Friday, March 12, 2010

World Day against Cyber Censorship

March 12th is the World Day against Cyber Censorship. The fact you are reading this says that you enjoy the benefits of access to the web. We use it to pursue our passions, our hobbies, our games. The community we forge is real. In the broad community of netizens around the globe there are growing numbers of people locked away in countries throughout the world for online reportage and networking activities. Not that that will likely involve the readers of this blog in the foreseeable future, but who knows what the future holds?

In Australia we are about to get a government run filtering system to block sites the administrators deem 'unsuitable'. No choice. And in South Australia we will be losing access to many games as our Attorney General refuses to participate in a national classificatory scheme for the hardcore games (the 'R' rating). Not that I particularly like most of those games, but if they get away with this, what next? Social networking sites? Militaristic hobbyists? Who knows? If you recall the various panic waves and crusades against Dungeons and Dragons you'll know that the most innocent of activities can lead to crazy situations if the censors move in.

To show how ridiculous it can get even in this 'civilised age,' in an election campaign occurring here and now our Attorney General has been publicly grabbing headlines saying he is more at threat from 'gamers' than from 'bikies' (against whom he has passed anti-association laws). The logical next step would be to stop gamers from associating, and then what would we do?

Anyway, to break the non political nature of this blog for this one day of the year, I just wanted to spread the word and ask everyone to think for a moment of the joys we have with a web on which we can write what we want and read as we feel. And to cherish that.

If you're interested, check out the site of Reporters without Borders (Reporters sans frontiers).

If you wonder why I'm posting this, my beloved country is now being ranked with various totalitarian states such as China, Iran, etc because of the internet filtering 'service' our government is about to ram down our throats. It has me rather upset. Back to normal transmission after this post...

1 comment:

jmilesr said...

Censorship is always a very slippery slope. It may be established for what are thought to be nobel reasons but it will inevitable evolve into something that is constricting.

I do think the 'net protocols being discussed will significantly impact the ability of Australia to compete in internet development, so hopefully the economic impacts will drive a change in the policy.

good luck