[clug] OT: Protesting the proposed clean feed?

Michael Cohen scudette at gmail.com
Wed Oct 22 22:48:58 GMT 2008

Hi Guys,
  I dont see what the whole excitement is about - every few years the
minister in charge - an uneducated technophobe that wants to appear
like they are doing something to appease as many people as possible
(who are also technophobes who have not thought it though) gets this
idea. If you ask most australian parents who have no idea about
technology they would think its a good idea. Most people dont consider
the privacy/free speech problem and dont search the internet for
anything useful.

Usually it goes something like -
1) said minister appears all smug announcing decisive action...
everything will be filtered - martial law will be announced.
2) Media cover said minister because he seems to be doing something -
(we all want to protect kids dont we?)
3) Any opposition is labeled as somehow deviant. (if you dont support
this you must be a paedophile and you better watch out!!!)
4) Minister talks to the ISPs about this - they tell him that they
will be happy to implement whatever filtering solution they want but
the govt have to pay to it.
5) Minister realises that the govt will have to pay for it, and
promptly waters down proposal to be an opt in system - or user pays
system. The govt have great ideas as long as they dont have to pay for

Actually since it is estimated that a large proportion of web traffic
consists of porn anyway, its obvious that there are a large proportion
of australian adults who will be affected by such a proposal. Maybe
the proposal will be squashed a bit earlier then.

Its not a technical problem - the technical answer is that it can not
be done, period. Its a political problem - who looks good in whatever
media coverage. Depending on the current moral panic (google "moral
panic" for a fascinating explanation of this phenomenon), policy will
be made up - usually totally uninformed. Politicians dont typically
want to actually inform their policies and typically dont listen to
any opposition anyway. Things will blow over when the media decides to
pick on someone else (maybe teenage mothers are next on the moral
panic cycle?).


On Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 9:32 AM, Alex Satrapa <grail at goldweb.com.au> wrote:
> On 23/10/2008, at 09:25 , Nathan Rickerby wrote:
>> The outcomes could be distilled, simplified and described
>> in non-technical language, some open source solutions could be proposed.
> No!
> This is not a technical problem looking for a technical solution.
> This is a problem of politics. It's not about "we want to have a filter to
> stop our kiddies seeing bad men shoving things up their bums," it's about "I
> want to be perceived as having done something and taken decisive action."
> What is needed here is a way to take the clue bat to the pollies and point
> out to them that even China can't get internet filtering right. The only way
> to protect kids from stuff you don't want them to see is to poke their eyes
> out. But then they'll just hear it instead.
> Alex
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