[clug] OT: Protesting the proposed clean feed?

Grant Baldwin Grant.Baldwin at anu.edu.au
Sat Oct 25 00:53:44 GMT 2008

> Firstly, the Govt. has determined that some content can be classified
> as "illegal" (eg. child pornography) and having made that decision,
> they
> now need to enforce the law. Whether a Govt. should decree some
> material to be illegal or not is not really at issue here - they do and
> it covers many other domains than just the Internet (eg. public
> notices/adverts, TV programs, books etc.).

The enforcement of the law need simply relate to the possession of said
illegal material, it does not mandate a filtering solution. 

By comparison, consider personal mail. There is no enforcement preventing
you from ordering all the terrorist literature, child porn, hate speech and
etc. you like, except that if/when you are caught, there is ample legal
recourse for prosecution.  In particular, there is no one opening all your
mail and comparing it to a an acceptable content list.

The underlying question here is what is the publication model of material on
the internet (yes, we're back there again), complicated by the international
borders crossed. Is the internet analogous to TV or print media, where there
is a publisher who can vet all material prior to delivery, or is it
analogous to a large mail order system where the end user needs to consider
the appropriateness of what they're ordering (or is it indeed a new


Yes, I am biased on the side of no-filter-is-a-good-filter. 


Grant Baldwin

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