Thursday, May 15, 2008

Internet Filtering Won't Work Says Action Group

The Electronic Frontiers Australia advocacy group is trying to whip up some outrage amongst Australian internet users over draconian plans by the Rudd government to censor the internet :

...the Government's decision to fund its mandatory "clean feed" internet in the 2008-09 Federal Budget is a waste of taxpayers money.

"At a time when the Government is cutting services to fight inflation, it's bewildering that they would decide to spend tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on a filter before feasibility trials are even complete," EFA spokesman Colin Jacobs said.

The Budget allocates $24.3 million to the Government's "cyber-safety" initiative, rising to $51.4 million in the 2009-10 financial year.

What exactly is the Rudd government planning that requires a doubling of the internet censorship budget within two years?

"Australians are very uncomfortable with the idea of having the Government decide what's appropriate for them and their families," Mr Jacobs said. a survey of 18,000 internet users, only 13 per cent agreed with the policy.

Few countries have made internet filtering work...well, China and Iran have made it work. But should we be holding up those regimes as examples of how we want the internet in Australia to be censored?

Of course, there are plenty of entertainment companies with outposts in Australia who are all for mandatory filtering of the internet, in the mistaken belief that online piracy is stealing their profits, instead of too much average music and far too many deflating films.