More on censorship

A follow up post, I found a few more articles on this whole censorship issue in Australia from numerous sources and some more thoughts.

There has been a huge discussion on Twitter between social media and web folks who I personally consider experts in the online world but many of them seem confused. Not good. Some of the questions/issues raised, of course many may be overreactions.

  • Based on the current interpretations Second Life really should be banned in Australia.
  • Seesmic a micro video blogging tool would be banned if it had a dedicated porn feed.
  • If YouTube (of related service) had 1 offending video would the whole service be blocked until the 1 video was removed.
  • Why is pornography (opt out) more offending than crime or terrorism which has an opt in list?
  • What about VOIP tools (ie Skype) will they be banned because they could be used for pornography and cannot be blocked due to the traffic encryption.

Some links first up from The 463 “While You Were Out: Australia Makes Plans to Censor the Internet“:

However, as The Australian notes, “in Britain, only between 200 and 1000 child pornography sites have been included on a blacklist.”

And, Conroy is talking about potentially millions of general pornography sites (however defined) and other sites that depict violence (ditto). Plus, Australian sensibilities are hardly “European” when it comes to community standards.

An Op Ed piece by Dr Peter John Chen in The Age “Who’s afraid of the net?“:

The policy is reminiscent of Douglas Adams’ anti-panic glasses, which turned black when confronted with something that might scare you.

Second Op Ed from the Australian “Net-nanny state worth watching

The plan risks giving parents a false sense of security because it will not be possible to block all offensive material. Equally, educational and other non-offensive sites will almost certainly be blocked in error. And research shows blanket restrictions can have a dramatic impact on the speed at which broadband services operate.

Finally a link from Peter Black’s Freedom to Differ “More on Australian online censorship“.

One thought on “More on censorship

  1. I’m neutral on the subecjt of censorship. I don’t really care whether they put black bars or mosaics as long as I know what’s going on, but I don’t mind if they’re not there. Because frankly, if you can imagine what’s behind them, it’s not a big deal at all.What I make of the current ambiguity of censorship standards is that it was made and is kept ambiguous on purpose. I doubt the government really cares about whether people get to see penor and vagoo completely, they probably care more about showing the citizens who don’t peruse such material that they’re doing something in the name of public morals(no matter how little, or what an obviously useless gesture it is). And if need be, they can haul in anyone who offends them simply because they stepped over a barely visible line. Who’s going to complain? I demand the right to see vaginal penetration in my entertainment is not a convincing argument to the majority of citizens.Would anyone dare to challenge such government authority? Japan is, after all, the country where you can be held without trial or bail for 23 days merely by being accused of a crime.I’ve seen this back home as well. Ambiguity breeds fear because you don’t know when you’ve broken the law. I suspect the government isn’t in a particular hurry to relinquish this leash it has on the adult industry. The first step, I believe, is to force them to clearly define the laws. Repealing censorship seems like a pipe dream at the present time to me.

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