Friday, November 14, 2008

Pulling my head out of the sand

I have been steadfastly ignoring the Internet censorship thing, because I was living in "it's too stupid to ever get up" fantasy land. Mim started to pull my head out of the sand with her post on the senate discussion of it, and now Hoyden have posted a great long transcript of (of all things!) a Spoon Man (from MMM) discussion on the topic.

It defies all logic. How can anyone think this is either technically plausible or anything but morally repugnant? Yes, I get the "won't somebody please think of the children?" argument, but it won't work, and it is not limited to kiddy porn. I might well find myself blocked, since variations on kiddy porn are a common theme of search strings that bring people here (they must be a tad disappointed when they get here).

I have to say, given my understanding of the ALP, I am quite prepared to apply the "never assume malice where stupidity will do" principle. I am not inclined to assume a deliberate attempt at political censorship, but I doubt that anyone can convince me that this will ever achieve its stated aim, and I suspect there will be a massive amount of collateral damage. And who knows what some future government will do? The ALP should think long and hard about what this could do to them next time they are in opposition. I doubt Howard would have blinked before using it to block anti-Howard web sites.

I'm not sure what the point of this post is. If you have a Labor member, write to them. Call them on their emotional blackmail. Make it clear that you object to kiddy porn, but there are multiple ways of avoiding the planned scheme, none of which require much effort. It's not like peer-to-peer or email are complex technologies. And when you get the form letter response, write back. Don't accept it. We all know it's bullshit.

Stupid is stupid, and if it slows down my Internet, it's evilly stupid, and if it lets some future Howard control what I can see, it's an abomination worthy of a jihad (at least an electronic one).

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