Friday, February 12, 2010

Conroy wants to block safe drug use videos

Google should block Youtube videos demonstrating safer ways to use drugs, says Communications Minister Stephen Conroy as reported in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Google is resisting, saying it has a "bias" towards free speech.

Conroy is setting up a filter system to block RC (refused classification) material from Australian web users, hanging his hat on that old standby, child pornography which is to my knowledge not available on the web anyway except on peer-to-peer networks.

Conroy even uses China as an example of how it can be done, raising the spectre of oppressive government control of information and free speech. We used to say "It's a free country, mate," but those days are gone as a succession of freedoms and rights are removed by power-mad governments consumed by moral panic and imposing a nanny state. On my recent trip to China I found all Blogger blogs (like this one) were blocked, along with facebook and, strangely, the newspaper I write for, The City News. Welcome to the Brave New World.

Denying people information about the safe use of drugs can only result in the less safe use of drugs, so Conroy's latest mania can only cause harm. So much for the government's commitment to "harm minimisation".

Other reports claim that his obsession with protecting the rest of us from things he doesn't like will extend to banning pornography featuring women with small breasts, in case someone fantasises about having sex with children. Women with small breasts are angry, saying that yet more big-breasted stereotypes would be of doubtful benefit to society.

Someone said to Tony Abbott the last time he was on his anti-abortion kick, "Get your rosaries off my ovaries".  Something similar applies to our Minister for Censorship.

1 comment:

James said...

This is just the first step. I get the feeling that this new censorship will include political opposition.
Australians are obviously getting dumber and dumber as we allow religious nutjobs to use personal morals to dictate legislation.
Hopefully the hackers keep up the pressure on the government. It's crazy that i am applauding hackers, but they seem to be the only group able to get any media attention at all on the subject.
The 2 day hack on Gov sites has barely made it to mainstream media, it's almost like the Censorship has already begun.
Baby boomers (my parents Gen') are completely unaware of what the government is up to. When I explained to my parents what is proposed, that we will pay 30 billion dollars for a new network, only to have it censored and slowed up to 85% of it operating speed, and that our Government has approached Google to apply the same censorship they provided FOR CHINA, they were shocked to say the least.
Secret blacklists, censorship and spying is how the Nazis and other Facist regimes operate, not supposedly free, democratic Australia.
Methinks if this goes through, we may be subjected to a serious pushback by those who know how to manipulate the system the government wish to control and censor. This will, of course, all be called terrorism, and the government will probably enact EVEN MORE DRACONIAN POLICY to counter it.
I own over 40 books which are BANNED in Australia. I am technically a criminal for importing these and each book i hear of that is banned, i buy. I NEED to see what the Government doesn't want me to see.
Australia has the biggest banned book, movie and videogames list in the Democratic world, and <1% of Australians know this fact.
This nanny state we call Australia is now at the crossroads, the only question is, which path will we (they) take.