Lame parrots try to defend Internet censorship

[Update 21 December: If you’ve just found this post through recent links just before Christmas 2008, you might also want to check out some of the later material which I list at the end of the article.]

Scan of letter from Anthony Albanese MP

Anthony Albanese, my federal MP, replied to my letter about Internet censorship. It’s nothing but platitudes and a regurgitation of Labor’s policy-speak.

Network engineer Mark Newton met with his local MP Kate Ellis in Adelaide yesterday. She too had nothing but canned responses.

This is not good enough.

The same goes for “pro-family” lobbyists like the Australian Family Association’s Anh Nguyen in Online filtering recognises families’ concerns today, or the people quoted in the Courier Mail‘s Web filter ‘needed’ to protect kids from porn on Friday.

Detailed, coherent critiques have been put forward addressing the technical, economic and policy flaws in clear, straightforward language. If you can’t counter those arguments with evidence and logic, not more “think of the children” hand-wringing, then we must stop wasting time and taxpayers’ money on this “filtering” folly. Now.

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Dear Mr Albanese, Internet censorship trials must stop

Photograph of Anthony Albanese MP

Here’s my letter to my federal MP Anthony Albanese (pictured), which this very moment is rolling off his fax machine.

I’m hoping that Mr Albanese will be able to have some impact on this because he is both Minister for Infrastructure — the Internet is key infrastructure, right? — and Leader of the House of Representatives.

I know that he understands human rights issues because … well, us Marrickville folks just do understand these things, right Anthony? And you certainly knew how to stick it into John Howard when he demonstrated cluelessness.

Like Mark Newton, I also release this letter into the public domain.

Continue reading “Dear Mr Albanese, Internet censorship trials must stop”

Dear Ms Kate Ellis, MP…

Mark Newton, the network engineer who Senator Conroy’s office tried to bully, has written to his local member Kate Ellis MP detailing his criticism of both the Internet censorship plans and Conroy’s behaviour — and calling for a detailed response.

The PDF of the full letter has all the references, but I’ve reproduced the main text below — verbatim, except for minor changes to suit my own typographical and linking preferences.

One important figure which was “hidden” in a footnote….

When translated into the network traffic handled by a medium-sized ISP, the 3% false-positive rate of the most accurate filter tested corresponds to more than 3000 “bad blocks” per second.

Imagine the bureaucracy you’d need to undo all that damage to legitimate Internet traffic!

Imagine if your business or your family’s holiday photos were being blocked and you had to “prove” to the government that you’re not a child pornographer — because that’s how Senator Conroy is characterising you!

Here then, The Letter… it had been released into the public domain, so spread it wide! (So to speak. Sorry, Senators.)

Continue reading “Dear Ms Kate Ellis, MP…”