“Civil liberties advocates = paedophiles”: Internet culture wars from the ALP.

kwoff_id = 9092;

The ABC reports on Conroy’s internet filtering bluster.

He uses exactly the same discourse strategy as used by half-wit anti civil liberties debaters everywhere: “Well if you don’t like it, YOU must be a pedo then! Eh? Eh? You like little girls, eh? Nudge nudge?”

Sue Gordon, on the post-“Little Children Are Sacred” NT intervention, used the same strategy when confronted by unanswerable criticism on her plan to “protect the children”:

“What I am feeling is that there’s a move that people don’t want change for traditional people in those remote communities.”

And here’s Conroy’s take on people raising valid, well-reasoned objections to mandatory internet filtering:

“Labor makes no apologies to those that argue that any regulation of the internet is like going down the Chinese road. If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd-Labor Government is going to disagree.”

So if it’s illegal child porn they’re planning to block, why talking about providing an opt-out method for adults? It’s just peachy for children to be molested for the camera, so long as the spectators can all drink ‘n’ drive? There is no earth logic here. Conroy is reported as wanting blocks much wider than child porn – X-rated, pornographic, and violent content appears to be up for blocking. “Pornographic” is not defined, and nor is “violent”. I’m thinking some sports competitions could run pretty close to the line here. Will we get a big CENSORED stamp over footy biffo? How about the odd all-in ice hockey brawl? Footage of the Cronulla riots? Images of the Iraq war? Oh, wait, I’m guessing there will be an “educational” exemption – decided by who? Will budding feminists be blocked from Hoyden About Town, with our “fuck”s and our “cunt”s and our abortion access advocacy and conversations about anal sex? Will Australia be blocked from all of Livejournal, from all of Facebook, Youtube, Myspace (including Conroy’s personal page)?

There is no way this can work as advertised – either useful sites will be blocked, or it will be a limp non-starter. You can bet I’m hoping for the latter, but then what is the point in the first place? Empty drivellous pandering or authoritarian censorship: only time will tell. We know that this scheme doesn’t have the backing of the Internet Industry Assocation. Will the more sensible parts of the Labor Party speak up for good judgement? Surely the Greens won’t back this (please tell me they won’t). Will the Libs, after their eventual opposition to the concept they birthed?

Categories: culture wars, law & order, technology

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. I have to ask: does anyone at all know exactly how widespread the problem of child pornography actually is?
    I ask, because I do wonder whether it’s as pervasive as the amount of media and governmental hype about the subject suggests. Going by the media and the government reports and the rest of it, I should be swamped daily by huge piles of the stuff, being forced down my internet feed to my unwilling eyes. I should be absolutely drowning in pornographic spam, most of it about children (which is possible, except I tend to short-circuit the process by not reading the blasted stuff), and unable to search Google without the first twenty links being to X-rated sites. There should be T&A pushing themselves onto every single page I visit.
    Instead, I find my internet experience remarkably pr0n-free. Maybe it’s because I’m using Firefox (with No Script, no Flash, and Adblocker enabled) rather than Internet Explorer? Or possibly it’s because the whole problem of pornography on the internet is rather overrated.

  2. Even if these filters can work reliably without slowing down internet speeds to commercially untenable levels, we know that all that will happen is that the child-porn merchants will simply mask their wares with euphemisms about “sugar” and “spice” and “satisfying their sweet tooth” or something similiar. Is the ALP proposing to start blocking recipes from Nigella and Jamie now as well?
    Also, good catch on the opt-out for adults. Is child-porn illegal for all or just for minors, Conroy?
    Good intentions are not sufficient to excuse policy that will cause irritation and disturbance to those not guilty without inconveniencing the guilty one little bit. Come up with a better policy to promulgate your good intentions, ALP.

  3. Meg, our comments crossed, but what an excellent point! Yes, although I get many offers of p*nis enlargement creams and invitations to watch p0rn involving adult women, I can not remember ever seeing spam involving child p0rn.
    I know the content does exist online, but it’s not just there being slathered onto the average browsing experience. People have to go looking for it. And if they want to look for it that badly, is a crude filter like those proposed going to stop them?

  4. I get spam with “teen/schoolgirl blahblahblah” in the subject lines, but I have no idea whether they contain or lead to actual child porn. I’m guessing the “teens” are typically 18, 19, or 20-something year old women dressed in plaid skirts and pigtails.

  5. I think you should all be ashamed alp… your just as bad as the libs where in power with regards to the internet… ive not seen spam regarding child porn…
    all people in australia band together to tell teh ALP NO to the clean-feed filters

  6. another angry voter – I’m not sure from your comment whether you think the ALP is planning to filter email compulsorily, because there’s been no mention of that. Their proposal is about filtering world wide web traffic. If you check the latest posts, transcriptions of the Spoonman interviews, they explain it quite well.

%d bloggers like this: