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AUSTRALIA has become the first Western nation to attempt censoring the internet.

The government of the former British Penal Colony has developed an internet filtering system and is refusing to allow its citizens to opt out of it.

Apparently the best that an average Australian can hope for is to be placed on a watered-down blacklist. But that means Internet content will be decided by a government department responsible for protecting the minds of all fair dinkum Aussies.

The government is spending $125.8 million on its Plan for Cyber-Safety. When you have an account you can switch between two blacklists which block content inappropriate for children, and a separate list which blocks “illegal material”.

However punters who think that the opt-out proviso would remove content filtering altogether will be sadly mistaken. The Australian government is using he opportunity to delete any sites it thinks are not good for the health of the nation. Apparently this will allow porn, but could rule out sites that the government thinks should not be looked at, including controversial legal issues like legalising Marijuana or Euthanasia. It could also be used to stamp out legitimate protest sites whose members have a beef with the government.

Department spokesman Tim Marshall said the Labour government’s plan for cyber-safety will require ISPs to offer a clean feed Internet service to all homes, schools and public Internet points accessible by children.

Internet Service Providers have warned that the glorious filter will slow Australian internet speeds down to that of a three-legged dingo dragging a baby up Ayers’ Rock.

There are going to be a lot of very cross Aussies. But at least their children will be nice and safe. µ
Nick: JirkaPraha, 17.10.2008 11:39:45
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