Archive for February, 2010

Don’t you even think about it

Following the tragic stabbing death of a child in Queensland a few weeks ago, Facebook memorial groups have sprung up by the dozens and unfortunately, not everyone feels the need to show their respect on them.

Individuals, hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet, to say comments they wouldn’t otherwise have the fortitude to do so in public, has been around since the privatization of the internet some 30 years ago, this form of keyboard courage is not new, and will continue to exist, because of the method in which the internet transmits its information. Facebook is not the first time that this kind of ‘cyber-bullying’ has existed, its just the first time that it has entered public domain. This time of cowardly act has existed almost as long as communication has existed on the internet, where individuals act cruelly online, and all smiles and happiness in person.

However, if it where up to Independent Senator Nick Xenophan, and yes the Rudd Government, the Australian Internet Experience would be monitored, by way on an Online Ombudsman, because ya know it sounded like a good idea when they thought of it.
The problem with such an exercise is one that has highlighted the failures of the Mandatory Internet Filter is its enforcement; considering the notion that the Internet is an international experience, no one Sovereign nation has the right to enforce laws on another Sovereign nation, meaning that while Australian activities will be monitored and enforced, International Activities wont be.

So if anyone was so desiring to say spam tribute pages on Facebook with derogatory comments, or in some cases, Porn, as seems to be the reason why this thing is coming into effect… because the Federal Government has the spare time to be checking their Facebook Status in between running the Country. They simply need to hope onto a Proxy Server, VPN, or well any of the methods in place to circumvent the Mandatory Internet Filter, and get away with their plans without recourse, because once again, THIS WILL NOT WORK.

The only people this will catch are those too ignorant at covering their tracks, which will be people who while doing nothing illegal, have the misfortune of having opinions, or school children who simply didn’t like whoever the person the tribute page is made about. Though it doesn’t help that in a recent report, Legal experts have actually come out to say that these Tribute Groups actually harm, not help criminal convictions.

And the next news person that says that hackers have attacked these Facebook Groups, please be aware that it is NOT considered hacking if the integrity of the site has not been comprised. The Correct Technical term for posting a large quantity of questionable/illegal photos is called Porn-Spamming, and the act of posting content that may be deemed offensive is called Wallspamming. However that doesn’t mean that its spam if its just people having opinions of their own, yes, its nice and all to have these tributes, but NO ONE IS PERFECT, there are people that will always find fault in people, and especially if they have issue with the popularity the individual had in death.

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Guys, what the hell???

Last week, several websites relating to the Australian Government went offline following what the online presence known collectively as Anonymous fired the first salvos in an issue that should have been dropped over eight months ago. While Anonymous’ Directed Denial of Service (DDoS) of Government websites did raise the issue to public attention, they have also caught the ire of e-Liberty groups like the EFA, who condemn them of ‘not helping the issue’.

On that point my personal opinion conflicts itself; yes it was about time that the Mandatory Internet Filter was brought to public view, but I have my doubts as to ‘Operation Titstorm’ was the right way to do it.
While most advocates of a Free and uncensored Internet, the DocNetwork included, have highlighted the various intentions of the Government to strip the Internet bare of any content they deem inappropriate, however, continuing to allude to just what ‘inappropriate content’ means. This has long since gone from an attempt to protect children, as Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy himself has stated that this Filter “Will not stop child pornography or exploitation,”, however, this admission was made a good six months after the rest of the technological world told him so. The issue that now stands that if the Government is already aware that their Filter will not work, then why are they continuing with it.

Fetishism, Hardcore Intercourse, Inter-racial pornography, Terrorism, Euthanasia and end of life alternatives, Criminalist activity, Para-military Organisations, pro Anorexia and Bulimia sites, Homosexuality. All these items exist on the Blacklist leaked last year, a list that the Government stated, was ‘similar’ to the one used by the ACMA. The presence of Fetishism, Hardcore Pornography, Inter-racial Porn and Homosexual content, subjects, might I add, are currently LEGAL under the ACMA’s guidelines for content, shows a heightened sense that the Government is trying to push its own agenda.

For those of the female persuasion, especially those who ‘are not well endowed in the bust’, or those who experience ‘orgasmic discharge’ I have this lovely piece of insanity, courtesy not of Stephen Conroy or Michael Atkinson, but the Liberal Parties personal crack pot Barnaby Joyce has decreed that you are all criminals. Changes to the ACMA’s ratings standards, has decided that female ejaculation is abhorrent, and small breasted women help promote paedophilia. On behalf of gamers who have also been labelled as criminals by a political crackpot (Michael Atkinson) welcome to the group, though I would be weary as to where if you do post pictures of yourself, because you will get in trouble.

Unfortunately the Mandatory Internet Filter is still on the table, despite the fact that it has no support, with the exception of one small country town in north-west Queensland, who were the focus of a recent poll… of a thousand people, and found that 86% support the filter, as opposed to 98% of the rest of society who are against it. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but 1000 doesn’t seem to be an accurate number to gauge the intents and interests of 21 million, but then I’m not in politics, and the adage runs true, if you word your questions the right way, you can spin a poll to read just whatever the hell you want it to.
The Filter gets put to a senate vote in March, and while hopefully the Opposition is STILL Against the Filter, like number 3 ISP iiNet still is, this will hopefully be the last we hear about this thing. But once again this is politics, and anything can happen.

As for Anonymous, I have to say this, and unlike most content providers, I welcome response from Anonymous. What took you so long? We have been campaigning against this thing for over a year and a half, why now do you decide that this warrants your attention?