back to article Professor warns Aus firewall is undemocratic

The proposed great Australian firewall is bad law and bad policy on every level, according to Professor Catharine Lumby speaking at the first conference of new international academic network Onscenity in London on Monday. Professor Lumby, Director of the Journalism and Media Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, …

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Its the same here

Our obscene publications act can be used as a broad brush to prohibit access to exactly the same content as the aussie internet filter. They are just saving money by enforcing the law with technology rather than with reams of investigations and paperwork.

Im not supporting them, I think its a ridiculous law. But so is ours and we shouldn't forget that when laughing at our antipodean cousins government.

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Firewall only for international sites

The whole point of the firewall is that the government has no jurisdiction over foreign web sites but still wants to control access to them. I'd think that goes quite a bit further than the UK laws.

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Grenade

I agree...

...with some of the good Professors points. As a young teenager I had feelings in the arena of bondage. I developed well below any legal age threshold.

As it happened, I survived some of the stupidest things it is possible for someone to do on their own (no, I didn't know anything about conservative MP's and oranges at the time) and if information had been available to me, or better still someone to talk with, then I would have been far better informed and wouldn't have done some of the mind numbingly stupid things that I did.

Unfortunately, my cousin on his 18th birthday, wasn't so lucky. He died through auto asphyxiation which went badly wrong. His mother discovered him hanging by his neck and went through so much soul wrenching agony. If there had been better information available, or even the possibility of him having someone spot for him; he might have still been alive today. Possibly me, if we'd been able to talk more openly on these subjects.

Sometimes I look at our backward society, so hell bent on saving the children that they overlook the very fact that it is having information ready and available that will actually save more lives than it will put in danger.

Reminds me of that American state where children under a certain age who have leanings in certain areas such as BDSM have to suport each other becuase it is crime for an adult to actually talk to them about their feelings and what they're going through.

Bloody stupid politicians. Put them all in a CB2000 and throw away the key, I say. They make me so damn angry because they haven't really got a clue. No grip on reality. Not a single frigging brain cell of theirs has the faintest idea.

Anonymous - for the protection of my aunty and the memory of my cousin. She was robbed of her only child and suffered the heartache of his discovery because of politicians like that and the "Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children!" mob.

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Unhappy

A tough break for your cousin

I can see the irony of it isn't lost on you but the sad thing is the Daily Mail brigade wouldn't even understand the problem.

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I agree too...

When the Extreme Porn legislation was first suggested in this country one point that those of us who objected to was the fact that, as with your cousin, it would make important safety information more difficult (if not potentially illegal) to access and thus lead to more such avoidable tragedies.

PS One side note: the CB2000 has been discontinued and replaced with the CB6000-s ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

There is a chance...

to speak out against the law if you like. It is on the new government suggestion web site here - http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unnecessary-laws/repeal-section-63-criminal-justice-act - and you can register and vote on it, as well as adding your own comments.

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If you can talk...

Hi,

I can understand how awful this is - and therefore how difficult it is to talk about. That is one of the reasons i continue to report on this subject. I am aware of others who have suffered in similar ways - and their parents have not blamed some nebulous "other" - but actually set up a campaign to make information that much more available.

If you can do so, i would be very grateful if you contacted me off board. I'm not in the business of writing up every story no matter how sensastional - but if this case can be used as background in future, it would be very helpful.

many thanks,

jane

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We dodged a bullet

Not that I'm at all a Tory-boy, but much longer under NuLab and we'd probably be looking at something similar here. Phew I say.

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Grenade

Conrod...

needs a lady friend. or at least an aide whom he can con his way into rodding.

but then, a couple of Aussies (well, just two embryologists in Perth, making my sample a very poor one) i have asked about the issue, or even Conroy himself seem ignorant and blissfully unaware of what's afoot. perhaps that is why he has gone as far as he has with his plans!

and what happens to that lovely smut mistress who produces solo flicks for those Aussies who like a solo grumble? do they have to fly to new zealand for their knuckle shuffle?

this idea is going to be almost impossible to imlement.

i remember there being a lot of hysteria a few years ago in Oz about some misquited study about kids 'inadvertently' being exposed to pron. perhaps they deserve this filter thingamajic.

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Big Brother

More like PM Jerkard.

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2010/07/pm-gillard-standing-behind-conroy-and-his-filter-filter/

And our Prime Minister stands behind Conroy, very likely because she doesn't understand the technology either. There's word there might be change after the election, as the last cabinet reshuffle was to fill the empty positions by Gillard, but I just can't vote for them based on that. And anything but the Liberal-National coalition, they're just as bad, if not worse.

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Small country, far away

Every so often a population opts for tyranny. Luckily, Australia is a little country that doesn't matter to us (unlike Germany and Russia, both of which were big enough and close enough to be threatening when they went through it). They will change their minds eventually, though it can take a few generations to recover. No worries, as the antipodeans used to say, before they went mad.

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Headmaster

2 out of 10. See me.

"Luckily, Australia is a little country that doesn't matter to us ..."

We'll remember that the next time you invite us to a World War,.want somewhere to park your old lags and is a refuge for 10 pound Poms.

1000 lines : "I must remember Gallipoli, The Somme, Tobruk, Singapore, Etc"

Later minor, please try to keep up in History class.

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@Magani

I believe the OP was posting in the context of the current time and hence is quite correct in their assertion. Hear much about them in the media? Nope. QED.

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We needed a Professor

to tell us that??

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Onscenity in London on Monday

Pardon!

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Anonymous Coward

Undemocratic???

Since when has that ever mattered in a democratic country? Just ask the twits at cesspool, I hear the .au gobermint is watching this forum very closely for tips on how to improve the filter once it's all up and running. Well anyway we have a new PM that is awesome, except the filter policy remains, moron voters will vote labor now and Conroy gets his way and after the election he'll be like "The majority of Australians want a filter, cause if they didn't they wouldn't have voted for us LOLZ" Suck it down Aussies, you'll get no more sympathy from me.

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FAIL

Fail beyond the telling of it

"He has gone on record claiming that the internet is a medium little different from books, and has quite failed to recognise that it represents a totally new environment".

Internet like books? That is so much fail that there isn't even a word to describe it. I mean, sure, the internet is heavily word-based (moreso on Apple as you don't get pretty badly-animated pictures, but you do get a content stripper)...

...however... Facebook in printed form? eBay little different from a book? P2P downloads like the written word? Twitter like anything ever published (in the traditional ink&paper sense)? Absolutely not. It would be better to say the internet is little different from a telephone, but in reality the internet "is". It cannot be likened to anything much else (perhaps a massive BBS, if you were in that scene?) as it covers so many different areas. From the epic-sized encyclopaedia project that is Wiki, to billions of Wiki spinoffs (BeebWiki, for example, or TVTropes) to news with videos, streaming radio from 20,000 different stations, VOD (legal or less so...), forums, chatrooms, mental diarrhoea (tweets), application datasheets, porn, religious extremism and political lies all side by side with a running commentary by XKCD.

Yes. The Internet is little different from books in the same way a Citroën Saxo resembles a book...

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Effing politicians and bureaucrats

"The authors argue that it is time to review Australia’s complex and inconsistent media content regulation system to take account of the online era."

I wonder how a democratic nation could even consider regulating media content. Obviously, hanging upside down in the land down under has caused a bureaucratic red-out.

Yes, I am aware of our own (U.S.) gummit asshats who's only concern is expanding their own power over the lowly unwashed masses, and controlling media content means their power affects everyone.

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FAIL

Regulation != Censorship

There's more to the media than just "free speech". For starters there are codes of practice and ethical guidelines. Remove these (or just fail to enforce them) and the quality of your media sinks to rock bottom.

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undemocratic?

Ooh, do I get points for comparing the government to the Nazis too?

"Undemocratic" would be if it stopped people from voting or skewed voting in an unfair manner. I'm reasonably sure that isn't the case.

"Stupid", yes, "dangerous precedent" certainly, "unworkable" for sure, but "undemocratic"? Probably not.

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control

And next year Australia will have a communist or muslim government....

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Who's who?

So are the LIB/NAT coalition the muslims and the ALP the communists, or is it the other way around?

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Looking forward to tremendous fun...

...reporting completely innocent websites for Ch1ld Pr0n.

I'm thinking - overseas and national sporting sites when there is major cricket / thugby / farnarkling on overseas.

The entire local Thugby League suite of websites (actually there probably IS a fair bit of pr0n on those sites so it should be easy)

Websites of any museum, art gallery, historic site that contains any examples of boy-bits, 8008135, or other such smut.

Websites that contain any written references to violence against children - ie ANY website that contains text of the bible.

Our goal should be to have the ENTIRE web censored, to make the government look like the morons they are.

Shouldn't be too hard.

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Grenade

If Gillard has any sense, and as an atheist...

...she should drop this religious clap-trap filter crap immediately.

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No need...

She doesn't need to do any dropping of anything - it's unlikely they'll be returned at the next election... They've got filtering for the IT people, refugee processing for the bleeding hearts, mining tax for the mining people, and no climate action for the greenies.

I think with all that, they pretty much have themselves right out of the running.

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Black Helicopters

change of government won't help

The previous lot dreamed up a child-saving filter system, too, and spend billions on it. For no results. At least it was a parent-opt-in filter like ones you could already get it you wanted, only not as good.

They are not going to make an election issue of this because they want it, too.

The real reason is, for obvious reasons the list of banned URLs can never be published. So nobody will know what's on the list. SO they can put anyone they want onto the list. Coupled with the plan to force ISPs to hold ALL data about the sites you visited for 10 years, guess what that adds up to?

Luckily their usual incompetence would mean they'd never get anything useful out of all that data, but not before they THINK they did against some totally innocent people.

It's just a glitch in the calendar system that 1984 is arriving so late.

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Interesting quote

"The authors argue that it is time to review Australia’s complex and inconsistent media content regulation system to take account of the online era."

And the same could probably said of *any* major economy's laws on the same subject.

Should different media be governed by different laws? Same laws? Same laws (with exceptions)?

She makes a valid point. It'll be interesting if any one pays attention.

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