Government's internet censorship trials ...
The Sydney Morning Herald
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Net censorship move a smokescreen: expert
ASHER MOSES - December 16, 2009
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One of Australia's top communications experts says the Government's internet censorship trials were designed to succeed from the outset, presented no new information and are now being used by the Government to further its political agenda.
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The report gives several examples of legitimate content that could well be blocked from the Australian internet:
- A site debating the merits of euthanasia in which some participants exchanged information about actual euthanasia practices.
- A site set up by a community organisation to promote harm minimisation in recreational drug use.
- A site providing a safe space for young gay and lesbians to discuss their sexuality.
- A site that includes dialogue and excerpts from literary classics such as Nabokov's Lolita or sociological studies into sexual experiences, such as Dr Alfred Kinsey's famous Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male.
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Earlier, Conroy had referred to blocking "unwanted" and "prohibited" content using a dynamic process that would analyse websites in real-time. Experts had warned this would significantly slow down the internet.
But Landfeldt said there had still been no consideration given to how internet usage would change when the Government rolled out its super-fast National Broadband Network (NBN).
"The NBN will enable Australia to move beyond the World Wide Web and into a situation where we have made real use of more sophisticated forms of media, much more streaming media, video, audio content," he said.
"Material may not be as static as it is now, which means that the blacklist will go out of date.
"If you want to mandate this filtering and see if it's applicable to the NBN, you need to conduct different experiments."
Conroy's spokesman, Tim Marshall, has failed to return calls for several days requesting comment.
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