The cyber world celebrated last week following the Labor Government’s supposed ‘back-down’ on its mandatory internet filter proposal. Instead of imposing its own ‘clean feed’, the Government has begun issuing notices to require ISPs to filter a more limited Interpol ‘worst of the worst’ list. However, this change leaves a lot to be worried about.

She won't be any saferPic: Daily Telegraph

We should be worried that the Government is using an obscure section of the Telecommunications Act - originally passed by parliament in 1997, ten years before Labor first took the policy to an election - to avoid legislative scrutiny.

We should be worried that the Government is still forcing ISPs to block a list of web address, with the major change pertaining to who writes the list.

We should be worried that rather than just our Government censoring and choosing what we can view online, many other Governments in democratic and very undemocratic countries will be deciding through Interpol.

And finally, we should be worried about the possible expansion and extension of the Interpol list.

The issue of mandatory Internet filtering has never been about what content is unacceptable; there was always agreement, even amongst its critics, about the unacceptability of the main target, child pornography. Nor was the main issue that the previous plan would slow down the Internet.

The central concern has always been the principle of not giving the Government control over what we can view online. However, the new plan is even worse than just giving our Government the power; we are giving this power to other unaccountable Governments and police forces. Moreover, unlike with the original proposal, with a clear complaints procedure, if a website is incorrectly put on the list Interpol provides no clear way to get it removed.

While right now the list is of little threat, Interpol could expand or change the list criteria, which Australian ISPs would be forced to implement. Alternatively, there is little stopping a future Government from using the already created infrastructure and legal framework to require the blocking of another list of websites. Considering how the law is already being used, there is little theoretically stopping the Government from requiring ISPs to filter any other illegal material - be it refused classification material, such as information about euthanasia, or overseas gambling sites.

This effectively leaves us in the exact same circumstance as the original plan: few of the websites on the current list are problematic, however it is the fact that the capabilities exist and the power exists that could lead to future abuse.

Optus and Telstra blocking the Interpol list at the moment is concerning, but this is only because they did so to avoid harsher Government regulation in future; the threat of Government regulation has effectively acted like actual regulation and compulsion. However, in general, there is nothing wrong with ISPs voluntarily filtering content as they see fit.

If filtering is optional, competition protects the user from mistreatment; we can always swap to a different ISP if the filter becomes unacceptable and a private provider is unlikely to apply an unacceptable list, for fear of losing customers. None of this is possible if the Government is mandating all ISPs implement the same filter. If the list goes bad, we are all stuck with it.

Many of the same problems with the original ‘clean feed’ also apply to the new proposal. It will do near nothing to stop people from willfully making, trading or accessing child sexual abuse through unblocked sites or peer-to-peer transfer. It will also continue to throw parents into a false sense of security, as once again very little will be blocked and the dangers of the Internet will continue.

Parents’ closely monitoring their children’s activity remains the only effective way to ensure kids are protected online.

Liberty is rarely taken away all at once; in fact we have most to worry about in cases like this, when it creeps away without many people complaining. Too often, following a long debate, we allow our Government to choose a more ‘moderate’ approach to an unpopular policy. The Government makes this choice to avoid the negative scrutiny of worst option. The original critics respond by breathing a sigh of relief in the knowledge that their worst fears have not been met.

However, it is this very sigh of relief that is most dangerous; once we ignore what is being done because it is not the worst option, we lose our chance to achieve the best option. Our Government does not need nor should it have the power to control the Internet through any manner of mandatory filtering.

Matthew on Twitter: @matthewlesh.

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44 comments

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    • Rosie says:

      06:26am | 12/11/12

      The only important filter at the moment is the filter of a royal commission by the Gillard Labor Govt to flush out the evil atrocity that exists within the Catholic Church. The Labor Movement must forgo its ties with the Catholic Church, otherwise the victims of this evil atrocity will remain scared for life and our freedom and safety will always be under threat.

      While dealing with the sex child abuse Gillard can also use a bit of push and a bit of charm with the Catholic Church to the gay marriage issue.

    • TChong says:

      07:36am | 12/11/12

      Rosie
      Top marks for persistance in trying not once, but twice in one day with an inference that Labor is trying to protect / cover up alledged abuse.
      What do you say to state premier O’farrell ? It is BOF who is suggesting a Royal Commision is not required.
      I do admire the way you cling to not allowing facts .(  like BOF s reluctance ) to get in the way of a simple minded partisan attack.
      Practising to be a TeaBagger?

    • Steve of QBN says:

      07:47am | 12/11/12

      @Rosie, your last sentence could be misconstrued to read that Gillard might offer a deal “go soft on the kiddie fiddling if they give the nod to the gay marriage”.

      One issue at a time and keep them separate.

    • Rosie says:

      09:10am | 12/11/12

      Chongy & Steve QBN

      Filters - topic of conversation. If these filters could mean keeping our kids safe from evil predators and society’s freedom from being threatened I am all for it. How it is implemented and whether it will work to do this, is beyond my expertise so won’t go there.

      I am sorry and extremely disappointed that the two of you could turn my comments about an issue that is heartbreaking to all decent caring human beings into sarcasm. Chongy, my persistent has to be a good thing and if I use any tactic to put pressure on any organization I see fit to put an end to this evil atrocity I shall use it in full, be frank and fear no one or any religious institution. I am hoping that the Gillard Labor Govt because of the power it holds does the same for the people and the nation as our representative. This Gillard Labor Govt will begin the process of putting this evilness to rest in an independent manner on behalf of all our hearts and souls. The public and victims should have full confidence in the Gillard Labor Govt to begin yesterday without any hesitation whatsoever!

      All denomination, or religious institutions should be taken into account but the cover up by the Catholic Church which has been exposed is breathtaking!

      Steve of QBN

      What I was trying to say; “Gillard could kill two birds with one stone” because it seems all religions oppose gay marriage and she is an atheist.

    • TheRealDave says:

      10:34am | 12/11/12

      Geez Rosie - how many different articles do you need to comment on to blame Labor for condoning/supporting Catholic Paedophiles in one day?

    • Anon says:

      10:39am | 12/11/12

      instead of a filter why doesn’t the AFP simply gather ip addresses of those who visit known child pronography sites for investigation… great way of hunting down pedophiles… but that would be a practical solution rather than a political solution that sounds good on the news.

      Agree a federal royal commission is needed as the catholic church has been hiding pedophiles for too long… the community needs those involved to be held accountable for their actions…

      An interesting topic for debate: are the celibacy requirements of catholic priests / clergy a significant contributing factor in the disproportionately higher levels of child abuse by catholic clergy as compared to the general public?

      Frankly, I believe most people aren’t suited to celibacy including most who devote their lives to a higher calling. Restricting their access to more suitable relationships in my view has created this problem. If you disagree please explain why I am wrong.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      02:56pm | 12/11/12

      @Anon, I agree, moreover Australia should move completely to IPV6 and ISPs should then be required to assign a static IP address to users. This would then become your digital signature online, yes it opens people up to harassment, etc but perhaps if (as with landlines) the ISPs were able to provide a new IP address upon request while maintaining a record of switches to new IP addresses, it would enable the ability to better track criminals while also protecting the innocent.

    • Daemon says:

      05:53pm | 12/11/12

      @PH
      Already happening in fact, as we are fast running out of IPV 4 addresses. As an IT person I am looking forward to it, and the issue of an IP address for every square inch of the Earth’s surface just makes it more interesting.

      There is a school of thought that says “if you are doing nothing wrong, then you have nothing to worry about”-which in my opinion is about as stupid as it gets, and the Rosie’s et al of this world will think all the birthdays have come at once, but in reality all of these things achieve is to give parents a false sense of security. As opined by another writer in another thread today responsible parenting requires that you sit with your kids when they are on the Internet and keep an eye on what they are doing and don’t give in to the constant harassment from those children about having an Internet connection in their bedroom. If you ever wonder what is involved in that little scenario have a look at cam4 . com.

    • ramases says:

      06:37am | 12/11/12

      This is typical of all Labor Policies, a backflip that either cost millions or puts the onus on others to do its dirty work. Interpol may compile a list but it will take about 2 seconds to change the name of a banned website for it to be up and running again. The whole thing is an exercise in futility and whilst people want certain sites blocked its virtually an impossibility to do this without impinging on the rights of others to view what they wish. A list that is compiled in secrecy lends itself to uses other than those intended and this is the thin edge of the wedge. How long will it be before we are blocked from certain sites that openly criticise the Government of the day and we have no recourse as we have by our acquiescence allowed the Government free hand in censoring the internet without a squeak of protest under the guise of protecting us from child porn. Be afraid people, be very afraid.

    • Gerry W says:

      07:36am | 12/11/12

      Why has not the Government done anything about SEX SPAM…young kids do not need to be exposed to these spam ads…fix the real issues NOW

    • Markus says:

      08:08am | 12/11/12

      Funnily enough, sex spam popups tend to only pop up on porn sites.
      So if your kids are being exposed to these spam ads, I’d say the ads themselves would be the least of your concerns.

    • fml says:

      08:19am | 12/11/12

      Put an internet filter on your pc. Job Done.

    • Ben C says:

      08:42am | 12/11/12

      @ Markus

      They’ll come up on Bit Torrent sites as well, but the sentiment remains the same - what are your kids doing to be exposed to these ads?

      @ Gerry W

      “Why has not the Government done anything about SEX SPAM”

      What do you propose the Government do, impose themselves on a foreign legal jurisdiction? Do you seriously believe these ads originate from Australia?

    • marley says:

      08:55am | 12/11/12

      Geez - I use my computer pretty regularly and I’ve never gotten any “sex spam.”  What am I doing wrong?  Could it be that I just don’t go to porn sites?  Or that I have a good anti-spam filter?  Is it possible that I’m responsible for managing my own computer?  Nah, let the government do it for me.

    • Elphaba says:

      09:05am | 12/11/12

      @marley, me neither.  I want some sex spam!  I feel like I’m missing out!  tongue laugh

    • martinX says:

      10:06am | 12/11/12

      Gerry, if you are getting dodgy emails, use a better email client with a built in junk filter. If it’s ads on a website, use an ad blocker.

    • TheRealDave says:

      10:32am | 12/11/12

      Gerry, instead of demanding the ‘government do soemthing’ why not be a parent and look after your own kids and monitor what they do on the internet as the only way you are going to get this crap is by letting them access the internet unmonitored and go into all kinds of nefarious websites.

      Thats YOUR problem Gerry, not the Goverments problem. BE a parent in more than just name.

      As an example - my 12 year old called someone a ‘whore’ last week, on Facebook. She thought I wasn’t watching what she does anymore - I do. Now she has no computer or internt access at all and I took her phone off her. And that was after a stern talking to by me into how she talks to people, what is and isn’t acceptable, and how things said on a public forum can and do come back to bite people in the arse. At no stage did I blame the government or beseech them to do something about it.

      Take some responsibility for your own kids Gerry.

      ...if its your kids that are visiting these sites that is…...

    • Gerry W says:

      12:42pm | 12/11/12

      Sorry I should have said SEX SPAM EMAILS…not pop ups

    • Gerry W says:

      12:48pm | 12/11/12

      TheRealDave, I never said I had kids….not sure how you read that into my comment.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      03:17pm | 12/11/12

      @Markus, actually some of the free flash games sites obtain their money by providing advertising to various sex sites (nothing overly offensive).

      As Ben C said, torrent sites also provide these ads but children under 12 are less likely to be looking at torrents.

      I have noticed them on some sites that pop up through StumbleUpon, but these seem to be rare and less likely to happen where the user is under 18.

      Honestly though the level of sex spam out there in comparison to 10-15 years ago is considerably low.

    • ramases says:

      04:21pm | 12/11/12

      The real dave, we cant have people doing that, I mean its the Governments job isn’t it or that’s the thinking of the majority of todays parents. Taking responsibility for your own or your children’s actions is a no no as most people expect the Government to do it for them and alleviate the need to stand up and be counted. Have a good look at the rules and regulations that parents have to contend with and its no wonder that a lot of them throw their hands in the air and put it all in the too hard basket. Have a look at the handouts now available to parents to bring up their children from birth supplied by the Government at Tax Payers expense and its no wonder that parenting stops at the time of birth for a lot of people and the Government is looked upon as a surrogate parent.
        As for sex Spam adds, where do i get some?????????

    • A Concerned Citizen says:

      08:11am | 12/11/12

      I wonder if “Wikileaks” will be categorized among the sites to be blacklisted?
      Nothing this mob does surprises me anymore.

    • LC says:

      08:45am | 12/11/12

      After they leaked the orignial blacklist for the Aussie filter there were put on our blacklist.

      All that has to be done is some country pulls a few strings at the UN and viola!

    • Elphaba says:

      08:15am | 12/11/12

      Filtering needs to be put in the hands of the parents.  They need to be monitoring their child’s internet use by putting computers in a public space in the home, installing filters themselves (there are loads available!), not buying them smartphones and getting educated themselves on how to check history, etc.

      And when all of that fails and little Johnny does see something on his friend’s phone, or computer, they need to get a grip.  Kids will be kids.  They will see something they probably shouldn’t. It will not damage them.  If the lines of communication are open between kids and parents, then your child will be fine.

      The horse has bolted on internet censorship in this country.  People need to take responsibility for themselves.

    • Borderer says:

      09:10am | 12/11/12

      Elphaba,
      Stop talking sense and expecting people to take responsibility, what sort of society do you think this is? It’s all about me unless there is blame to be allocated…..

    • Elphaba says:

      09:24am | 12/11/12

      Aww, @Borderer, dammit!  My bad.  I truly live with my head in the clouds… wink

      In all seriousness, my generation is computer literate, and we’re having kids now.  There should be no need for an internet filter.  We should know how to use them.  Anyone that doesn’t, is doing themselves a disservice and cannot expect the government to come in and rescue them.

      There are a million books out there that can tell you everything you need to know.  Everyone has got a computer savvy mate.  There is no excuse to not be educated.

      Kids looking at porn on a smartphone is no different to the dog-eared copy of Playboy being passed around.  My brother got caught with both - the mag under his bed, and the naughty history list on the ancient Compaq with the dial-up modem.  Dad caught him pretty bloody quick too, because he was in tune with what his kids were up to.  Both my parents worked full time and has busy lives, and still made time.  There.  Are.  No.  Excuses!

    • Borderer says:

      12:22pm | 12/11/12

      Schools could help, the P & C could run sessions on what to do, get a software company to sponsor it, provide a presenter (they can direct market to concerned parents) Not a tax dollar spent.

    • subotic says:

      08:24am | 12/11/12

      I thought this was another opinion piece about the Catholic Church….

    • LC says:

      09:03am | 12/11/12

      This governement has backed down on the mandatory internet filtering plan. Even though the motivation is more likely to be the fact they’ve finally realized there’s no way they can get it through parliament due to opposition from The Greens, The Coalition and all the Independents, (not because Conroy finally woke up to our concerns after 4 years), it’s a decent first step. But they are by no means whatsoever a friend of the internet

      This interpol filter still has potential for abuse, and will suffer all the same issues as the Aussie one. Why not, y’know, SHUT THE SITES DOWN AND ARREST THOSE BEHIND THEM, rather than filtering them out? Or failing that, order ISPs to monitor traffic that goes to them and relay this info to relevant law enforcement bodies. If there is indeed child porn sites on the web, then they’re not going to be something Joe Average is going to stumble on or even look for.

      And even worse, Roxon’s plan to allow authorities acsess to your internet history for the last two years without the requirement of a warrant should be cauing immense concern.
      If the plan was to record and database people’s phonecalls for police to acsess without a warrant, open up and photocopy every letter (and photograph the contents of every parcel) and database them for police to acsess without a warrant, or have CCTV cameras installed in everyones homes for the police to monitor without a warrant, there would be a media shitstorm, riots in the streets, and post next election federal Labor will be in worse shape then their comrades in Queensland. This plan is the same thing in a different setting.

      I just hope we aren’t going to let Labor off the hook just like that <snaps fingers>, they still aren’t and likely won’t be anytime soon, a friend of the internet. But knowing the voting public’s amazingly short memory…

    • Modern Primitive says:

      09:40am | 12/11/12

      Any one can get around the data retention thing by using a TOR browser. Not the point, I know, but its nice to know that roxons plan can be subverted if it ever comes to pass.

    • LC says:

      10:07am | 12/11/12

      You’re damn right, it’s not the point.

      For IT nerds like you and me, yes tools like that will render Roxon’s plan useless. But your average Joe won’t know much about this sort of tech, and the majority of internet users fall under this category, and they are the ones liable to be screwed over under the plan.

      Though because we’d be joined by the likes of the terrorists, pedophiles and other criminals (who, let’s face it, aren’t exactly clueless on the technology either), we could very well be in a spot of bother if the government got a hold of our records only to find most of our web activity was highly encrypted.

    • Modern Primitive says:

      10:25am | 12/11/12

      I’m actually not all that cluey when it comes to IT, I found the TOR browser easy enough to use after some googling. I reckon your average internet user wouldn’t have much problems installing and using it.

      As to being put in the same group as terrorists, criminals and pedos, I’m not all that fussed because I’m not doing anything illegal, its more a matter of principle for me. The government is not there to spy on its citizens, and as far as I’m aware its not illegal to encrypt your communications.

      The real stupid part about the data retention thing is that due to freely available encryption tools, it will be just as expensive and useless in fighting crime as the internet filter would be. Score another point for labour not understanding technology.

    • LC says:

      10:41am | 12/11/12

      While your internet records won’t show what you’ve been doing, or where you’ve been going during your time using an encrypted connection, it will show the fact you’re using encrypted communications. And by the sounds of the legislation as it’s proposed, this alone would be a good enough reason to have the feds kick down your door and take your computer, then demand you hand over your encryption keys/passwords. Refuse, then that means a cell for you for at least 5 years for that alone, no need to prove you’re hiding something criminal to begin with.

      “Score another point for labour not understanding technology”
      Amen to that, and let’s hope it stays that way. Labor with the understanding of the technology but with the same nanny-statist attitude would be capable of doing some real damage.

    • modern primitive says:

      12:18pm | 12/11/12

      5 years for not handing over your details? Wow. Whatever happened to privacy and a right to silence? And then the fact that asio are allowed to vary a warrant at the determination of the attorney general WITHOUT consideration by the courts, and the fact that they are effectively allowed to plant material on your computer if they don’t find anything?  Roxon really is a fascist isn’t she?

    • Markus says:

      01:55pm | 12/11/12

      “Whatever happened to privacy and a right to silence?”
      One is already dead, the other soon to follow, if current proposals to allow juries to consider silence during police questioning as an admission of guilt ever get implemented.

    • marley says:

      02:16pm | 12/11/12

      @Markus - I thought the proposal on silence in police questioning was more subtle than that.  The jury can’t regard silence as an admission of guilt, but if you refuse to answer questions to the police and then come up with a detailed story at trial, then they’re entitled to consider whether your previous silence affects the credibility of the story.  That’s how I understand it works in the UK, anyway.

    • Proud thinking Australian says:

      09:57am | 12/11/12

      Malcolm Turnbull said “Stephen Conroy’s humiliating backdown on his proposed Internet filter comes after five years of bullying bluster. But don’t be fooled. He hasn’t turned into a libertarian. His instinct is always to control and dominate. This is the Minister who boasted that he had the power to make telco executives wear red underpants on their heads. The Internet filter has been abandoned only because Conroy has been forced to recognize he cannot get it through the Parliament.”
      Here ends Malcolm cheap dig posted on his Google+ social media feed last Friday attacking the government for “deciding to do nothing”.  I find this hurray the government did nothing very lame.

      The elephant in the room Malcom and Stephen are choosing to side step is the growing level of criminality that exists online.  If I was to open a shop front in downtown Sydney with framed still pictures and LED monitors displaying video material promoting child molestation and raping women I would be shut down and charged in NSW.  However if I was to take my virtual store front with identical obscene material to the Reddit file link sharing platform in the USA I would be immune from Australian law and free to carry on promoting violent criminal acts (A misuse of lawful freedom).

      The “content” (criminal material) is the same “content”, whether printed out, on open display in a shop in town or on a pay per view from Nigeria.  The federal government and opposition together should be focused on attacking the material which is illegal and those promoting child assault and rape etc.

      Freedom to do and promote anything past the rule of law [and more importantly against the spirit of the law (with its intent of reducing crime and harm to others)] is not a freedom of expression issue.
      There is civil society where the rule of law is respected and then there are other places around you would not like to live in.  The same concept applies on-line.

      The internet is already filtered by virtue of its size and the browsers used to search it.  I would offer that a reasonable government direct efforts to instruct Australian ISP’s and browsers to seek and destroy / report offenders and their material and thereby restrict or prevent access to violent criminal acts and their promotion anywhere.  Net policing also already happens now.  We can and should get tougher on limiting the promotion and reach of criminal activity into the Australian community in any form it wishes to mutate and transmit itself.

      If “filtering” aka “robot search, report and destroy” is being proactive and ISP / browser software companies are instructed to do this by government as good civic minded players in our economy (law jurisdiction) there is no downside, unless you wish to obtain the criminal material. Stop the rot.

      http://proudthinkingaustralian.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/the-governments-slow-then-no-response.html

    • LC says:

      10:33am | 12/11/12

      We already deal with the criminals who peddle this shit online. There is a whole division of the AFP dedicated to it. Open a paper, you’ll a get a story about someone being busted downloading child porn, or a child porn ring getting taken down at least once a week. This didn’t happen in the days prior to the internet, did it?

      Now comes the tricky bit. The majority of the filth is traded on mediums of the internet that cannot be filtered under the proposed scheme, or in some cases, AT ALL. See the filter only covers the HTTP traffic, which is what we’re using now. But it does not cover other forms of internet traffic, including email, FTP or P2P, which is the medium used for all the nasty things the internet is demonised for, like internet piracy and of course, child porn. So tell me, what’s the point in wasting money for something which would not have the faintest chance in hell of working? Even more so when a potential consequence of this is potential freedom of speech violations. Before you open your mouth, I wouldn’t decry it, without it democracy wouldn’t be possible. It would achieve so much more if the money wasted on the filter was given to the anti-child-porn unit of the AFP. Imagine what they could do with the $44,000,000 they spent on it.

      Please get a clue about the matter before you comment, Proud thinking Australian. I can tell you if you’re indeed thinking, it’s not your brain you’re using.

    • Markus says:

      10:49am | 12/11/12

      “However if I was to take my virtual store front with identical obscene material to the Reddit file link sharing platform in the USA I would be immune from Australian law and free to carry on promoting violent criminal acts (A misuse of lawful freedom).”

      You may not be breaking Australian Law, but you will sure as hell be breaking US Law, and the Aus authorities would not think twice about extraditing a distributor of child porn.

      And don’t think for a second that the proposed filter would have done anything to prevent such a scenario.

    • Proud thinking Australian says:

      11:09am | 12/11/12

      Dear LC and Markus,
      In your haste to shoot me down you have inferred I am in support of applying some kind of defective, ineffective, one-size-fits-all filter technology.  I am not.

      I am arguing that the leg work for which the AFP is going should be shared and supported in partnership with ISP’s, and browsers and other civil technology supplying platforms in Australia and elsewhere.

      Reddit is in-fact letting a US based child sex, rape promoter use their platform to host his toxic rubbish right “now”.  I could give you the “link” but that would only encourage him.  If you would like to trash this about some more you know where I blog, come have a chat.  Please don’t shoot before asking questions, it saves bullets this way…

    • Mark says:

      12:42pm | 12/11/12

      Dear Proud Thinking.
      Firstly, let me get to the Reddit issue you noted. Child abuse material is not something that you just stumble upon, you actively go searching for it. As a Redditor I have never never ‘stumbled’ upon such items and it’s not something I go searching for. Secondly, if you have proof of this take it to the site officials and the police. The Punch is not the place to make such claims.

      Next, obviously ISP are already helping the feds with their work as without them there wouldn’t be a fairly regular string of arrests. So what else are they supposed to do?

    • LC says:

      02:58pm | 12/11/12

      Considering posting child abuse material on Reddit is very much against the site policy, you can report it to the moderators, who will co-operate with the police to find and prosecute the person/people responsible. Like Facebook did when someone defaced a memorial page with child abuse imagery.

      Your statement on ISPs is in fact what is actually happens today, which you might have known if you actually bothered to research the topic, no new laws needed.
      If the AFP comes in with a warrant they can provide oodles of information that can be (and have been, regularly) be used to take down those who peddle this filth. Additionally, if the police arrive at the pedophile’s residence with a warrant they can oblige the suspect to provide them with the passwords and/or encryption keys to watch what they do on their computer. That is at it should be, it locks away the bad guys, while protecting the privacy of those who’ve done nothing wrong.

    • Chris L says:

      10:07am | 12/11/12

      Yeah, I didn’t think it would be so simple. As much as I love the NBN and hope the project gets seen through in its entirety, I can’t vote for any party that wants to control what we see and read. A shame, since I’m not overly fond of their competition at the moment either. Minor parties all the way for me at the next election.

    • Utopia Boy says:

      06:51pm | 12/11/12

      “Parents’ closely monitoring their children’s activity remains the only effective way to ensure kids are protected online.”

      That’s all that’s needed to be said about children. The quality of the parents then becomes a key issue, and about time.

      As for the P2P and dodging the filter, as described in the article, there’s not much that can be done. Governments fighting that is like the dinosaurs trying to fend off asteroids. Governments don’t have the capability to truly regulate the net, and that’s why, in some shape or form, it will always be censorship free.

      The fact remains though that people must have the right to choose. How can you know what’s right if you get fed by the nanny state at every thought-meal?

 

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Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

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Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more

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