Australian Internet censorship row warms up

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There seems to be an established procedure used by government officials who want to censor Internet traffic: begin requiring Google and ISPs to filter pornography then sneak in filtering of the politically sensitive material of your choice.

Maybe we should give this a name: how about “porn filter law bait and switch?”

In China’s Green Dam fiasco last summer, the web filter that was required on new machines (before the whole idea broke down) was supposed to protect good Chinese Internet users from sex and violence. When various researchers took apart the Green Dam files, however, they found that 1.) it ripped off a lot of code from a U.S. company and 2) two thirds of the strings it was set up to filter were politically sensitive words and not sex and violence issues at all.

Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is taking the same tack: He’s furious that Google is opposed to the Internet filtering scheme he’s proposing. It starts with sexually related web sites (which present photos of flat-chested women allegedly preferred by pedophiles), but his blacklist also includes material that would screen discussions of sexual health matters and EUTHANASIA. Conroy is a strong opponent of euthanasia.

Inquirer story here: “Australia attacks Google

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