Anti-censorship protests today
Australian government efforts to censor the internet are falling apart, basically because the filters don’t work and the ISPs therefore decline to participate. Major newspaper The Age reported that Communications Minister Stephen Conroy (and Labour Party senator) has said the filtering trials will no longer be live as had been promised. Instead, the trials will be “a closed network test and will not involve actual customers”.
A key piece of evidence cited by the ISPs was a study by the Australian Communications and Media Authority that found filters frequently let through content that should be blocked, incorrectly blocked harmless content, and slowed down network speeds by up to 87 percent. Read it for yourself here.
Government plans call for a two-tiered censorship system based on ISP filters. One would be compulsory and is supposed to block anything on a 10,000 URL blacklist administered by the ACMA. The other is optional and is intended to protect children from inappropriate content. “The plan is opposed by the Greens, Opposition, the internet industry, some child welfare advocates, consumers and online rights groups,” the article continues. “They fear the blacklist will be expanded to include the blocking of regular pornography, political views, gambling and pro-abortion sites.”
Anti-censorship protests took place in all seven Australian capital cities today (Saturday).