Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lundy and the filter

Senator Lundy has blogged about her concerns with the "internet filtering" policy announced by her colleague Senator Conroy. She has followed up indicating (despite comments suggesting she wouldn't) that she has carefully reviewed the comments.

I can understand why Senator Lundy remains concerned by the policy, but the fact that it has been kept very tightly constrained to the RC content and to identified page addresses (i.e. it is not a filter it is a page blocker) means that it shouldn't be thought of as imposing a limit on the "freedom of the Internet".

More importantly though, if the Senator believes RC content should be available through the easy online navigation that is a webpage for adults who choose to "opt-in", why should the same content be denied to adults in other media.

The policy of refusing access to RC content is a child protection policy not because it aims to help prevent children (or others) from SEEING it, but to help protect children (and others) from being subject to the ACTIONS portrayed in the content.

Senator Lundy has resorted to concerns about the effect the page blocker will have on Internet speeds, and has picked up thoughts from contributors on limits of the technical trials. Be that as it may, it is still hard to argue that the Australian Government should take no action to prohibit distribution of material that it prohibits being distributed in other ways.

One thing I am being convinced of is that the current dividing line between X18+ and RC is set too low. That needs to be addressed, perhaps with another category above X18+ (dare I say XXX18+). But it needs to be addressed for ALL MEDIA.

Finally I was alerted to the Crikey story on the Lundy blog by a blogpost on a site that calls itself "Freedom to Differ".

Iwas alerted to it by my Google Alert on my name, because there is a comment there from a Verity Pravda that is not me. How awesome if there is now a "Not the real Verity Pravda" out there. More interestingly Freedom to Differ seems to thnk that it is OK on a blogpost to cut and paste an ENTIRE Crikey story. Freedom to steal as well perhaps?