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Internet Censorship? No Way!

If you have been following the news lately it’s been heating up that the Australian Government under Kevin Rudd is planing to introduce what some are referring to the Great Australian Firewall. Internet

Kevin Rudds Office

censorship at the ISP level that simply can’t work for reasons that I respect from others far more knowledgeable than myself.

I decided that this was serious enough to act on so I’ve sent a letter to Senator Steven Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy and to my local Federal Member who just happens to be Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia. Hey, he’s my local member so that’s who I send stuff like this to.

I remember many years ago someone in the media said that a phone complaint was worth another ten who didn’t complain and a letter was worth a hundred. Today with email and the Internet we’re lazier than ever. If an online petition is worth one, a phone call is worth ten, and email is worth 100 maybe a letter posted is worth 1000 simply because of the effort it takes and a follow up blog post for those of us who know how is additional to that and a little more value. Nothing will change if nothing is done and every little bit helps.

So I’ve done my bit towards stopping this stupidity and I’ll look to do more as I’m educated as to how.

To help you understand the issues and educate yourself check out this rave by Angry Aussie.

To read more and see what you can do to help go to No Internet Censorship for Australia and to understand what the ISP’s think go to this interview by Ben Grubb.

Also if your interested here is what I sent to Kevin Rudd and Stephen Conroy.

I understand your government is considering filtering the Internet at the Internet Service Provider level, a measure that I have grave concerns about.

I appreciate that it is important to protect our children at all times from predation and exposure to adult concepts but it’s the considered opinion of experts in this field that attempts to filter such content will only drive these concepts to other methods of propagation. These have been discovered and are well known by those interested in this field. Filtering simply will not work.

Filtering technique are hugely expensive and will force smaller ISP out of business.

Filtering leads to false positives that are flagged for reasons that will shut down huge numbers of sites from being able to interact with Australia. The percentages are small (best case is 3%) but due to the number of internet sites these are still huge numbers. This will cripple the effectiveness of the internet.

On a personal note. I am a parent of a 17 year old girl who has been using the internet for about eight years. She now has her own laptop and free access to anything on the web that she wishes to interact with. When she was younger I used filter methods on search to restrict some access. I have educated her to realise that it’s important to keep some information private and not to share with anyone. I’ve also educated her that there are somethings adult, alternative or just very odd by our community standards that she will trip across if she is not careful and that she should sometimes choose not to go some places as these are not places for her and could well disturb her.

I feel fortunate that through education I have the best filter for my daughters welfare. Herself!
The internet is no different to any other part of our society with the same mix of events happening within it. It is no more and no less dangerous than elsewhere in our lives and like all parts of our society we negotiate it, not through restriction but through education, experience and judgement. Occasionally mistakes are made which we learn from, that is our responsibility.

This action is akin to cracking an egg with a  sledge hammer. It won’t work and it will make a mess of everything.

Please do not continue forward with this concept.


Ian Kath

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Adam Daniel Mezei Wednesday, 10 December, 2008, 5:57 am


    Last little thing — why didn’t we get a chance to read a copy of your original dispatch? That way, I can get it all in perspective — or do you feel that’s a breach of your privacy…which I can completely understand then…


  • Ian Wednesday, 10 December, 2008, 7:24 am


    My original letter that I sent to Rudd & Conroy is the last part of this post. I removed the introduction on it as I sent it to the two politicians so you may have missed it and thought it was part of the post.

    I’ll tweek that to make it clearer. Thanks 🙂