It had to happen. First, Senator Conroy wants all Australians to have to live with a filtered version of the Web, and now, Family First and Nick Xenophon want to make sure than nothing more than R18+ gets through, and that there is no access to online casinos and the like.
Conroy’s proposals would already put us in the same basket as such champions of freedom as Saudi Arabia and Iran. God knows what it would do to internet speeds, but the Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) reckons that access speed would take an 86% tumble. EFF also points out that this shows that the filters will always become a bargaining chip for the self-appointed moral guardians of the senate [thank god that Harradine is gone, otherwise we’d be stuck using smoke signals!]
What can we do about it? First, write a letter to Minister Conroy at email@example.com, or
Senator Steven Conroy
Canberra ACT 2600
or fax to: 02 6273 4154
Please be polite, explain the stupity of his proposed actions, and ask for a response.
As for Senator Fielding of Family First, and Senator Xenophon, I don’t think that they have either the capacity or willingness to evolve out of their 19th century mindsets, but if you want to, you can write to them at:
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com Although, with those two characters, I am not certain they would know what to do with an email. You might be better off writing [with a quill, purple ink and lots of capitals and exclamation marks!]
to Senator Nick Xenophon
212 Grenfell Street
Adelaide SA 5000
Senator Steve Fielding
255 Blackburn Road
Mount Waverley Vic 3149
Again, be polite, put your point of view forward and ask for a response.
[ED – No Canberra angle per se, but I’m running this due to the overwhelming public interest involved (to say nothing of the potential that the filter could be used to silence any website which merely annoys even minor functionaries – like this one). Google News has extensive coverage if you need to come up to speed on what may be the defining public policy issue of the decade.]