Liberal Party member Chris Abood on the internet blacklist

23 03 2009

From his recent Online Opinion piece:

So how does one get blacklisted?

Quite easily.

There are two ways to end up on the blacklist, either through direct channels or inadvertently. Currently, if I come across a website that I do not approve of either because I believe it is illegal or does not suit my ideological bent, I can make a complaint to the ACMA. In order to make a complaint, I must be an Australian resident or a company that carries on activities in Australia, provide the internet address and/or sufficient access details to enable ACMA to access the online content and provide reasons as to why I believe the online content is prohibited. The ACMA will then make a determination as to whether that site is added to the blacklist. It is not clear how the ACMA makes this determination. It has also been reported that other bodies such as filter software companies can also add websites to the blacklist. It is not clear how this is policed.

So how does one inadvertently end up on the list? Imagine that Big Buba from the Buba crime syndicate published a websites called FriendlyTours.com. However this is a front for an illegal website publishing unsavoury pictures. The site is found, a complaint made to ACMA and rightly added to the blacklist. A few weeks later, Big Buba closes down the site and moves to a new domain called BubaTours.com to try and keep ahead of the authorities. This site is also added to the blacklist and a few weeks later the site moves again and again.

Meanwhile, Jan who has been working for a large multi-national for 20 years is called into her manager’s office and told that she is being made redundant. With her large redundancy cheque, she decides to pursue her dream of running a tour business. She calls her business Friendly Tours and finds that the domain name is available. She registers the domain name and has a nice website built.

Jim, a dentist, decides to have a website built for his practice. His Internet Service Provider assigns his domain JimsDentistry.com to an IP address that was previously occupied by BubaTours.com. Both Jim and Jan are friends of mine. I offer to help them increase their Google rankings by linking to their sites through my website, my blog and my Facebook page.

A few weeks go by and Jim and Jan start getting emails from people saying they cannot access their websites. They don’t know why. They try to contact me for an explanation but cannot get hold of me. That is because I am in court being fined $11,000 a day for linking to a banned site. The people who emailed Jim and Jan are also in court facing jail terms of ten years for trying to access a site contained on the blacklist.

This blacklist is to form the backbone of the government’s mandatory filtering regime. The leaked list apparently contains 2,395 websites. The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy wants to expand this to 10,000 websites. Will the ACMA be under pressure to find sites, any sites, to reach this number? The legitimacy of the blacklist will always be in question while owners of websites on the blacklist have no means of recourse especially if that site is legitimate.

Something I am curious about is whether this policy is unanimously supported or even popular among members of the ALP. If not, what are dissenting ALP members doing about it?





Wikileaks, bitches

19 03 2009

WIKILEAKS WIKILEAKS WIKILEAKS WIKILEAKS WIKILEAKS WIKILEAKS WIKILEAKS WIKILEAKS WIKILEAKS WIKILEAKS WIKILEAKS WIKILEAKS

“The first rule of censorship is that you cannot talk about censorship.” (Wikileaks, March 16 2009)

Proudly brought to you by the Australian Federal Labor Government, stifling free speech since 2007.

(HT: Homosecular Gaytheist)

UPDATE from ABC News Online:

Internet filter blacklist leaked on web

The communication regulator’s blacklist of banned internet sites has apparently been leaked, prompting an internet advocacy group to accuse the Government of making it easy to access child pornography. Read the rest of this entry »





Think of the children

18 01 2009

Three girls in Pennsylvania ranging in age from 14 to 15 took nude or semi-nude photographs of themselves with their mobile phones, and sent them to three of their teenaged friends. All six have been brought up on child pornography charges.

In the Pennsylvania case, a school official seized the phone of one of the boys after he was caught using it during school hours in violation of a school rule, according to local police Capt. George Seranko. The official found the picture on the phone, and after some interrogation, discovered that two other girls had also e-mailed photos of themselves in the nude to friends. That’s when the school called police, who obtained search warrants to seize the phones and examine them. Police showed the images to the local district attorney, who recommended they bring charges.Seranko said the images “weren’t just breasts; they showed [gasp] female anatomy.” Read the rest of this entry »





Should you Facebook your atheism?

17 09 2008

PC World reports that employers admit to checking out applicants’ Facebook and MySpace profiles before deciding whether to hire them:

Increasing numbers of employers are checking out potential staff’s social networking profiles, says Careerbuilder.com. [. . .] The research also revealed that while 24 percent of employers had hired a member of staff based on their social-networking profile, 33 percent had also decided not to make a job offer after reviewing the content on a profile. Use of drugs or drinking and the posting of photographs deemed ‘inappropriate’ or ‘provocative’ were identified as the most popular reasons why employers eliminated a candidate after viewing their social networking profile.

Careerbuilder.com advises job hunters to either regularly edit their social-networking pages to ensure there is no negative content available or make them ‘private’ to avoid would-be employers snooping at their personal life.

The fact that a potential employee likes to enjoy a few beers on the weekend is a pretty stupid reason to excise them from the shortlist, not to mention hypocritical, given office Xmas parties, farewell and end-of-year dos, and so on. What concerns me are some of the other tidbits of information, not addressed in the Careerbuilder.com study, that might also give some employers reason to reject a potential applicant. The applicant’s political affiliations, or the books he or she reads, or the groups of which he or she is a member, for instance. Or his or her religious affiliation, or lack thereof.

Can outing yourself as an atheist on Facebook jeopardise your career?

Certainly there are some professions in which being out about one’s atheism would likely be detrimental to one’s employment prospects. Private religious schools are allowed to discriminate against potential employees on the basis of religious affiliation. In Australia, they can do this, and still be eligible for government funding. This is state-sponsored religious bigotry (the “good” bigotry), and it’s fucked up. But it’s a sobering thought for any teacher who is labouring under the misapprehension that they are as free to be as open about their atheism as any Christian teacher is regarding his or her Christianity. In an employment market in which a sizeable proportion is made up of religious schools, hide the “A” away if you want to maximise your job prospects.

But do you think your atheism is likely to scare off any other employers?





Quick update on “Muslim Massacre”

16 09 2008

It appears to have been a Poe that misfired after all. Sigvatr has taken the game and its host website down, issuing an apology in the process. (Unnecessary in my view—the taking down of the game, not necessarily the apology—but there it is.) An irony-deficient Australian neo-Nazi [update: make that two] promptly made the game available at his website. Read all about it at Slackbastard.








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