Interesting Day

January 2, 2008

On the positive side:

A new On The Pod, today’s guest John Johnston aka @jjprojects from Twitter. If you haven’t visited lately link here.

We also resurrected the 2Web Crew Podcast today, one hour of Web 2.0 talk with Cameron Reilly, Laurael Papworth, Bronwen Clune and myself. The fun thing was that we streamed it live on Ustream. Had about 25 people joining in via chat which added a new dimension to podcasting. Listen here.

On the Negative Side:

The Australian Government suggested today that believing in freedom of speech online is on the same level as kiddie porn. WTF!

The Oz has some great coverage here and here. Be it two days late, but better late than ever.

Some choice quotes:

A seething Dr Roger Clarke, chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation, bluntly described the proposal as “stupid and inappropriate”.

He said not only was it unworkable, but it was a sinister blow to an individual’s rights to use the internet without censorship.

“Not only will it not work, it is quite dangerous to let the Government censor the net and take control out of the hands of parents,” Clarke said.

“It is an inappropriate thing for them to be doing. Mr Conroy is like a schoolmaster playing god with the Australian population, all because of the dominance of a moral minority.”


“Labor makes no apologies to those that argue that any regulation on the internet is like going down the Chinese road,” Conroy said.

“If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd Labor Government is going to disagree.”


One problem for the Government is that blocking child porn may unintentionally block acceptable sites.

The history of the internet is full of such examples; one blogger found that, due to spamware set to block ads for sex drug Cialis, he was unable to publish the word “socialist”.


A 2005 pilot study carried out by the former Howard government found a clean feed approach could cut down speed of accessing the internet by between 18 to 78 per cent depending on what was being blocked.

Sad, sad times for democracy and freedom in Australia. The question is what can we do to stop it? can we stop it, or is it too late? One of the memes on Twitter today is how they’ll implement it. Most are saying by act of Parliament, but I suspect they can do it via ACMA and regulation. If so we’re screwed already.