Australian Internet filter. Who decides what’s good for us?
“Any nation that thinks more of its ease and comfort than its freedom will soon lose its freedom; and the ironical thing about it is that it will lose its ease and comfort too.” — W. Somerset Maugham
The Internet has always been the major threat to any totalitarian government, as it is an uncontrollable source of information for civilians. In most countries, authorities cannot close it down completely, and thus the only way the deal with the freedom in Internet is to stop it from being uncontrollable.
Surprisingly, the Australian Federal Government has announced that it will proceed with its plans to introduce a mandatory screening and filtering system of the Internet content for all Australians. Of course, these attempts are presented as an aim to protect us, Australians, from harmful content in the Internet. As usual, they say it’s for the safety of children and families. And, of course, they say that it is all about child pornography, crime and terrorism (yep, nothing new). And, of course, they did not release the list of the sites they want to block. Who knows what can be blocked? It could be anything Australians are “not supposed to know”.
By the way, doesn’t it feel like the ones who [pretend to] fiercely fight paedophilia, are the large players in the dissemination of the ubiquitous paedophilia phenomenon themselves? They bring it up so often, talk about it so much, see it nearly everywhere, that even a person who previously had no idea what paedophilia is about, now knows exactly what it is and how it can be done. Perhaps, that is the point: the scarier they portray the enemy, the more reason the “fighters” get to introduce the controlling means like Internet filters. They exaggerate the “unwanted” things so much; that the cases of [seeming] offence increase every year and they have all the reason to say, “See?! We told you, it’s everywhere!”
Also, it is obvious that authorities are aware that the filter will not prevent determined individuals from accessing and sharing any content they want, but it will definitely create a censorship mechanism to restrict common Internet users.
In some civilised countries such filters are voluntary. If a family thinks that they need such protection, that they need external help in controlling their children, or if some of its members don’t know good from bad, they install a filter by their own choice. It is up to each particular household to decide. So why Australian politicians want to decide for the whole country?
It is also well known that the only way to get total control is to convince people that they do need this control. That is when the pitch about terrorism and paedophilia comes in handy. How else can somebody restrict the freedom of the whole nation? Millions would protest. But when the restrictions are covered by the paedophilia and terrorism shawl, hardly anybody would dare disagree, as they would immediately be labeled“Aha! Then you are a paedophile/terrorist yourself!”
Another scary thing is that if today somebody can decide what information we all can or cannot access, tomorrow that very somebody may monitor each step of each Internet user. So basically, we are marching into a cage, paying for the cage with our taxes and naively think that we will conquer terrorism along the way. By the time the majority wakes up and realises that we are battling against our own freedom, it may be too late.
19 December 2009
June 2013 update:
Thanks to the Edward Snowden, we now all got a chance to open our eyes. Let’s hope that people will wake up, and that this man did not sacrifice his happy life for nothing.