LAST June Australia's government passed an Internet censorship law that takes effect January 1st, 2000.
anvilfire! failed a sample word filter test on the keyword list of our homepage!
We have tried to make anvilfire as family friendly as possible but we will probably be censored (access denied by the government of Australia) along with millions of other sites.
In the U.S. we rejected such a bill largely because of collateral damage of this type.
AUSTRALIA has now passed another law allowing government agents to access and change data on individual computers as necessary.
In their misguided attempt to make the Internet child safe they have now given themselves the right to legally plant evidence if needed!
Although it is technically impossible to do this to an individual's computer at home, it is not so impossible to hack into a server used by a business to operate their web site.
And what about equipment that has been seized by the government?
If they have the legal right to change data on a computer in one's home or business, what is different about changing it when in their possession?
What is the purpose for this law?
George Orwell's 1984 is here, it has just been a little slow to surface!
THE BURDEN of policing web site content will end up on the Internet Service Providers.
Although they are not directly responsible for the content that changes minute by minute, the law places responsibility for that content directly on them.
The ISP is an easy target for the government. The ISP has a fixed location unlike his clients. Any interruption in service is devastating to business (also unlike his clients).
This puts the ISP, a business person, who normally respects his clients privacy, in the position of upholding the law by spying on his clients.
In order to satisfy the law ISP's will have to resort to snooping and filtering software to constantly monitor what their clients are placing on their servers.
As this class of software has proven over and over again to be inadequate there is likely to be chaos when it is applied to ever client/server in the country.
ISP's will find themselves in untenable positions. They will be under scrutiny of the government and get nothing but complaints from their clients.
Both "Legitimate" and censored clients will find it easier to move their sites offshore (like spammers have done to avoid U.S. law) and ISP's will go out of business.
WHILE THE INNOCENT are censored and those that would benefit from the information provided by the Internet are cheated, those that governments wants to censor will go about business as usual.
Keywords can be removed and individuals can use foreign proxies to freely access sites that they choose.
Businesses will move their web sites and the income they provide to other countrys.
We all suffer from the book burning zealots.
In the US, every time the anti-pornography crusaders go on a rampage they attack the relatively innocent but popular Playboy Magazine.
In many cases it is that same Playboy Magazine that defends OUR freedom of speech and other (unpopular?) rights such as freedom to choose, prisoners rights, gay rights and other privacy issues.
Likewise those being censored in Australia are leading the fight for all Australians and maybe the rest of the free world.
NOTE: anvilfire does not normally carry links to the following type of sites but the issues are too important to ignore.
The following links, while defending the right of free speech and against censorship on the Internet, use examples or contain links to the type of adult content sites that are the target of censorship.
Ms. Bernadette Taylor's prairie-dog site WAS probably the best place to start IF you are not offended by a little female nudity combined with a sense of humor. Her link list is very informative.
prairie-dog.net no longer about free speach.
Knowledge is our most important weapon against tyranny.