I’ve been fuming about the internet filtering that the Rudd government is trying to impose on us since I found out about it a couple of months ago. Its frustrating because I KNOW its not practical. I had high hopes for Kevin Rudd’s government, I mean its not exactly the revolution that we’re seeing with the new president that the US has picked, but he was certainly a breath of fresh air after 12 long years of Howard government. But this half cocked internet filtering effort has shattered my belief in him. I’ve seriously considered just pulling up stake and moving elsewhere in the world, there is always room for one more technical person in most countries. This is not to say that I can’t get around the filter, anyone with half a clue can download Tor, and the rest of us with more technical knowledge can go a lot further than this; tunneling over SSH or creating a VPN to my dedicated server in the US (not that a virtual server wouldn’t work equally as well). But the fact remains that its another step down the road of losing personal choice, I say another and I mean it, this is not the first time that the government has stepped in and stopped something with a heavy hand that should fall under the responsibility of parents (what their children watch).
I’ve been shocked to discover that Australia is a lot more prudish about a lot of things than you might believe. Christians would say that our society has not had its moral fabric eroded as much as say the US (even there the christians exert the same kinds of pressure). The problem is that fundamentally Christians believe that they have a right to shove their beliefs and concerns down everyone else’s throat. Enough about that though, this isn’t supposed to be an anti christian rant (and I’m not anti christian in general). It just frustrates me that people feel they have a right to destroy somebody else’s right to choose.
The last thing that really gets me with this issue is the lies. To steal something from the abortion debate; “Don’t they know that you can be pro choice and still be against abortion”. They equate not wanting the filter with siding with child pornography, and it’s just patently false, I have no interest in EVER supporting child pornography (lock them up and throw away the key). That doesn’t mean that I agree that you should punish(remove the rights of) all Australians to decide what they look at, across a broad range of content, and claim that its all about the children. Hire more technically competent police to deal with cybercrime (an area I’d love to work in), and get a decent technology advisor.
You can sign a petition at http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/SaveTheNet/442