Friday, June 26, 2009

The Right To Be Uncensored

OK. Maybe it's time to be get a little more serious about this Internet censorship in Australia. I guess a few more protests wouldn't be a bad idea.

Senator Conroy! It's time to wake up. It appears you don't really get it. It is obvious that ISP-level filtering, specially a retarded blacklist method, can never stop people accessing illegal contents. Deny it or not, countries like China and Iran have invested way more than what you have or going to spend on that; still people find a way around it. Either Mr Conroy is getting technical advice from a bunch of retards or he assumes the rest of us to be stupid.

On technical side, keeping a blacklist of a few thousands URLs in a network with more than billions webpages is a joke. On the other hand, packet inspection doesn't seem to be practical with current technology; not only it severely impact the network speed, it'll a hard job to identify what content is actually illegal. Even humans have arguments over it, how would we expect a set of rules and algorithm serve us better?

But, the opposition to the plan is not only a technical but has a far more fundamental ethical aspect. I don't think it'll be long before pro-censorship people begin asking government to filter harmful conversations in instant messaging networks and mobile phones, assuming the plan won't suddenly extend its coverage to political information. I'm sure some can find certain political debates harmful to kids under 15!

Unless we want to end up in a situation like what see in Iran, we shouldn't accept any mandatory censorship of information in a free society. Misuse of such system doesn't happen right from the first day but when influential individuals or group from within and outside country find it necessary. I'm not sure if Senator Conroy or those rallying behind him are willing to take any responsibility for what this nation may suffer as a result of their short-sighted plan.

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