Eish!!: Australia to lose unrestricted internet access

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Australia to lose unrestricted internet access

Australia is to receive China-style internet restrictions. In a move announced before the elections and reiterated this week Telecommunications Minister Stephen Conroy has said that it will be mandatory for all internet service providers to provide clean feeds, or ISP filtering, to houses and schools that are free of pornography and inappropriate material.

"Labor makes no apologies to those that argue that any regulation of the internet is like going down the Chinese road," he said.

"If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd-Labor Government is going to disagree."

While I personally have no problem with the measures to get rid of the child pornography scourge on the net, knowing a central government has the power and will to restrict what I can see on the net would worry me. TechCrunch rightly raises the point that websites or blogs could find themselves blacklisted when contrary comments are posted to their sites. More importantly who knows what those in power might decide as being appropriate. With more and more governments looking at adopting this approach in terms of what it's citizens are able to post and view on the internet, it seems that cyber space is very rapidly going to loose it's allure as the ultimate vehicle true democratisation.

Let's hope South Africa remains a beacon of individual rights.

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