Despite the concept of erecting a digital firewall around Australia’s borders being almost unanimously opposed by the nation’s citizens, Australia’s Labor Party says it’s determined to forge ahead with their controversial internet filtering project. Of course, given that this is government we’re talking about, forging ahead doesn’t imply speediness. The latest word is that the much-derided system may not even hit Australia’s parliament for debate until mid-2013.
One of the things holding up the proceeds is the ongoing review of the ‘Refused Classification’ category, i.e. the stuff the government doesn’t want you finding on the web. For the record, there’s little or no debate over blocking child pornography and the like – ISPs have already announced their willingness to implement such protections – it’s defining all the other Things Certain Christians Don’t Like that’s causing all the fuss.
On the plus side, financial figures reveal that the government is allocating $8m to encourage ISPs to offer their customers the option of filtering out ‘regular’ porn and gambling sites, much like parents blocking a cable channel that shows boobies before the kids are in bed. For the record, we have no problem with people being allowed to opt out of seeing gambling sites if they so desire, it’s the notion of a government unilaterally deciding you can’t partake of a form of entertainment legally enjoyed around the world that we find draconian.