As the torrent of news from the Victorian Bushfires seems to have been reduced to a trickle, with a lot of the fires becoming under control, and the death toll remaining at 181; I felt that I should step away from reporting this harrowing story, to bring another atrocity being committed to light, this time, by the Australian Government, while the masses collective attention was firmly focused on the horrors of the Bushfires, they plot and scheme.

While most of the country was focused on Victoria, the Australian Federal Government, led by the bungling Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and by extension the equally incompetent Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy has decided to start medium scale trials of the publically denounced Mandatory Web Filtering Program, which the Government states that is to protect Australia’s Children from the risks of child pornography. (right, just like how the RIAA likes to protect American Children by forcing their ISP’s to shut down bittorrents)

While the DocNetwork supports the ideal of protecting children from exploitation, the Government introducing a mandatory Internet Filter to all homes seems more like a woefully bad attempt for the Government to spy on its citizens. There are a number of commercially available (including one free tax payer funded) Filters that will do the same job. The difference being, that this mandatory filter is controlled by the Government.

This Filter, according to the Blog of the Federal Communications Minister, will block out ten thousand ‘inappropriate’ websites, of which only 674 sites are related to Child Pornography, 506 websites are rated R18+ and X18+ (adults only), despite the fact that it is legal for Australians to view content of this nature, the rest of these websites, have not being disclosed. However Stephen Conroy has stated that he hopes that the trials will filter bittorrent traffic. This statement alone makes this sound an awful lot like the Recording Industry trying to stop the flow of Music and Movies, than child pornography.

While I have on more than one occasion have commented my displeasure (nee hatred) of Telstra, I have to say to them, that I tip my journalistic hat to them, for having the gumption to stand up against this atrocity of civil liberties, by flatly refusing to be involved in the trial. I also applaud iiNet for volunteering to test the software, just to prove that it wont work, I have always respected you guys, though that’s because your the only ISP that has unmetered Xbox usage. Optus, unfortunately, asked to be involved, though they also asked for the 10K websites on the Mandatory filter culled to 1300, granted they asked for the count to be reduced, they still asked for it to exist, so Optus, I’m sorry, but you’ve lost face in my book.

Despite the condemnation from the Big three ISP’s in Australia, the Government have still decided to carry on with this farce, by approaching 6 virtual unknown ‘ISP’s’ to test the Filter for them. The DocNetwork did some snooping around these ‘Service Providers, and found some quite startling findings:

Tech 2U : The DocNetwork (and apparently most of Australia) had no idea just who these guys are, it wasn’t until we looked at their coverage area (it took a while to find it), only to find that they seemed to only service on pockets of the country, considering the raised eyebrows, we can speculate that they only serve about a thousand people, if that.

iPrimus : The only company on the list that anyone in the country has actually heard about, and while they state that they are one of the front runners in Australia’s internet service providers, in fact, they are around sixth, and considering the public outcry on news service message boards, that market placement is bound to drop considerably.

Webshield : Another of these services that no one has heard of. This one, is apparently, already a filtered search engine, and according to their blurb page, they are Australia’s first Content Filtered Internet Service Provider…why such impressive web design, hasn’t caused them to skyrocket up the list is beyond me. With their impressive list of things they will block for you, you may as well just block Google to save you the trouble.

Omniconnect : Another unknown, when I was first sent to this website, I thought it was one of those place-card websites, that offered fact information in the hopes of stealing your credit card information, however, further investigation (I don’t own a credit card) let me discover, that in fact, this company apparently offers some sort of product to people, after several passes through, I still have no idea. If you use this service, please let me know,

Netforce: Managed IT Solutions; i.e. a company that looks after businesses, i.e., users that are already on filtered networks, why they would agree to an additional layer of filtering is beyond me, but then I’m not a business, well not one that relies on someone else to look after my IT

Highway 1 : What the bloody hell is with this unknown ISP’s as far as I was aware there was Optus Telstra, Vodafone, iiNet and those that operated as shells of those four. What makes this one even more juicy, is that this company as been flagged by Anti-virus providers as a haven for adware, spyware and the like. I mean, just where did the Government find these ISP’s?

While I am seething over this madness, I have found something to laugh about in all this, it was a comment made by Conroy about the companies participating in the trial, that they: “Will be recognized for their participation in the Pilot. This recognition will strengthen their brand image with the community.”… Mr. Conroy, while I do agree with you that this will do something about their brand image with the community, I don’t think strengthen would be the word I would use, words I would use would be ridicule, destroy, humiliate, though that’s just the opinion of me, Telstra, iiNet, Optus…most of Australia, but hey what do we know?

While stopping by my Facebook page, I found the perfect picture to sum up what was going on, almost as if Stephen Conroy saw the same thing, and used it as the basis of this travesty

Screen Capture to Facebook Game Nations

Screen Capture to Facebook Game 'Nations'

The DocNetwork supports a Free and Uncensored Internet, we will remain a Bastion against this outrage, we will continue to report this Civil Rights violation until the Government comes to their deluded senses and abolishes this archaic belief, otherwise it will be something else Dudd will have to apologise for.

If you wish to support the campaign to overthrow the Rudd Governments attempts to Police the Internet, register your support on http://www.getup.org.au/ and make sure that we remain Free

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  • Comments (2)
    • Wolf
    • February 13th, 2009

    yer mate telling us mature aged pple who have no kids we cant surf the net for porn i mean come on

    as u see by this link what i mean

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbFnH66eGtU i highly agree all ages should watch it as at the end u see what i think of the censor ship of rudds and howards ideals


    • Blah
    • December 17th, 2009

    I agree with Wolf, there are those of us who do not have children and are WELL over the legal age to view WHAT we like in the comfort of our own homes on an IE connection WE pay for!!!

    Although it’s not just about the porn. Where will they stop next?! First porn and then torrents, what’s next Facebook, Myspace, MSN and GOOGLE?!? This is a JOKE! and i can guarantee right now if i knew this would be one of Rudds intentions, there wouldn’t be a chance in HELL he’d get my vote or the votes from MANY other internet users!!!!!


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