Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Great Firewall of China is Coming to Australia!

You might notice my blog was blacked out when it first loads – I’m participating in the Great Australian Internet Blackout, which is protesting against the Australian government’s plan to introduce a mandatory internet filter.

This basically means that Australia will join countries such as China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, which impose centralised Internet censorship. The internet filter will force internet service providers to block access to a website blacklist or “Restricted Content” (RC), created by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). However this list is confidential and not available to the public.

And might I point out that *this* website – my blog, is blocked in China.

While Communications minister Stephen Conroy thinks the filter will "the risk of Australians being inadvertently exposed to RC-rated material when they are online", the lists have been widely criticised for being too broad in scope.

What’s more, trials of the filter were largely considered to be ineffective. Yet, the government is still spending millions of dollars on this plot to rob Australians of their right to freedom of information.

Ostensibly, Conroy insists that the net-filter is for blocking out child pornography, and sites that would endanger our children, but the reality is that the RC list also includes sites that contain “politically sensitive” information, like pro-euthanasia sites.

Does this remind anyone else of the Aussie government’s plan to rob Australian women of the right to choose where they give birth?

Will this mean in the near future pro-homebirth sites will also be blocked? after all, the proposed maternity care laws state that anyone inciting a woman to homebirth would be illegal. What about websites about freebirthing, or unschooling, or natural healing. What about freedom of speech. What about freedom of THOUGHT!?

you can read more about the internet censorship here:,21985,24568137-2862,00.html

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Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)