This is really important to all of us ......
I found this on:
http://www.dvorak.org/blog/?p=29653 which is a US site and also on:
I think this is something we may need
to kick up a stink about.
"AUSTRALIA will join China in implementing mandatory censoring
of the internet under plans put forward by the Federal Government.
The revelations emerge as US tech giants Google, Microsoft and
Yahoo, and a coalition of human rights and other groups unveiled
a code of conduct aimed at safeguarding online freedom of speech and privacy.
The government has declared it will not let internet users opt out of the proposed
national internet filter. The plan was first created as a way to combat
child pronography and adult content, but could be extended to include
controversial websites on euthanasia or anorexia.
Stephen Conroy revealed the mandatory censorship to the Senate estimates
committee as the Global Network Initiative, bringing together leading
companies, human rights organisations, academics and investors,
committed the technology firms to "protect the freedom of expression
and privacy rights of their users".
Mr Conroy said trials were yet to be carried out, but "we are talking
about mandatory blocking, where possible, of illegal material."
The net nanny proposal was originally going to allow Australians who
wanted uncensored access to the web the option of contacting their internet
service provider to be excluded from the service.
Human Rights Watch has condemned internet censorship, and argued to
the US Senate "there is a real danger of a Virtual Curtain dividing
the internet, much as the Iron Curtain did during the Cold War,
because some governments fear the potential of the internet, (and)
want to control it" Groups including the System Administrators Guild of Australia
and Electronic Frontiers Australia have attacked the proposal, saying it would
unfairly restrict Australians' access to the web, slow internet speeds
and raise the price of internet access.
EFA board member Colin Jacobs said it would have little effect on
illegal internet content, including child pornography, as it would
not cover file-sharing networks. "If the Government would actually
come out and say we're only targeting child pornography it would
be a different debate," he said.
The technology companies' move, which follows criticism that the
companies were assisting censorship of the internet in nations such
as China, requires them to narrowly interpret government requests
for information or censorship and to fight to minimise cooperation.
The initiative provides a systematic approach to "work together in
resisting efforts by governments that seek to enlist companies in
acts of censorship and surveillance that violate international standards",
the participants said.
In a statement, Yahoo co-founder and chief executive Jerry Yang
welcomed the new code of conduct. "These principles provide a valuable
roadmap for companies like Yahoo operating in markets where freedom
of expression and privacy are unfairly restricted," he said. "Yahoo was
founded on the belief that promoting access to information can enrich
people's lives, and the principles we unveil today reflect our determination
that our actions match our values around the world." Yahoo was thrust into
the forefront of the online rights issue after the Californian company helped
Chinese police identify cyber dissidents whose supposed crime was expressing
their views online.
China exercises strict control over the internet, blocking sites linked to
Chinese dissidents, the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement,
the Tibetan government-in-exile and those with information on the 1989
Tiananmen massacre. A number of US companies, including Microsoft,
Cisco, Google and Yahoo, have been hauled before the US Congress in
recent years and accused of complicity in building the "Great Firewall of China".
The Australian Christian Lobby, however, has welcomed the proposals.
Managing director Jim Wallace said the measures were needed.
"The need to prevent access to illegal hard-core material and child
pornography must be placed above the industry's desire for unfettered
access," Mr Wallace said."
Also check out
EFA´s (... Electronic Frontiers Australia) Chair, Dale Clapperton, was
interviewed on Channel 7´s Sunrise program on 29th October about
the government´s proposed mandatory filtering policy. A phone-in survey
on the program revealed that 80% of respondents
were opposed to the censorship plan.
(Additional comment by David:)
Very much so. One of the not-mentioned aspects of this filtering scheme
is that it will also be vetting your connections to secure sites like banks
and other financial institutions, ie, your net banking username and
password will be able to be obtained by your ISP. This is a ridiculous
scheme the government is proposing, will be almost
totally ineffective at what it is trying to do, will slow down your Internet
connection by around 30% (if you are lucky), and will block a large
number of legitimate sites. Please contact your local federal member to
protest about this, and letters to the prime minister and minister
for communications would be helpful too.
You can get their addresses by ringing the local member's office.