Back in January this year, I brought up Australian governments proposed plan to implement a internet filter to all Australian ISPs. The original plan was that Australians would have the option to turn off this filter, although I would imagine most families wouldn't do so if they had young children. Meaning it would block whatever our government deems innappropriate, be it pornography or even sites like Newgrounds (just an example).
Well the news is out today and it seems that the option to opt out of this filter isn't going to happen. It's going to be hands down mandatory. It will prevent ANYTHING deemed illegal or harmful by our government unaccessible. So we're looking at something along the lines of Chinas internet censorship.
This plan does raise many serious concerns though. This could hinder free speech on the internet, as well as raise some SERIOUS security issues. Apparently, the only way they'll be able to filter secure https content is to intercept the data stream with a man-in-the-middle system. Do you feel comfortable knowing that someone could be looking at your bank details? It's just a matter of time before someone on the inside uses this position to carrying out a multi-million-dollar theft, or even just large-scale identity theft. Would such a system be truly secure enough?
It doesn't stop there. As most Australian users here know.. By international standards Australias internet is already rather poor. My understanding is that we rank under even Romania in internet quality. So as you can imagine, we've got it somewhat slow compare to the rest of the world. Now the problem with this filter is, it brings in the technical issue of "overblocking". I haven't read much on the issue, but apparently it will lead to even slower load times due to the censorship filter.
The added costs of implementing this system will of course in turn be passed down to the consumer, with the probability of ISPs raising their price tags in order to implment the filter. Of course it could be paid by the government, but that would in turn be a waste of tax payers money (which pretty much sums up the whole idea).
It scares me to think that there's someone out there who'd be the nay sayer on what the Australian public are allowed to see online. Such a dictatorship shouldn't be even considered within our country and I'm truly disgusted by this proposal.
So in short, I don't believe such a system has any place in our country.
AngryAussie Talks About Internet Censorship:
Petition against the Censorship of Australia ONLINE PETITIONS ARE USELESS.. So it's best to probably ignore this one.
No Opt Out!
No Clean Feed
Write/Call/Email to the Minister and complain! If you're going to contact the minister.. PLEASE don't be abusive. State your arguments respectively and maturely. I must recommend SNAIL MAILING to them, as they ignore emails.