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Another week, another hole appearing in the Rudd government’s plans for pervasive Internet censorship. I’m in Crikey today with a piece headlined So Conroy’s Internet filter won’t block political speech, eh?
“Freedom of speech is fundamentally important in a democratic society and there has never been any suggestion that the Australian Government would seek to block political content,” intoned Senator Stephen Conroy on Tuesday.
Yet the very next day, ACMA added a page from what’s arguably a political website to its secret blacklist of Internet nasties.
The page is part of an anti-abortion website which claims to include “everything schools, government, and abortion clinics are afraid to tell or show you”. Yes, photos of dismembered fetuses designed to scare women out of having an abortion. Before you click through, be warned: it is confronting. Here’s the blacklisted page.
The piece goes on to argue that while you may or may not agree with the political stance or tactics of the anti-abortionists, they’re within their rights to express their political views, and express them strongly. The article isn’t behind the paywall, so read on…
The article also quotes Peter Black, who lectures in Internet law at QUT and blogs at Freedom to Differ. The full text of his commentary is over the jump.