By Darryl Mason
Ominous, impractical and very listy :
The Government plans to have two streams of filtered (internet) content.
The mandatory portion will adhere to a blacklist of thousands of illegal web pages managed by ACMA and an optional clean feed of URLs that would automatically censor content, mostly adult material.
You can "plan" all you like, it's not going to happen. Unless the United States, Europe and the UK also come on board with almost identical and compatible net filtering systems and that would be far too Global Government-like and New World Order-ish to ever become a reality.
Until it's hacked and released, we won't get to see the full "Blacklist" of sites that your government deems you should never be able to see, but it will include political, alternative news and so-called 'hate' sites. You won't hear much or anything about those news and political sites, but you will surely hear about a few of the other websites that will make The Blacklist, and they will be shocking and disgusting and tabloidia like The Daily Telegraph will leap all over the horrific Snuff and live suicide and Watch Me Torture This Kitten websites held as Examples Of Shame and will help pump the need for The Blacklist to be expanded even more and 'Do You Know Of A SickSite That Should Be On The Blacklist? Vote Now!'
The Rupe, however, will make sure that the Daily Telegraph and the rest of his online media, and even his more gruesome columnists, will never make it onto even the suggestion list for the Blacklist.
And none of The Rupe's newspapers or columnists should be on The Blacklist, but then neither should a pile of already very popular international and alternative news websites and blogs that tell Australians about a world of news and opinion that rarely if ever even makes the letters pages of The Australian or The Herald Sun or the Sydney Morning Herald.
The Blacklist will be a majestically powerful way for established mainstream media to block and crush the rising online competition, or at least limit its accessibility, which of course is its lifeblood. Not that ex-Australian media giants like The Rupe would ever stoop to such anti-competition tactics like that.
You get the feeling that the Rudd Government doesn't really know as much as it thinks it does about what Australians want from the internet, and what they want to read and hear and watch.
Shutting down access to The Pirate Bay, for starters, will incite raw fury in the hundreds of thousands of Australians who use it every day. They Will Not Be Pleased, and they will be motivated to find ways around the Government Internet Gateway Censors, of which there are many.
Anything that slows down net speeds, as all total filtering systems must do, will make every online gamer in the country (and there are many tens of thousands of them as well) shout "Fuck Rudd!"
The scope and scale of Australians who will be annoyed, inconvenienced and disrupted by Total Net Filtering will be massive, and the political fallout will be hard to estimate, and plan for.
You'll know just how much freedom of speech and free media the Rudd government believes in when the filters go live, for all major ISPs, towards the middle and end of 2009. Curiously, about the same time that very similar Total Net Filtering systems are expected, or hoped, to be up and running in the United States, the UK and across Europe.
Hell of a coincidence...
UPDATE : Sorry, I should have mentioned this at the start of the story, but this is all about stopping child porn. Of course.