Monday, January 26, 2009

You don't need to know. Trust us.

China says internet censorship needed to keep children from harmful sites

Entirely laudible. It's not about censorship - it's about protecting the kiddies - and what kind of despicable monster is against protecting the kiddies? Exactly.

Minister welcomes advances in internet filtering technology

The internet is a wonderful tool that is delivering benefits to increasing numbers of Australian families but the Government wants to find ways to make it safer, particularly for children.

Look familiar?

A friend of mine runs a blog, Neptunus Lex. Jolly entertaining it is, thought provoking, and wholly suitable for the consumption of wee kiddies. Sadly, his website is blocked in China.

The Government wants to introduce a similar filter here in Australia. For the children. Just like the Chinese government has. So you'll excuse me for being cynical, especially when the list of blacklisted sites is classifed, restricted, unpublished. So you'll just have to trust them, that the sites they don't want you to see are nasty stuff that will herts the chidrens, and not say, a political dissenter criticising Labor policies, or a whistleblower exposing Government corruption.

Just trust them.

Update - Dentist, tuckshop cited on web blacklist

Alongside child porn, bestiality, rape and extreme violence sites, the list also includes a slew of online poker sites, YouTube links, regular gay and straight porn sites, Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions such as satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, the website of a tour operator and even a Queensland dentist.

Other Australian sites on the list are ("Tuckshop and Canteen Management Consultants") and animal carers

The dentist, Dr John Golbrani, was furious when contacted to inform him that his site,, appeared on the blacklist.

Yeah, you don't want to be exposed to the opinions of crazed fringe dwelling cultists. Like Christians. Or dentists.

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has this afternoon denied that the list of banned websites published on Wikileaks is the ACMA blacklist.

"The published list purports to be current at 6 August 2008 and apparently contains approximately 2400 URLs whereas the ACMA blacklist for the same date contained 1061 URLs," he said in a statement.

"There are some common URLs to those on the ACMA blacklist. However, ACMA advises that there are URLs on the published list that have never been the subject of a complaint or ACMA investigation, and have never been included on the ACMA blacklist."

And this is entirely the problem, isn't it? There's no way we can tell if he's telling the truth or not, we simply have to trust him.

But if there's even a shred of accuracy about the list that has been published, it's pretty clear that the government CANNOT be trusted to censor the net for the common good. Which is pretty much what we all suspected, all along.

Further update

They can't be trusted.

Conroy admits blacklist error, blames 'Russian mob'

He is either incompetent or lying. Some choice.