Here’s To You, Deborah Robinson, Our Nation Should Maintain Free Speech For You, Even If You Are An Idiot

January 2, 2008

I feel bad about writing a personal attack post, but when someone attacks you, you have some obligation to defend yourself, particularly when it’s soo bad it deserves derision. I defend anyones right to disagree, but I don’t when it comes to their right to suggest that I shouldn’t have the right to disagree, that somehow free speech should be stifled. If there is one thing that should bind us all in free societies, it’s free speech. Whether left, right, green, gay, whatever, we should all have the right to say as we please. Those that suggest otherwise are the enemies of us all.

Deborah Robinson, someone who most of you have never heard of but is probably seeking attention, thinks that the Great Firewall of Australia is a great idea. (link).

Here’s some highlights

One popular blog, TechCrunch went so far as to suggest a conspiracy between our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd and the Chinese. And what did Duncan Riley from TechCrunch offer as proof of this conspiracy? A satirical video downloaded from YouTube. What an idiot!

The video was for fun, as were the Chinese references…called for I think given the context, but let us digress to the Minister himself Deborah:

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

That’s right Deborah, the Minister himself compares the ALP’s plan to China. Idiot.

then she attacks Scoble

Robert Scoble of Scobleizer said on his blog post, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìI have two children and I?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢d rather raise them with freedom of speech than some government deciding what they can and can?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t see, thank you very much.?¢‚Ǩ¬ù I wonder if he would still hold this view if his kids had unrestricted access to porn and violent material offline? I?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢m sure he wouldn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t want them passing out porn at the supermarket or on the street. So why should it be any different on the world wide web? How many times have we all inadvertently stumbled on something offensive or just unwelcome online? And he says he isn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t worried about his kids on the web.

Deborah, no one is suggesting that. We are simply suggesting that the Government shouldn’t dictate what we should be able to access online, unless of course its your idiotic writings.

What has gotten lost in all this hysteria is the ?¢‚ǨÀúreal?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ objective of introducing a clean feed in Australia and that is to protect our kids from being bombarded by inappropriate material.

Firstly, who dictates what is appropriate and not, and where does it stop, because once it starts, mark my words IT WONT STOP. Now on the other hand, OK, I’m calling child services Deborah because if you have kids (and god help them) you’re obviously letting them view hard core porn because you’re too irresponsible to supervise them, or god forbid block access with NetNanny or similar. Ultimately we can block what we deem inappropriate ourselves, that is our choice in a free society, not that of the Government, unless the act is of course illegal (which with kiddy porn it is…and that’s the important fact here, it’s already illegal).

The problem of unrestricted access to adult material is not unique to this country and I applaud the Australian government for having the guts to clean up the ?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢anything goes on the Internet?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ mentality, which has dominated the world wide web for far too long. After all, we wouldn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t tolerate it offline, so why should we tolerate it on the Internet.

Deborah, again, you’re a Grade A idiot. This isn’t just about porn, despite what the Government is saying. This is about “pornography and inappropriate material” and depending on some reports “illegal and violent” material as well. Lets take a look at the Governments net. Ignore porn for a second (since you seem to be obsessed with it) and look at what else this takes in. For starters anything “illegal” online is anything R rated and above. At the basic level this is porn, but it also includes some types of video games as well, because we don’t have a R rating for those (anything above MA is banned). Virtual worlds that are changing how we do things online such as Second Life have seedy areas, they could well be banned as well, completely and not in part because it’s difficult to filter part of Second Life (if not impossible). Speech: it’s illegal to advocate “hate” speech in some states and under certain circumstances Federally as well; if someone were to question Governments policy relating to Aboriginal people could that be deemed racist, illegal then blocked? Blogs and forums allow for a free and open discourse…if someone started spamming your blog with “dirty words” should you be automatically blocked? Indeed, if I said you’re a fucking idiot enough times this site would be blocked as well, but I’m sure you’d be happy about that.

Here’s a choice quote from todays coverage at the OZ:

There are genuine concerns that the Government – backed by morals groups like Family First – will in time extend the powers outside of their intended target area.

And lets not forget about the economic cost of this as well

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.

Deborah, stop looking at porn online for one minute and consider that free speech online isn’t about porn but defending the right for idiots like you to say your crap without Government censorship. Would you like to live in a world where what you say online could be censored because the Government deems it so? because this is what you are supporting today. As much as I’m tempted to suggest (as I have elsewhere) that you should be censorsed because you are an idiot, I must always defer to the quote wrongly attributed to Voltaire, because despite our differences this is the key to our freedom and democracy in the 21st century

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Perhaps Deborah, if you had any fairness and belief in freedom you’d extend those words to others as well.

PS: I was joking on Twitter about those twats from the Guardians being Commies. They got it totally wrong anyway; the UK censors child porn only on opt-in feeds, the Australian Government is talking 2 million sites + on an opt out basis. They probably a commies, but hey, lets ban them, that’s your solution, right?

36 responses to Here’s To You, Deborah Robinson, Our Nation Should Maintain Free Speech For You, Even If You Are An Idiot

  1. OMG – at first I thought your tweet was an overreaction. But now I realise why!!!!

  2. This is good….fighting for what you believe is right…..

  3. Okay I see the concern. shes more a mis-informed rant than anything else.

  4. On Deborah’s blog there is a comment from a Frank Calabrese that you deleted a comment from Simon Russell. I don’t know if its true, but I know that i left a comment on Deborah’s blog, which didn’t make it online. I suppose because it wasn’t advocating for her thoughts.
    Sadly, I don’t keep backup of my comments.

  5. I am comforted by the fact that the Australian Government is not amongst your legion of blind followers whom, thanks to you Duncan are now coming after me like a mob of vigilantes armed with flaming torches and pitchforks!

    At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what any of us say online because the Australian government is still going through with the plan to provide ISP filtering in MY COUNTRY.

  6. @Deborah
    I’m not sure what you’re trying to imply, but I’m pretty sure Duncan’s from Australia as well. (His mailing address in the top right of this site certainly seems to be.)

    As far as I can find (and here is an old article), the system in use in the UK isn’t opt-in. I’m not even sure you _can_ opt-out. But I’d be interested to know either way. I live in the UK currently, and I’m sure I haven’t opted out (or in) — and my internet experience hasn’t been affected from what I can tell.,6903,1232422,00.html

    I’m glad you’ve moved this story from TechCrunch onto here, this seems like a more appropriate forum. I still think you’ve misinterpreted the government quotes, though. Surely there are better ones you can find to support your argument?

    At this point, the whole thing is nothing but talk. I think it may be better to wait until something’s suggested firmly before getting too excited about it (that goes for the people in support of it as well; this sort of widespread huge-project government initiative has a habit of failing).

    Waiting’s what I’ll be doing — most likely nothing will happen.

  7. Deborah
    now Australia is yours exclusively? WTF? Seriously, if you were a real Australian you’d defend our freedoms, not attack them.

  8. To clear up any confusion. I wrote MY COUNTRY to emphasise the point that I am an Australian and I have every right to voice my opinion in this debate. Not everything I write is a direct reference to you Duncan.

  9. Deborah
    what was the “my country” gibe about? Are you some sort of racist as well? You know your hate speech will be shut down by the firewall as well.

  10. Deborah
    you have every right to voice an opinion now, but the opinion your are advocating is that others should not in the future, and for that my dear you are and still remain an idiot, and likely a backpedaling racist as well. Another point: I didn’t start this name calling game, you did, perhaps you should remember that when you attack people first they have a right to respond as I have here here, but hypocrisy is a totally foreign concept to you, isn’t it. What, you didn’t think anyone would respond? that you could just attack a list of people and no one say a thing? [insert shaking head here]

  11. Okay, throwing another log into the fires of debate, let’s consider this: the World Wide Web is not “the internet”, in the same way that Deborah Robinson’s Australia is not “Australia”. All the information I’ve seen about this, and all the debate as well, tends to focus rather heavily on the notion that the government is going to be only filtering web browsing by filtering “the internet”. They won’t.

    By saying they’re going to filter “the internet” the government is saying they’re going to be filtering email, newsgroups, various chat services, multiplayer games, corporate intranets connected via IP tunnelling, file download sites, and a lot of other things besides. It’s not just the web.

    So, do you feel safe with the notion of a program at your ISP reading through your email, and matching packets to ensure nobody’s talking about sex? Do you want to find out one day you’re not able to play World of Warcraft online, because some anonymous bureaucrat has decided it’s “too violent”? Would you feel comfortable, knowing that each time you’re chatting with friends online via AOL, a little program at your ISP is cheerfully filtering the bitstream to catch you raising any “improper” topics? How about phone calls made by Voice-Over-IP? Fancy having someone listening to your calls?

    All of those are theoretically possible under an “internet filtering” regime. It’s not going to be just the pages you load to your web browser they’re going to be policing. Particularly not in these days where more and more things are happening online. How much of your life do you want to hand over to the government to supervise?

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d really prefer it if my government treated me as though I were an adult capable of making my own decisions, rather than a mushroom.

  12. Duncan you are yet to show the link to the government blocking people talking about their policies. Its a huge leap, unless you are planning on doing something that will give you a RA+ (or what ever the rating is) to prove your point.
    If your answer is going to be that they could block your comments against their policies under the policy, please read this again to save me writing it again.

  13. A backpedaling racist? You are just making this stuff up as you go along Duncan. I may have called you an “idiot” in my original post, but you have gone far beyond that with this post and your additional comments.

  14. I’m sure there are good points being made here …. somewhere. I’m no advocate of censorship *or* child porn. But the rather hysterical ad hominem attacks “idiot” ! “backpedalling racist” ! Really do nothing for either point of view other than me wondering if ringfencing the australian internet might not be a bad idea.

    You don’t get your jkiddy porn and we don’t get to read this shite. Everyone is a winner.

  15. Hi Duncan
    Nothings changed eh!
    Yet another halfwit attacks you rather than focussing on the context of the matter at hand.
    But I guess personal attacks are the best form of flattery. And as far as being a “salivating fan” well yes I am, but it’s mostly because of the chocolate chip ice cream cone I have in hand. 🙂
    Keep at em mate.

  16. I hate to say it but Aldous makes some good points.
    Fin: He does have a good way of throwing people off the scent of the real issue, doesn’t he! A good skill to have when you can’t defend your argument!

  17. You may be interested in the national legislation that is going to be introduced in the US Congress this Spring. It’s called the Internet Community Ports Act, or ICPA.

    In short, the Internet infrastructure is similar to cable TV. TV has channels and the Internet has ports. The legislation will require a “clean” port and an “open” port. Anything that is of a TV-14 rating or PG-13 rating or cleaner will be on the clean port. The open port will be exactly how the Internet is today. CP80 proposes that the consumer must call the ISP and “opt-in” to the clean port. Otherwise, you will have the open port.

    This solution eliminates the “freedom of speech” issue. If you don’t opt in, you can have the Internet exactly how it is. The ICPA will give families, schools and businesses a choice.

    Everything from magazines to adult sex shops are regulated. It’s time to do the same with the Internet. If we choose not to enter adult sex shops, we don’t have to. With the current Internet, we have lost the choice whether or not to view pornography.

    Visit for more information.

  18. Good on ya, Duncan, fascist-like state loyalists Deborah Robinson rise and fall through history. Somehow society always manages to solve the problem and discredit them forever via written history.

    A lovely mental exercise is to consider how Bush will be remembered in 50, 100, or 1,000 years. About as fun is to think of the lovely one-liner in history books where China and Australia’s great firewalls will be correlated within the same sentence.

    Final though: Deborah uses the word “morals” to describe advantages to the Great Firewall of Australia and China, which just happens to be one of the very best trigger words for us to realize that she’s very likely acting on the behalf of a male Caucasian deity to justify her work.

    When, o when, will we finally be able to ban once and for all the invocation of, whether admitted or not, sexist religiosity and its morals. Those are the really damaging concept that all children should be protected from. If only I could find it in me to become a fascist to do it. But unfortunately, I too, have to defend peoples right to their morals, even if they are unethical.

    (Of course, I have no idea what her use of the word “morals” was based upon, like I say, it is just an common indicator of a deeper problem.)

  19. @Aldous: LOL, good one, you proved Duncan’s point, where does it stop. Do you suggest we round up the kids in kindergarten for name calling too? Perhaps labor camps are the best option. Why don’t you head up a “name-calling must be banned from the Internet” task force. I’m sure there are plenty who’ll support a tax increase to pay for the additional prisons needed.

  20. Marcus to suggest what the Labour party is putting forward is the same as what China weakens the argument against it as there is little similarities between what the countries are doing (or at least, what China is best known for blocking, they may also block Porn, but I am pretty sure this isn’t what your refering too.


  21. @Me: They block whatever the center of power decides they should block. That’s what we’re talking about here, try to keep up with the discussion 😉

  22. Marcus – I never once used the word “morals”. Show me where in any of my writing I used the word “morals”? It was the group Families First who used the word “morals”, not me.

  23. @Deborah: Oops, I mistook the source of that quote.

  24. @Marcus: Hmmm….. They already block this stuff! On TV, Movies, Magazines,etc. This is just adding the internet as another medium. You should (and maybe you are/have been) fighting their censoring of TV/Movies/Magazines as this is no different to that.

  25. Apologies submitted too early. Followers of this thread might enjoy:

    You might have found a link to this post on her blog, except she deleted it.

  26. @Jon Seymour – as I said to Jon earlier, I can understand to some degree why Ducan chose to write this article attacking me personally, I did call him an “idiot”. But what is Jon Seymour’s excuse? I didn’t even know who he was until he tried to submit the link on my block. Yes, I did delete the link. Wouldn’t any of you delete a link from your blog which attacks you for no reason other than to gain some attention for himself. He says he’s not trying to get attention but why else would he then post the link here?

    What do you think Duncan? You accused me of trying to get attention. Don’t you think Jon Seymour is doing the same thing?

  27. Deborah,

    The more light I can shine on your fallacious arguments, the better.

    Yes, I am unashamedly trying to draw attention to my blog, to my arguments and to my rebuttal of your nonsense.

    If you were confident that your arguments were not made of straw, why did you delete the comment?


  28. I’ll post this here because just in case Deborah has added // to her own PC-based filter.

    I do note, in passing, that in my “debate” with Deborah Robinson the only person who has attempted to engage the other’s arguments with reasoned argument is myself. Deborah’s contribution thus far have been what might be characterised as “personal attacks”. She has accused me of “coming after her”. She has accused me of “attention seeking”.

    Not once has she tried to rebut one of my arguments but instead cowers behind the pathetic defence that Jon Seymour is a bully who has no argument to put forward and is only intent of waging a personal attack on her good self.

    She does protest too loud, methinks.

    If you want a debate Deborah, lets see some. If you don’t want a debate, then please quit your personal attacks on me and go away.

    And, please, don’t accuse me of an attempt to censor your free speech.

  29. I contacted Duncan by email and we have agreed to disagree on this issue and to stop the feud between us. As two reasonable people, we agreed that life is too short and we will move on from this. I wish you and your readers well Duncan.

    Deborah Robinson

  30. Deborah,

    May I also thank you for your good grace. I have updated my blog accordingly as well.



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