The Digital Economy Future Directions blog was launched by Senator Conroy yesterday as a place for people to comment on various areas of digital policy.
Conroy noted that an upcoming blog post, "How do we maintain the same civil society we enjoy offline in an online world?", would touch on the issue of filtering. "We welcome your feedback about the [filtering] issue in response to this post," he said.
But readers didn’t wait for that post to go live, instead flooding Minister Tanner’s welcome post with over 400 posts in less than 24 hours.
Commenters attacked the filters as technically unfeasible.
“It is, quite simply, impossible to censor the Internet without a China-type clamp-down. China employs an army of people manually sifting through the 'net seeking out subversive content ... Anything short of that kind of effort, and any savvy user will be able to bypass any measures you put in place,” said David Stonier-Gibson.
“I have serious concerns with the impact the filter will have on download speeds. It has taken us years to get to ADSL2+ and now the government wants to implement something that will slow it down,” said another poster, J. Nicholls.
Many comments spoke passionately about freedom and censorship.
“The problem with Australia is censorship. Censorship destroys people and culture. Congratulations for ruining our country even more. There can be no debate on this. It's not an opinion. It's a fact,” said ‘Mux’.
“I know Tyranny when I see it,” said another from infowars.com.
“Even if the intention of the Labor Party is honourable how do we know if a future opressive or out of control government will not use it to block sites that conflict with the Governments view of the day. The ISP filter would be a too powerfull [sic] tool in the hands of Governments and faceless public servants.”
Commenters even got political, with threats to campaign against the Rudd Government if the filters are implemented.
“I live in a swing seat that labour [sic] won by 900 votes. If this filter proposal goes through, I will change my vote and lobby everyone I know to do the same,” said Dean Nicholls.
There was one lone voice that supported the filters. Said Dan:
“I fully support government attempts to filter harmful material. Those who are jumping up and down are putting an adults so called freedom to view trash above kids well being. That is what it boils down to. Sometimes not being able to view trash for the protection of kids is warranted. I would say to those devoting their energy to defending trash and harmful trash at that, find a better project that will truly reflect freedom.
“Stick to your guns on this Minister. Do not give in to the fanatics.”
Hundreds protest net filtering on Conroy’s new blog
By Kathryn Small on Dec 10, 2008 2:38PM