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Thread: Internet Freedom/Filtering

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The Rabbit-proof Internet Fence


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Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2008 18:35:33 +1100

One of the reasons your humble blogger renewed blogging, after a long silence, was the news that the newly elected Australian government intended to introduce mandatory Internet Filters. After a little bit of research, your humble blogger discovered that this was the policy of both major parties in the last election. Possibly a persuasive argument for voting for the Greens?

Note: This was one of several posts about The Great Internet Rabbit-proof Fence -- Click here to return to the Index page.

This government faces many challenges. Education infrastructure, Science and research and development in industry and the tertiary education sector, Communications (especially broadband), and the biggest challenge of all, Global Warming, are all serious issues. Add to this the challenge of the Global Financial Crisis, and they would appear to have their work cut out for them.

The issue of Internet Filters is not as simple as proponents of the idea would have us believe. It is ill-conceived policy on the run. The real cost of a (genuine) Internet Filter is going to be extreme, and it threatens to undermine the important policies regarding Broadband and education, and science. It could further hamper other policy initiatives by consuming valuable capital and resources. The Internet Filter lobbyists are mostly ill-informed about the Internet and almost all of them considerably under-estimate the complexity and cost of the project.

In a previous blog entry, your blogger declared his opposition to the scheme. Put simply the ohjections can be summarised as follows:

As with the ill-conceived Rabbit-proof fence constructed last century to keep vermin out, or "The Great Wall Of China", designed to keep barbarians out, this attempt to clean up the Internet is doomed to fail. The most worrying aspect about this flawed project is the cost that will by borne mainly by Australian taxpayers and consumers and the counter-productive side-effects for our computing infrastructure and education. Most galling of all will be the almost certain failure of the project, the false sense of security that will been promoted during the initial roll-out, and the ultimate realisation that all the cost will have been for nothing.


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