Australia plans to join China in implementing mandatory internet censorship. The Australian government will not allow internet users to opt out of the national filter, something originally provided in the initial proposal.
Originally outlined as a way to combat child pornography and adult content, this censorship proposal is reported to possibly include sites containing information on euthanasia and anorexia.
Mr Conroy said trials were yet to be carried out, but “we are talking about mandatory blocking, where possible, of illegal material.”
Many groups have come out against the proposal saying it would “unfairly restrict Australians’ access to the web, slow internet speeds and raise the price of internet access.”
EFA board member Colin Jacobs said it would have little effect on illegal internet content, including child pornography, as it would not cover file-sharing networks.
“If the Government would actually come out and say we’re only targeting child pornography it would be a different debate,” he said.
Not everyone is against this proposal. The Australian Christian Lobby welcomed it saying, “The need to prevent access to illegal hard-core material and child pornography must be placed above the industry’s desire for unfettered access.”
I have read unsubstantiated stories about Rogers (AT&T) and Telus (both in Canada) looking into blocking the internet, but the original story I read is no longer available (and since it contained no links to any sources) and upon further reading, it appears that what Rogers is trying to do is charge extra for long streams of data which tie up the networks. Capitalism being what it is, I cannot complain about that. Hopefully, there is enough competition in Canada to allow customers to shop elsewhere should they not want to pay for these extra services.
That said, it is too reminiscent of rumblings here in the US that providers were going to allow their business customers to pay additional revenue so that their sites load faster, which could lead to limited competition if consumers get tired of one site taking forever to load (remember those “World Wide Wait” commercials?) Each tiny step taken to place limitations on a free internet is a step in the wrong direction.
And should a western country implement any type of censorship, one must ask oneself, how long before it arrives here?
Read up on Net Neutrality and take action. Do not allow this to ever come to pass, for what you are reading right now, may become nonexistent in the future.
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