There are a number of reasons you could reasonably assume the government would block out 90 per cent of a document obtained using the freedom of information. If the document threatened national security, for example, it would make sense to keep that information confidential. But as Ben Grubb has reported on the SMH today, the Government has blocked out 90 per cent of a document about their plan to monitor all Australian’s web usage for the pathetic excuse that it may cause “premature, unnecessary debate”. So much for democracy, huh?
It came out last month the the Government was holding highly confidential talks with ISPs about making ISPs log every website every Australian web browser visits. It later came out that they were considering the possibility of making ISPs connect this information to people’s offline information, like passport numbers.
The Government’s explanation for blacking out 90 per cent of the document is that it isn’t complete yet and could change before being opened for public discussion. Releasing the information now could create “a confusing and misleading impression”.
The SMH has both the censored document and the Attorneys-General department’s explanation available to download and read in full on their website, and you should definitely head over there and read both.
Does anybody else feel like they’ve woken up in an Orwellian nightmare?