How much evidence does the government need before it recognizes the fact that their mandatory filter just won’t work. Asher Moses over at SMH has just reported that the ACMA’s website blacklist – which will form the basis of the Government’s internet filter – has been leaked to Wikileaks. One of the strongest arguments against the filter is that invariably the blacklist would leak online, and provide a one-stop shop for the people looking for illegal material like child pornography. And now that situation has come true, even without the filter becoming a reality. So instead of blocking access to these sites, the Government is inadvertently providing a way for deviants to find and access them quickly and easily.
But perhaps more surprising is that of the 1370 sites mentioned on the blacklist, only about half of them relate to child pornography. The rest include regular porn sites, online gambling sites, satanic and fringe religion sites and even the website of a Queensland dentist.
The arguments against government mandated filtering of the internet are getting louder and louder – with the ACMA’s recent decision to place Wikileaks on their blacklist (including the threat of an $11,000 a day fine for linking to the site), Australia joined China and the United Arab Emirates as the only countries currently censoring the site. And that’s an incredibly scary situation to be in.
There’s a chorus of “I told you so” flooding Twitter and blogs at the moment, but the question is whether or not this will be the wake up call that Conroy and pals so desperately need, or just reinforce their twisted view on the need for nation-wide censorship.