give them the right to restrict actual human beings? Only human beings have rights.

Re:I would (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31673412)

I blame anthropologists for this

Re:I would (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31673674)

Countries are abstractions with no rights whatsoever in the relevant sense. Nations, regardless of what the present ruling classes would find it convenient for everybody to believe, aren't the same thing as countries. But nations don't have rights, either.

Only people have rights. Your rights are not granted to you by your government or by your neighbors. They are universal. They are prior to law, and the only legitimate purpose of law is to protect them, not to define them.

Culture is an emergent phenomenon of people thinking, acting, and interacting. Not only can't it be set by fiat, but it's nonsensical to even think in those terms.

Re:I would (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31673726)

Sounds a bit troll to me. What if the country's laws go against the UN Charter of Human Rights? A country's laws do not over-ride fundamental human rights and I applaud any entity that doesn't "go along" with abuse of fundamental human rights.

What does culture cover ? (1)

tizan (925212) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673784)

Your argument is the same as the Pitcairn island rapists.
They claimed it was in their culture to rape 12 year old girls ...as one of their defense.

So should you respect that and let that happen ?

Re:What does culture cover ? (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674392)

Culture covers pretty much everything: Language, law, philosophy, values, religious beliefs, marriage customs, material creations, and much more. These all fit together in complex ways. I don't think we should be too fast to judge other cultures.

I don't think culture is beyond criticism either. However, I think it is important that the substance of the criticism not be "well, they aren't like our culture! They don't value the same things we do!" For this reason I think it is important for any criticism of culture to start off with a sympathetic analysis before getting into criticism. For example, if the age of marriage is 12 in some culture, if arranged marriages or bridal kidnapping are common, and if sex is seen as an obligation of marriage, we should start by asking why and how these contribute to the functioning of the society rather than simply saying "they're wrong. We know better." In general, I think valid complaints about other cultures fall into two categories:

1) Structural Inconsistencies. For example, "You, as an Israeli, say you have the human rights of self-defence and self-determination. Yet you say the Palestinians cannot have these things. You can't say these are universal and hence applicable to you but are not applicable to others when it is inconvenient to you!" Or more appropriate for this debate, "You Australians say this is not a problem because your government operates according to principles of transparency. However, they won't let you see the list of censored sites. That's not transparent."

2) Functional break-down. For example, "In Utah when I lived there, there was an idea that if you don't talk to teenagers about the risks of having sex, they won't get ideas. However, when we actually look at statistics, this couldn't be further from the truth. I guess the question is, do you want your daughter to have sex and get pregnant at the age of 16? If not, you might want to reconsider...." Or more appropriate for this debate, "We say we believe in free speech here in the US, and yet our obscenity law is designed to allow each community to decide what they don't want to be exposed to. With the rise of the internet, doesn't this lead to censorship?"

At the same time, two examples come to mind that are easy to criticize in this area: Apartheid in South Africa and the sort of slavery we saw in the US. Both of these can be heavily criticized through both angles.

But many folks don't like that. It's too much work. Why actually learn about what you are thinking of criticizing when you can just do so without expending that intellectual effort? ;-)

Re:I would (2, Insightful)

dwandy (907337) | more than 4 years ago | (#31673816)

If I ran a country

There's the problem right there: In a free society it's supposed to be a stewardship, not a dictatorship.
I highly doubt most citizens of a free country want their government to restrict where they can go online, much less censor via a secret list.

Re:I would (1)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674080)

Clearly [insert company who off-shored work to China]'s don't respect a country's right to manage their own laws. If I ran a country, and enacted some laws, and law a company refusing to follow my laws in my country, yeah I'd ban them, of course.

A country's laws, and culture, are their own to set, and not to be controlled by any outside nation. Sure we'll make exceptions for real human rights like food and water and torture. But censorship of illegal material and such doesn't come anywhere close.

*Of course, the nice irony is of course that China has a horrible record when it comes to "real" human rights--as if there were fake human rights.

Re:I would (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674134)

Knowledge is just as much a real human right as food and water and torture.

Re:I would (1)

DeltaQH (717204) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674188)

You certainly agree with Nazi Germany government to punish a foreign information company which refuses to deliver information that could identify people of jewish origin.

Australia's Tiananmen Square (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31672788)

As a lone figure in a drover's coat stands beer in hand blocking a column of tourist carrying vans......

Simply: No (3, Informative)

bernywork (57298) | more than 4 years ago | (#31672934)

No infrastructure
Nobody is going to enforce it

No company wants all the phone calls saying "I can't access Google" broadband margins are that bad on a per customer basis, the moment they phone rings from a customer they are losing money.

Not going to happen

I DARE YOU (1)

atomicthumbs (824207) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674328)

I wanna see him do it, mostly to see what happens to him and how fast.

let sleeping dogs lie (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 4 years ago | (#31674382)

When people finally realize that 100 million free thinkers can overwhelm any government regardless of the consequences, then it will become interesting. However, weaning these people off their bread and circuses is the issue. Denying access to the mainstream circus ie. google, stumbleupon, 4chan etc... only creates the incentive to find alternative diversions. The greatest fear of any government is to lose the attention of the captivated. Boredom begets excitement.
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