iiNet yanks the cord on Censorship

I knew this one was coming, but I would like to thank SteveH for bringing it to my attention.
iiNet, Australia’s third largest Internet Provider, has officially left the table on the Governments flawed Internet Filter, after it was discovered that the system that was initially intended to block Child Pornography, wasn’t just blocking it, a discovery that the DocNetwork speculated on a good month and a half ago; the blacklist at the core of this Filter, not only contains child pornography websites, but thousands of legitimate websites, most of those contain content that the Government deems unwanted.

While iiNet was always involved in the trial exclusively to prove that it was a flawed waste of taxpayer money, the fact that they have effectively walked away from the trial, stating that they cannot in good faith support such a draconian system, and joined rival Telstra in refusing to be associated with it any further. The reason behind iiNet’s ‘shock’ withdrawal was sparked by the Swedish based whistleblower website Wikileaks.
On Friday, the website published a ‘secretly’ obtained blacklist of websites that would be blocked under the new filter. Characteristically, Federal Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Stephen Conroy, who has become the number one enemy of the DocNetwork, came out and stated that this blacklist was not the one to be used as it was not the same size, though it contained similar URL’s. On Sunday, in response to this hilarity, Wikileaks released a NEW blacklist, dated the 18th March, which is near identical in size and content as the proposed blacklist. On this list was a Queensland Dentist, a canteen support group and a number of legitimate, innocent websites, which had been thrown on the list, for apparently no reason.

In response to this news, Wikileaks has been down over the weekend, and as of 11:30PM today, it is still down. It is unclear as to why this is the case, whether or not it has been down due to Traffic loads, the Legal threats of the Australian Federal Government, or a Directed Denial of Service, by the government to prevent Australians access to the site, is unclear.

iiNet is not the only ISP, attached to the trial that has openly criticised it, smaller ISP, iPrimus, has compared the new filter, to China’s filtering system, where the native Chinese are banned from accessing content that shows the Communist Party in a bad light, regardless of their statements, they are still in the trial; however, according to reports from the developers, none of the six ISP’s approached, are in fact ready to start trialling the service.

Now I have received some flak from some readers about the obvious fact that I do not agree with the statements, actions or beliefs of the current Government, but when the current Prime Minister, who speaks fluent Chinese, is rallying behind a filter that seems an awful lot like the denial of freedoms, the Chinese Government has on its technocratic populace. I know that John Howard, the former PM, took a lot of cues from America, but Rudd, really should not be taking his cues from the Peoples Republic of China, when it comes to civil liberties, or anything else for that matter.

While iiNet has quickly become my favourite ISP, despite not being a customer of them, Optusnet has become my most reviled, as while the condemnation from everyone who isn’t on the payroll of the Labor Government, Optus, still wants to be involved in the second stage trials of the service expected to be launched later this year.
While I have on more than one occasion, made vocal my displeasure of Telstra’s operational standards, I fear that because Telstra owns the entire telecommunications infrastructure of Australia, it will go down to them, if this filter succeeds or fails. The lynchpin of this story is that Telstra is still part owned by the Government, and the Government at this very point in time, wants this to go ahead, despite the fact that Telstra has said that they want nothing to do with it.

I honestly hope that the Government, follows its Kiwi counterpart, and abolish this extremely stupid proposal. While I will be covering a separate story dedicated to this, I can say that New Zealand has scrapped its widely condemned S92 Amendment, that imposed guilt on accusation on matters relating to copyright infringement.
If not, I guess that sometime in the future, Australians will be disadvantaged even more than they already are when it comes to the internet

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