Net Politics and activism

Censored for your protection

Well, there you go, the government’s done it. They have descended into complete stupidity. No, not the GST, I mean the way that somehow, some way, the Australian government has passed a bill through the Senate that suddenly magically makes the Internet for your grandmother to surf, without fear of wobbling fleshy images being thrust in her face.

This marvellous system will apparently involve the existing Australian Broadcasting Authority (uh hold on guys, how is the Internet "broadcasting"?) rating how ever many zillions of web sites there are in the world – this should keep them busy for a little while. If the content is refused classification or rated X, then it’s illegal if it’s hosted in Australia. If it’s rated R, it has to have some kind of adult verification system on it. Presumably something more advanced than "Are you 18? Please tell the truth."

If the content is hosted overseas, which of course most of it is (and heck, even Australian domains can be hosted anywhere) then the ABA will notify ISPs that they should block the content. How? Uhhh… by umm… some unspecified method, they’re not really sure. In fact the bill has a paragraph basically saying that if it’s all too hard, don’t bother.

Well, now I feel safe about letting my four year old browse to, don’t I!

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.