Friday, 4 January 2008

Prime Minister Rudd and Internet censorship

I voted for Kevin Rudd in 2007. For the first time since I was able to vote, the party I voted for won. While I don't think I was voting for the long-term future (after all, which government is completely altruistic?), and as my seat has been, and most likely always will be a Labour seat, it was nice to see "my team" win. Keep in mind, it's a popularity contest - and I don't think most people really know what they're doing.

The reasons I voted for Rudd was personal. Firstly, I was hoping from a change from the Liberal government at the time. I did not agree with John Howard's deals for free trade with the USA. While I love the Americana concept, I dislike the current government. I don't like how through free trade, they can impose their laws on us. Secondly, and probably most importantly, I voted for Labour as they did not have the same Internet policy as the Family First party. The Family First party had an idea to put a large firewall / filter around the whole of Australia, and control what content could come into the country. Now Rudd's Labour government wants to do the same.

I'm not going to discuss how easy it will be to bypass, or that the plan allows for an "opt-out" option. My issue with this plan is that it assumes that Australians are:
  • too lazy to monitor their kids on the internet (if this is the case, just don't hook up to the internet in the first place)
  • too stupid to bypass it
  • too "lemming-like", as similar plans have been implemented in other countries
  • like to pay $30 Million AUD upfront, and $22 Million AUD a year to maintain this concept
Mr Rudd came to power with promises of making the Internet better (ie. "faster"). This censorship will only slow things down. And most importantly, it will give the average IT-illiterate parent a false sense of security when it comes to their kids being on-line and away from the "nasties that lurk out there".

Software does not replace good parenting!

If you too are offended by the government treatment, please write to your local member or to Mr Rudd directly. Do be polite and straight to the point. Maybe it's not too late to stop this waste of money and effort just to please a small minority with divine-like morals...

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