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Member since May 2011 · 2472 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Australia the Internet Nanny
So Australia's protecting the children in their usual fashion: inexplicably and randomly.

The new internet content rules are awesome: Anything they don't like or that generates a complaint from the public can generate sanctions for the content provider or host.

Happily this site is totally exempt 'cause it's not hosted in Australia.

Content hosted outside Australia
If the content is hosted outside Australia the ABA only takes action if the content is RC or X.
The ABA notifies makers of content filters of the content. It may also notify the Australian Federal
Police (AFP) if it thinks it necessary.
So basically they'll tell the makers of ineffective blocking software to block the site, and - if it's totally illegal - contact the cops. 

So hey, I'm not worried.  Back to your regular goatse, everyone.
BLEARGH
This post was edited on 2012-09-10, 18:22 by NFG.
Author name #2
Member since Feb 2008 · 6 posts · Location: Tassie
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ok, this isn't what i thought it'd be about. im wondering about australia's our big bad secret blacklist...
i've only heard a little info on it and even that is cloudy, can you please enlighten me some more
Author name (Administrator) #3
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Member since May 2011 · 2472 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Australians continue to be the most retarded bunch of idiots on the planet.  Thanks to Mr. Face (an Australian himself, but please don't hold that against him) for the heads up.

Channel nine summarizes things nicely (Which is itself a huge surprise, since that bunch of muckraking sensationalist shitheads rarely do things I agree with):

Quote by Channel Nine:
"Encyclopedia dramatica's purpose is to provide a central catalog for the e-public to view parody and satirie (sic) of drama, memes, e-pals and other interesting happenings on the internets," a page explaining the site says.

"The goal is to provide comprehensive, reference-style parody, to poke fun at everyone and everything on the internet."

The issue now is that ED has a page about Australian aboriginals.  Now, I've got no more distaste for those lazy shits than the lazy white shits of Australia, or any other group of lazy shits, so when I read the ED page I didn't find it particularly offensive.  Yeah, OK, another minority copped some internet flak.  <yawn>

One particular Australian aboriginal man, a certain Mr. Hodder-Watt, was outraged:

Quote by Sensitive Mr. Hodder-Watt:
“I was shocked, ashamed and embarrassed that any race, let alone my own people, should be labelled this way when I came across the offensive webpage,” said Mr Hodder Watt.

I will now translate this from Whinging Dick to English:

Quote by Whinging Dick:
I saw something I didn't like and thought maybe I could get my name in the news by being an intolerant idiot, and feigning outrage.  It's totally working.

Encyclopedia Dramatica updated the page to reflect their stance on the matter:

[Image: http://nfgworld.com/grafx/savedpages/Steve_hodder-watt.gif]

I don't like intolerant shits of any colour.  What's the thinking here, if you can't laugh at yourself, lash out at others who do?

I mean, come on!  What's an easier job, changing the world and making it safe for every person's particular bugbears, or growing a pair and dealing with the haters and griefers of the world?

Damned glory hog.


Yeah, aboriginals in Australia have had it rough.  I can totally see how having google de-list one internet page is going to have a measurable effect.


Argh.  Idiots.  You can't legislate niceness.
BLEARGH
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Member since May 2011 · 2472 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Australia sucks like Uzbekistan, Tunisia and China.
US Secretary of State Clinton had this to say of China, but she might well have said Australia if the 'net censorship goes forward here:

Quote by Hillary Clinton:
"In the last year, we've seen a spike in threats to the free flow of information. China, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan have stepped up their censorship of the internet.

[...]

Those who disrupt the free flow of information in our society or any other pose a threat to our economy, our government, and our civil society.

James Fallows, on whose blog I found this goes on to add:

Quote by James Fallows:
Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Egypt -- this is not the grouping of countries that the Chinese government, in its recent sense of rise to superpower status, is used to being lumped with.

Yeah, pretty sure Australia is too retarded to notice it's just been lumped in with them too.

Electronic Frontiers Australia has 10 unanswered questions about Australia's censorship. 

This is important, someone needs to get their head out of their ass.
BLEARGH
This post was edited on 2010-01-22, 09:30 by NFG.
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Member since May 2011 · 2472 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: South Australia Censorship Regime
According to news.com.au everyone's favourite fascist the South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson is back in the news (thanks to Chris I. for the heads up).

Quote by The Article:
The new law, which came into force on January 6, requires internet bloggers, and anyone making a comment on next month's state election, to publish their real name and postcode when commenting on the poll.

No more anonymous commenting on SA's state election.  How awesome is that?

Mr. Paranoid Attorney General said:

Quote by Michael Atkinson:
"I am also certain that Advertiser Newspapers and News Limited will punish me personally, viciously for being the attorney-general responsible for this law," he said.

"You will publish false stories about me, invent things about me to punish me."

Yeah, that's because you're a dangerous, out-of-touch lunatic without the brains to handle your authority wisely.  First we can't play adult video games, now we can't be anonymous.  Do you really think China is the right role model here?

It's a bullshit law, trivially easy to circumvent and impossible to enforce, not unlike Australia's internet censorship plan.  My question is: if you plan to do something impossible without the support of your electorate, why do you persist?  It can't be done.  Give up.  Go home.

Here, allow me to break the law:

The following people are liars, cheats, adulterers and they probably tried to kill you with polonium:

Jane Lomax-Smith, Rachel Sanderson, Brett Ferris, Stephanie Key, Penny Pratt, Jennifer Bonham, Ben Dineen, Vickie Chapman, Brendan Fitzgerald, Chloe Fox, Maria Kourtesis, Graham Goss, National, Roly Telfer, Tim Whetstone, Jack Papageorgiou, , Karlene Maywald (Nat), Jay Weatherill, James Bourke, Paul Caica, Peter Morichovitis, Michael Atkinson, Zack McLennan, Kat Nicholson (G4C), Iain Evans, Nat Elliott, Patrick Conlon, Ben Turner, Daryl Bullen, John Rau, Luke Westley, Mary-Lou Corcoran, Michael Pengilly, , Bruce Hicks, Adriana Christopoulos, Christopher Moriarty, Penny Wright, Tauto Sansbury, Peter Treloar, Wilbur Klein (Nat), Frances Bedford, Patrick Trainor, Craig McKay, John Rohde, Terry Boylan, Geoff Brock (Ind), Lyn Breuer, Chad Oldfield, Andrew-Melville Smith, Steven Griffiths, Adrian Pederick, Grace Portolesi, Joe Scalzi, Isobel Redmond, Lynton Vonow, John Hill, Trisha Bird, Yvonne Wenham, John Fulbrook, Mark Goldsworthy, Ian Grosser, Michael Wright, Sue Gow, Tony Piccolo, Cosi Costa, Lee Odenwalder, Mitch Williams, Leon Bignell, Matthew Donovan, Palitja Moore, Alan Sibbons, Peta McCance, Kris Hanna (Ind), Lindsay Simmons, John Gardner, Scott Andrews, Tim Looker, Duncan McFetridge, Jack Robbins, Steve Perryman, Michael O'Brien, Brenton Chomel, Tom Kenyon, Trish Draper, Holden Ward, Vini Ciccarello, Steven Marshall, Katie McCusker, Jack Snelling, Kerry Faggotter, Kevin Foley, Sue Lawrie, Marie Boland, Mike Rann, David Balaza, Gay Thompson, Shane Howard, Lynda Hopgood, Ivan Venning, Sean Holden, Dan Van Holst Pellekaan, Leesa Vlahos, Robyn Geraghty, Stuart Lomax, Peter Fiebig, Vanessa Vartto, David Pisoni, Nikki Mortier, Adrian Tisato, Martin Hamilton-Smith, Matthew Wilson, Tom Koutsantonis, Jassmine Wood, Tim White, Jennifer Rankine, Tina Celeste, Arthur Seager, David Ridgway, Stephen Wade, Terry Stephens, Jing Lee, Rita Bouras, Peter Salu, Sarah Jared, Tammy Jennings, Simon Jones, Sandy Montgomery, Robert Brokenshire, Bob Randall, Toni Turnbull, Jeanie Walker, David Winderlich, Kirsten Alexander, Stewart Glass (Ind), Chris Prior (G4C)

And that more or less covers every single person running in the SA elections.  Take that, Atkinson.
BLEARGH
This post was edited on 2010-02-02, 10:19 by NFG.
Author name #6
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User title: I can haz cheezburgrz?
Member since Aug 2009 · 23 posts · Location: Samford, QLD, Australia
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Oooooooohhhhhhhhh! you are so going to jail!.....time for a national manhunt on the anonymous person known as "NFG"
Author name (Administrator) #7
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Member since May 2011 · 2472 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Electronic Frontiers Australia provides a bit of a sanity check on the SA laws.

Quote by EFA:
I think the best interpretation of this law is probably the one that only ‘periodical’ publications and real broadcasts will be covered; so online newspapers and broadcasters will be covered, but not necessarily small personal websites or blogs. If that’s the case, then this legislation does not seem as bad as it first appeared.
BLEARGH
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Member since May 2011 · 2472 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: I'm not going to jail after all!
According to ABC News the idiot from SA, Attorney General Michael Atkinson, has stepped back from a move that will cost him votes.

"Oh shit," he said.  "People actually use the internet?"

Quote by What Michael Atkinson actually said:
I now understand that bloggers demand the right to publish, on the net, political commentary in the election period anonymously or under an assumed name," he said.

"I miscalculated the strength of feeling among teenagers and people in their 20s...

You patronizing dickhead.  Yes, the young people matter.  You should resign.
BLEARGH
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Member since May 2011 · 2472 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: AFACT vs iiNET - the good guys win.
For a while now AFACT Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has been battling iiNET (an Australian ISP), claiming that they were criminally responsible for illegal things their users downloaded.  Their argument was basically "We told you they were doing it, and you didn't act to stop them."

Now, this isn't a new tactic - lots of similar organizations around the world think they should be able to side-step the law and the courts and annoying hindrances like evidence in this way.  I am surprised, however, that the Australian courts actually made a reasonable judgement: iiNET is not responsible for their users' actions.  Nor should they be, to ask them to monitor their users invites all manner of additional costs, not to mention privacy concerns and abuses of same.

There's been good commentary from around the world, as a case like this is important to all of us.

From my favourite techdirt:

Quote by Techdirt:
This is a huge victory for those who believe that the efforts by copyright holders to push secondary liability on ISPs is a very dangerous policy. It's great to see the court get this one right.

From Michael Geist, a Canadian copyfighter:

Quote by Michael Geist:
Australian Internet users are today celebrating a landmark decision in which an Australian court ruled against the film industry in their lawsuit against iiNET, Australia's third largest ISP.  The industry had asked the court to hold the ISP liable for infringing BitTorrent activities of its users.  The court soundly rejected that demand, holding that the ISP could not be seen to have authorized the infringement.

Google will show you many more comments.

No matter how you feel about downloading copyrighted stuff, AFACT's argument was essentially that ISPs should terminate the internet connections based on AFACT's notice.  There is no way any entity should have this power.  The internet is now a vital part of peoples' lives.  Cutting off your access because some company has some flimsy evidence that you might have done something is preposterous.  Cutting off a family 'cause little johnny downloaded a CD?  The very idea is absurd, and should frighten us all.
BLEARGH
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Member since May 2011 · 2472 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Anonymous strikes a blow!
Anonymous, the same random collection of 4chan regulars who fought against scientology, have gone after the Australian censorship regime.

I love to cheer the little guys when they launch balls-out attacks in favour of things I also favour, but this one strikes me as a little bit misguided.  I don't know that giving the very people trying to control you additional reasons to control you is ever a good idea.  The EFA agrees:

Quote by EFA:
It’s easy to understand the frustrations that the Anonymous members feel – it’s true that the censorship plan has been thrust on the Australian public without consultation, research or a coherent policy objective. But this campaign just serves for Anonymous members to get a little revenge. It certainly won’t persuade anyone; rather, it will hurt the anti-filtering campaign.

The EFA also notes that Anonymous is conflating the internet censorship problem with the recent ban (but not really) on small breasts in Australian porn.

I gotta say though, calling it "Operation Titstorm" is a stroke (heh) of genius.  Bravo, Anonymous.  Now knock it off.  =D
BLEARGH
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Member since May 2011 · 2472 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Google to Australia: Your laws are stupid.
TheAge.com.au says that Google's not eager to censor youtube videos for things that Australia considers illegal.

The problem with censorship is that it doesn't solve any problems, it just hides them.  People are still gonna paint the walls, people are still gonna die by the hands of doctors or relatives.  Censorship pretends these things don't exist, a sort of government-approved method of clapping your hands over your ears and screaming la la la I can't hear you.  Children do that, governments shouldn't.

And Google, enjoying the attention from their recent China drama, is taking a stand against such immaturity.

I don't believe for a moment that Google's reasons are anything but self-serving first and foremost, but it's nice when a big-ass company does something sensible.  Censorship doesn't work, and while ignoring a problem is easier than confronting it, it's not the right choice.

Still disgusted Australia looks to China for leadership on issues like these.  Not a good role model.
BLEARGH
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Member since May 2011 · 2472 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Australia cracks down on free speech AGAIN.
It seems that Australian lawmakers are trying to crack down on racist speech in Australia.  Apparently, they couldn't fuck you up enough for speaking your mind, and they want moar power.

The Age has the meaty details.

Quote by The Age:
At its most serious, online racism is dealt with under the Commonwealth Criminal Code, which can punish those who urge people to harm other Australians because of their race.

But when there is no obvious intent to incite violence, the commission has only limited powers.

Race Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes said there were clearly ''persistent pockets of racism in Australia'' linked to attacks on Indian students and cyber racism.

''There is no getting away from it,'' he said. ''Cyber racism is a result of that, as are the attacks on Indian students, and we need to address it.''

That's right, you can stop racism by going after people on forums and facebook, as if this country's enormous redneck population even knows how to use a computer.

The fact is there IS a huge racism problem in Australia, but until the country collectively pulls itself together and aims a little higher than the usual get drunk on the beach aspirations most kids seem to have, it's not going to change.

The EFA highlights the problem with speech controls:

Quote by EFA:
Banning racist content on the Internet might seem like a good idea on the surface, but you don’t have to dig very deep before the idea becomes problematic. The existing laws throughout the states grapple with some thorny issues. How do you define hate speech? “Kill all Jews” certainly counts, but what about “Liberate Palestine”? Is Holocaust revisionism hate speech? What about an honestly held  opinion on the undesirability of immigration from a certain part of the world? Does this inspire “hatred, contempt or severe ridicule” against a group of persons? These ambiguities will become more problematic if a new national law is introduced that applies to every blog on the Internet.

The problem is really quite simple: when you make a law against something that cannot be objectively defined, you open the door to abuse.  Speeding is an easy target for laws and punishments 'cause you can say beyond doubt that your car was travelling faster than the posted limit.  Ditto for fraud, assault, murder and countless other offenses.

But you can't say "this is hate speech," because everyone reads it differently.  As discussed above I thought the EncyclopaediaDramatica article on Australian aborigines was hilarious, but obviously the hyper-sensitive Mr. Hodder-Watt sees things differently.  The very fact that two people disagree means you can't make a law that accurately and evenhandedly deals with the problem.

And here comes the abuse: Someone with an axe to grind sees hate speech and launches a campaign to stop it, even whent he majority doesn't see a problem.  Or someone who doesn't like the person attacks them for hate speech, or one judge agrees it's a hate crime and another does not.  This sort of feel-good, nebulous lawmaking is a waste of time and resources.

(as an aside, look what happens when the ignorant ruin the lives of people 'cause they don't understand the meaning of a word: Wikipedia discusses 'niggardly'.  Now we want to make it easier for the easily-offended to do the same thing?  What's next, push-button machines to censor anyone we disagree with?)

The law is not a precision instrument, it is a cudgel, and it shouldn't be used where any kind of grey area exists. 

And that, ultimately, is why I'm a proponent of real, unfettered free speech.  Until you can accurately define and universally agree upon one person's speech being too much you shouldn't try to control it at all.  Innocent people will get caught in the resulting chaos, and then we'll all live in fear of saying the wrong thing.

Also: I'm sick of people who say "Free speech is good, but not when it involves <personal bugbear>"  It's either free or it's not.  You can't make exceptions for whatever social ill you want to erase.
BLEARGH
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User title: Kitten Blaster
Member since Feb 2010 · 89 posts
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ok... the Austrailian legislators are a bunch of fucking retards.  yeah, that's right, how's that for hate speech?  good luck protesting your government online.
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Quote by NFG:
The fact is there IS a huge racism problem in Australia, but until the country collectively pulls itself together and aims a little higher than the usual get drunk on the beach aspirations most kids seem to have, it's not going to change.
Exactly the thought I came away with after 2 years of life in Perth. It seems to me that the supposedly great Aussie tenets of "mateship" and "fair go" that the older generations cling onto from pre-colour television only apply if you're white. Australia needs to look inwards, remember where every single non-aboriginal in the country came from, drag itself out of the 1970s and shape the fuck up.
"...either stop and think or fuck right off" (TheOutrider)
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Member since May 2011 · 2472 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Steven Conroy, ashamed of what he's done?
According to news.com.au Steven Conroy, Australia's Communications Minister, is hiding his internet censorship project:

It was revealed today a script within the minister's homepage deliberately removes references to internet filtering from the list.

A list of things currently going on, under the minister's control, except the censorship one.

For shame, minister.  Your protestations of innocense ring hollow to my ears.

Asshole.

It's so ham-handed too, a javascript censorship, as implemented here, takes place on the client end.  That is, the information's sent to your computer, and then the script ignores it.  This makes it trivially easy to find the censored term.  Ashamed AND stupid.  No wonder he's trying to censor the internet.
BLEARGH
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