No more links to the Google website.
The Australian Government yesterday broke new records for web censorship by requiring the takedown not just of a page containing harmful content, nor even a page linking to harmful content, but a page linking to a link to allegedly harmful content. The content that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) …
This gov't is more than enough to make you sick. Stingrays, Snakes, Spiders, and Internet Censorship -- what's next? You've never seen a more Blair-like gov't in your life -- blames everything on (a) society, (b) the previous administration, (c) pubic interest, (d) anyone else.
This is yet another China in the making here in Oz folks -- Free Tibet eh? Free Oz to view what it wants!
So now they don't link directly they tell you what to enter in google, to try and find the site. Presumably google.com.au will end up having this entry filtered. So maybe we should put up notifications of what to search for in less censored search engines. Even better, put it together in its own tagged text format. Make it human readable, but a plugin could read it and display it as a link.
That way its not a link. (Good grief! I wonder what the legal definition for a link is?)
If a link to a link does become illegal, will that mean I'll hear jack boots down the hall cause I have a desktop link to google?
Unfortunately, this sort of thing seems to have bipartisan support here. The worst criticism you will hear from the opposition (regardless of who is in power) is: "Their filtering is ineffective and a waste of money". They won't criticise the idea of censorship.
Only the Greens are seriously opposed, but they're hardly going to form Government any time soon.
Worse, the Sir Humphreys in DBCDE are all-for censorship. Labor took a silly, but benign, censorship policy to the election (opt-in censorship), but once the public service got their hands on the Minister, it was transformed into the current monstrosity.
Thankfully, the current link-deletion policy is so unworkable that it will collapse under its own weight if implemented widely, and the plans for internet filtering are a total unimplementable farce. We'll all be saved by our own bureaucrats' incompetence.
....Australian Censorobot will attempt to nail jelly to the wall.
Seriously, what?? The whole point of the creation of the Internet was to provide resilient connectivity to hosts and it's worked out rather well; if they think they can pretend a website's not there by removing a link to it they're pitifully naive. As to the political censorship aspect, it's a slippery old slope.
I agree with the sentiment; Filtering *is* bad.
However, maybe these "political" websites need to become a little more than just shocksites (snuffx anyone?) and stop showing pictures of aborted foetuses, or animals with chemical burns from cosmetics, or any other horrifying image. They should instead concentrate on getting their point across more eloquently, perhaps through debate. Like they do in all democratic societies.
The fact that Australia is run by morons who think that blocking access to aborted foetuses will stop child abuse is bad enough, but the fact they will prevent even links to link to it puts them in a league with China or North Korea.
Are there any countries left that have freedom of speech?
Is a link to a google search illegal, if one of the top hits (on the day viewed by the censor) is a censored site? Or a link using Google's "I'm feeling lucky" service to return a page for that matter. What if the top site changes?
Heck, what if someone makes a randomizer service where people can submit keywords, reset daily, which are strung together and returned as a url. If a user kept on adding "Abortion" and "tv", would such a site need to be taken down? Would the site owner be responsible for the url's it generates if hosted in Australia?
The mind boggles.
Banning links seems futile - even if you had sympathy with the need to censor. In order to point users to a page that upset the censors, surely one could simply create a link that creates a Google (or other) search that would be fairly sure to present the relevant page in top position. Or is Australia planning to ban their citizens from suggesting search phrases that might lead to information that they consider inappropriate?
Lots of comments about replacing links with search expressions, but no-one (yet) noting that Google's output is a page containing links to items. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a search engine that doesn't work this way. Presumably then, search engines are now illegal in Australia unless they enforce the Porn-Proof Fence, which they would have to do using the flaky GeoIP stuff.
Great the only way i can think of old Wacki beating this is to ban all web sites with images on incase they are offensive to someone.
(Should i give her ideas)
Or a username on your ID card that you have to use everytime you 'logon' to the internet.
Or just banning the internet full stop (this may happen when the labour govt don't give up power at the next election (George W Bush election for the labour party anyone)).
... Ozzie common sense? I really thought Ozland might be a good place to run to on the offchance that Labour win another election here (cos then we're all fucked).
What's next? Taking books out of libraries if they're not on approved reading lists?
Agree with AC above - exactly where can we move to that has a non-opressive government and some common sense? Sealand?
So if an Australian web site wished to link to a "banned" web site, why not just create a tinyurl.com shortcut to that particular site and publish that link? Same end result for the surfer, but the website isn't publishing a direct link to "banned" content, so (potentially) no problem.
If links to links aren't permitted, then go through 2 tinyurl.com URLs (although I've never tried that to find out if it works).
I think the idea is to make themselves look foolish and waste a lot of taxpayers money - they're succeeding.
"Doesn't seem that long ago when we should have been looking at Oz's immigration, settlement etc system as they seem to have a pretty clued up group running the whole shebang down there.."
You're surprised that a fascist immigration policy has developed into a fascist censorship policy?
Or are you only interested in freedom when it directly benefits you?
No, because all the citizens of those countries have preferred to leave instead of standing up for their rights and the rights of others.
Alternatively, no because they couldn't be arsed to stand up for anything between reruns of whatever inane TV series it is they watch.
You don't get the country you ask for, you get the country you work for.
Exactly what I was thinking! What a bunch of utter clueless gonks!
Dear stupid Oz politicians,
You people have no flipping idea about how a vast, unregulated network like the internet actually works do you? Listen pillocks, it is not a single "thing", it is a vast spaghetti mess of interconnected computers that simply hang together by string, sellotape and the odd bit of blue-tac just to keep those RJ45 leads plugged in!
Listen to one last fact, unless ALL governments in the entire world collude to control it, you cannot regulate it! You can attempt to limit your little island's view, but there will always be chinks in the armour, always!
Thank you for listening!
Here in the States, we have the ability to protest our idiot government and its ideas on banning things. I have personally done this in the past. Takes a lot of work, but it does work and it does create changes in the way our officials make policy.
Make the banning policy seem archaic, which it is in any country, and show the press how unworkable it is. Its obvious that your government has no practical experience with technology and the internet so it will be really easy to make your government look like a bunch of religious idiots who get their banning ideas from some book writen 1800 years ago. We have some real idiots in the US government as well and as soon as you make them look like an idiot, changes take place. Politicians want money, power and quiet annomity and they cant have the third if the people are protesting in the streets.
If you get enough local, and international press on your side you WILL win. Organize and protest. Oh, make sure its peaceful and you have all your permits if any are needed.
What's so friggin' mind-bending or destablising to good ordinary folks in pictures of aborted foetuses anyway??
I mean yeah it's not pretty, but well if you find them offensive them perhaps you should consider whether asking medical staff to perform them is as well... which I guess is exactly what the website is aiming for!
I'm (unfortunately) on a telstra (the great BT satan equivalent) connection and could navigate to the site and page of the banned link.
What's the point of issuing a take-down notice for a link if the country's largest ISP is still allowing you to visit the site? Nothing surprises me with this place any more.
I have to say this news brings home to me how far my countries government have fallen. I never liked Howard (did shake his hand once though) and Rudd is definitely an idiot, proven by this type of shite..
I am seriously considering staying away for a few more years as i am reluctant to line the coffers of a government that are so obviuosly wrong. (I have to say i don't agree with the label of facist's though that may be a tad extreme...)
What could more clearly refute the claim that internet censorship is to protect children than pictures of the mangled remains of those who would be children.
Why should information about abortion be proscribed by the government? Could it be that the reality of the various procedures are such that would make descriptions of abuse in child murder cases, and descriptions of animal cruelty, pale into insignificance? Find out, before Whacky Jacqui decides you should not know exactly what goes on in this area of industrial-scale social engineering.
Shook Little Johnnie's hand? Didn't the rabies shots hurt? As for the label "Fascist Oz" , it's appropriate given the way Big Biz dictates govt policy. Fascists don't need to ban McDonalds or Footie or TV. In fact, they support any opiate of the people that keeps them hoodwinked while the big boys make off with the/your loot. Oz was already fascist when I left in the 70s & it's only got worse.
The AMCA pages must contain copies of takedown notices, which must contain details of the infringing links (or links to links etc).
This means the AMCA is guilty of the same behaviour! So they should issue a takedown notice to themselves, which will contain an infringing link, which will necessitate a takedown notice....
Well that's the link to the link that the articlke headline refers to.
Anything that makes it possible for someone to find illegal content is illegal. If illegal is defined by 'what can get you for'. The Pirate Bay provides links not to websites but to torrents. It is a search engine and yet they got convicted and imprisoned. Google is different because they don't fight the authorities but work with them, China is a good example. YouTube is getting flack for not taking stuff down fast enough, that will change.
The Web could change to be more like the Pirate Bay model. Instead of file downloads we could be hosting websites on our PCs that work by Bit Torrent or something similar. Obviously some of those websites would be the the search engines themselves. Everything multiply hosted and global.
Unless the foundation of the Internet is changed then this will be what happens when filtering is added on the top.
So what is the foundation of the Internet? TCP/IP, the IP stands for Internet Protocol, currently IPv4, we are jumping to IPv6 which will be a fundermental change to the foundation of the Internet.
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