A Simple Solution to the Censorship Filter

Posted in #openinternet by skepdadblog on February 16, 2010
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Work with me here.

The federal government, possibly in partnership with Google, creates a national ISP as part of the NBN.  Google Tubes?

This ISP provides means-tested internet access to all Australians (residential only, or commercial too? I don’t know, what do you think?).  The lowest income earners pay nothing.  Everybody else pays market rates.

This internet connection is filtered however Conroy wants to.  But it is opt-out.

The people of Australia then have a choice.  If they so desire, they can have a Safe For Children (TM) internet connection at a fair price.  If they are an Aussie Battler (TM) they get free access to the world of education and self-actualisation that the internet provides.  Cue a ticker tape parade for the Labor government.

ISPs are spared the expense and trouble of implementing flawed mandatory filtering.  They may lose a bit of business to this new competitor, but the market rates for all but the most disadvantaged (and thus unlikely to pay for a commercial ISP) will limit churn to only those who want a filter.

The people of Australia are spared state censorship unless they really want it.

So, where are the holes in this brilliant and insightful plan?



Posted in #openinternet by skepdadblog on February 12, 2010
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Hands off our internets, Conroy!

I made this last night in a fit of rage at the uncovering of Conroy’s recent backroom dealings with Google.  It truly amazes me that global commercial entities such as Google are shining the light of democracy and free speech into the gathering gloom of Australian right-wing moral panic.

Australia!  My homeland, the land I served in the military, the land I longed for while working overseas, the land to which I returned to raise my children.  My wife and I treasured our own upbringings on the beaches and in the parks of this magnificent country, and we wanted the same for our offspring.  Proudly we puffed out our chests as we said to our European friends: “we’re moving home because we can’t imagine raising kids anywhere other than Australia”.  How thoroughly betrayed I feel now.

Those who know me well, or even in passing, would probably concur that I am possibly the very last person to ever get involved in what I might have once called a “hippie cause”.  I have never attended a protest, never written to my MP, never corresponded with a newspaper over anything more serious than bus drivers’ ignorance of the temperature in the cabin.

But this issue has me incensed.  Literally furious.  There are so many points of concern in this issue that I needed to start a blog to talk about them all.  Viz: SkepDad.

Bring it on

Ah, the Greeks knew their defiance.

Charlton Heston’s slogan “from my cold, dead hands”, and its root, defiant phrase in classical Greek “ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ” (“come and get it” or “over my dead body”) are perfectly applicable to this struggle.  The internet is the greatest triumph of democracy and free speech in the long history of humanity, and we must not allow it to suffer at the hands of those who would, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, have us give up a little liberty in exchange for a little security.  As he said: we would then deserve neither.

Come with me on this journey.  I ask that you argue in a spirit of maturity and objectivity, but let your outrage be heard.  Reason is welcome here; rhetoric not.  Let us determine how to educate the people of Australia to throw off these shackles as they are being oiled and made ready for us.