Friday, December 17, 2010

Unrestricted, Uncontrolled Internet Filtering

Just in case you weren't aware, Australia's not the only country that's looking at introducing Internet Filter-style legistlation to allow the government unregulated control over adding sites that the Government chooses to have added to an ISP-enforced blacklist.  The French Government just passed a bill to enable this unregulated Internet filtering.  So right now, the French Government can block any web site it so chooses to and there's no oversight, no control, no-one they need to answer to - does this sound like what Stephen Conroy dreams of as his "heaven on Earth", or what?  I'm imagining him sitting down, reading this information and having a little "self flagellation" time and finding it the best thing ever.

In reality, this is a very disturbing thing when it comes to human rights.  The government shouldn't, in a free society, have the right to block things they deem unfit without having this whole process be accountable to someone who actually understands the technology that's being filtered.  And usign "child pornography" as an excuse is totally unjustifiable - anyone who has had anything to do with blocking this sort of lowlife scum filth for any reason knows that child porn sites are hidden behind VPNs, secure access, encryption and other fences so that the general Internet user CANNOT stumble on them - if they could, the Feds could, and if the Feds could, the dirty, filthy scum that inhabit these sites would be in jail (unfortunately in solitary confinement) quicker than you'd know.

The Government (both the French and Australian, as well as other Governments around the world who are looking at China as an example of how to control your citizenry) are in need of a good bollocking for taking liberties with people's freedom.

As IgnoramusMaximus commented on this SlashDot story:

Governments are like nuclear power. If left unchecked they will kill a lot of people, screw up the neighborhood for generations and cause loss of standard of living for a lot other people. In the extreme, they can be used as a weapon and cause far more damage yet.

On the other hand, given enough containment and backup control systems, they can be the most powerful source of help in everyday life to a lot of people.

So where the challenge truly lies is in engineering such containment and control (see for example: the US Constitution) and then maintaining it. But when citizens willing to fight for their rights to the death are replaced with the likes of lardy American Idol fans, there is simply no one left to look after rusty, sieve-like containment vessels.

And so, unfortunately, most governments on the planet today are in various stages of performing their Chernobyl thing.

I don't think anyone could put it more succinctly than that!


The Outspoken Wookie

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