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[News] System Admin Guild Fights Against Australian Internet Censorship

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Aussie System Admin Guild says NO to net filtering

,----[ Quote ]
| The System Administrators Guild of Australia (SAGE-AU) has sent an open 
| letter to Australia’s Minister for Communications, stating that it is “unable 
| to support the Federal Government’s proposed Internet filtering initiative”, 
| explaining the reasons why and outlining its “significant concerns”.    


Psychiatric treatment used to 'silence' Chinese critics

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| Local officials in China appear to be increasingly using forcible psychiatric 
| treatment to silence critics, a leading expert said today amid claims that at 
| least 18 complainants were held in a mental hospital in Shandong province 
| against their will.   
| Authorities in Xintai district committed people who had pursued grievances 
| ranging from police brutality to property disputes, according to the Beijing 
| News, well known for its investigative journalism. Some were force-fed drugs.  


Brave New India

,----[ Quote ]
| So when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says it's the greatest internal 
| security threat, it allows various state governments to pass all kinds of 
| laws that could call anybody a terrorist. Say, tomorrow, they came into my 
| house here. Just the books that I have would make me qualify as a terrorist.    



The Net is Under Threat

,----[ Quote ]
| Community advocacy group GetUp is running a new campaign against Australian
| Federal Government plans to censor what we view on the internet. The ‘Save
| the Net’ campaign is gaining momentum, with over 55,000 Australians having
| already signed a petition to Communications Minister Senator Conroy voicing
| their outrage over the Government’s ill-considered ideas.


Simpsons and filters signal new era of Internet McCarthyism

,----[ Quote ]
| Some worrying signs concerning our basic freedoms have begun to emerge
| throughout the free world, with the UK and Australia at the forefront of a
| disturbing trend to censor the Internet. Two recent events indicate an
| erosion of our rights as citizens within a free society.


Anti Internet filtering rebels hit the streets

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| Opponents to the government's Internet content filtering scheme will take to
| the streets in a series of protests planned in Australia's capital cities.
| The protests, organised by members from activist groups including the
| Electronic Freedom Project and Digital Liberty Coalition, will be held at
| Sydney's Town Hall, Brisbane Square, Melbourne's State Library, Adelaide
| Parliament House, Perth's Stirling Gardens and at Tasmania's Parliament
| Lawns.


Cash floods in for anti-censorship protests

,----[ Quote ]
| Political activists GetUp have raised over $30,000 in less than a day to
| support their fight against the Government's plan to censor the internet, a
| response the group has described as "unprecedented".
| The money will be put towards an advertising blitz designed to inform the
| public of the consequences of the plan, which experts say include slower
| internet speeds, significant false positives, failure to stop people from
| subverting the filters and the risk that the blacklist will be expanded to
| include the blocking of regular pornography, political views, gambling and
| pro-abortion sites.


Even child welfare groups don’t want web censorship

,----[ Quote ]
| THE AUSSIE government's plans to build a Great Internet Rabbit Proof Fence
| are floundering with even kiddie welfare groups saying it is a jolly bad
| idea.
| The Aussie government thought that it would protect children by mimicking the
| censorship antics of Communist China but, much to its surprise, has found
| that the idea is a wee bit unpopular.


Aussie government muffs plans for internet filtering

,----[ Quote ]
| Her view is that censorship of sexual material is more often than not
| followed by broader political censorship. The censorship tide in Australia
| today is coming in, and while many individuals may not get terribly excited
| about the censorship of what is generally regarded as smut, proposals by the
| Rudd Government to censor the internet through compulsory filtering feel very
| much like the thin end of the wedge.


Is the Internet going down down under?

,----[ Quote ]
| The battle is now on for the soul of the Australian internet. The outcome
| could have enormous repercussions for the future of the internet in the UK.
| Regular readers will be aware of the Australian Government’s plans to clamp
| down on the internet down under. These, the brainchild of Communications
| Minister Stephen Conroy, have been bubbling away since last year, and began,
| as so many half-baked government schemes do, with the plea that
| someone "think of the children".
| The scheme would put in place a server-level content filtering system, to
| block material unsuitable for children. The cat was put well and truly
| amongst the pigeons with the recent claim by Internode network engineer Mark
| Newton that there will be no opt-out from filtering for parents.


In Conroy’s muddy waters you'll never know what’s being filtered

,----[ Quote ]
| Critics of Conroy's Internet filtering say Australians will not be able to
| find out what the government censors online, and ask: who watches the
| watchmen?
| An Australian law expert has warned that under the government’s proposed
| mandatory Internet content filtering scheme Australians will have no way of
| finding out what “illegal” content has been censored and blocked online,
| while Greens Senator Scott Ludlam voiced his concern over Conroy’s ambiguity
| regarding exactly what content will or won’t be blocked, and who will be able
| to opt-out of the filtering.
| Conroy’s mandatory Internet filtering proposal caused a stir last week when
| it was revealed a member of his department had tried to censor severely
| critical comments made on the Whirlpool broadband forum by an Internode
| network engineer regarding the merits of ISP level filtering.


Big tech companies back global plan to shield online speech

,----[ Quote ]
| Stating that privacy is "a human right and guarantor of human dignity," the
| initiative commits the companies to try to resist overly broad demands for
| restrictions on freedom of speech and overly broad demands that could
| compromise the privacy of their users.
| The initiative was begun after human rights groups and Congress criticized
| the Internet companies for cooperating with Chinese government censorship and
| demands for information on dissidents. In addition to laying out the code of
| conduct, the initiative will provide a non-governmental forum for the
| companies and human rights groups to jointly resist demands for censorship.
| It will also establish a system of independent auditors to rate the
| companies' conduct.


Internet Companies Pay Lip Service To Human Rights

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| While it's nice that they're actually thinking about these issues, the
| guidelines on the whole are pretty weak and don't bind the companies to do
| anything. Basically, it just says that the companies will consider the human
| rights issues in their decision making. If anything, this seems like an
| attempt to just keep the government from legislating on the issues, and it
| may not be very successful on that front. The real test will be in seeing how
| these companies actually act, rather than what sorts of guidelines they've
| signed.


Labor's web gag 'worse than Iran'

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| The Federal Government is attempting to silence critics of its controversial
| plan to censor the internet, which experts say will break the internet while
| doing little to stop people from accessing illegal material such as child
| pornography.
| Internet providers and the government's own tests have found that presently
| available filters are not capable of adequately distinguishing between legal
| and illegal content and can degrade internet speeds by up to 86 per cent.
| Documents obtained by Fairfax Media show the office of the Communications
| Minister, Stephen Conroy, tried to bully ISP staff into suppressing their
| criticisms of the plan.
| Senator Conroy has since last year's election victory remained tight-lipped
| on the specifics of his $44.2 million policy but, grilled by a Senate
| Estimates committee this week, he said the Government was looking at forcing
| ISPs to implement a two-tiered filtering system.


No opt-out of filtered Internet

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| Australians will be unable to opt-out of the government's pending Internet
| content filtering scheme, and will instead be placed on a watered-down
| blacklist, experts say.


Conroy announces mandatory internet filters to protect children

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

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