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Rudd - just a control freak with his little book or are we witnessing the emergence of the 'Rudd State'?

So Australia's Rudd Government proclaims that some internet content is "simply not suitable in a civilised society".

Mmmm, smells of public communications consultant speak!

This latest Ruddism could possibly become broadest claim of the 21st Century thus far. Could thy Rudd-speak imply anything beyond banning child porn? Could it in fact imply that any website critical of Rudd and Ruddism be instantly labelled 'not Rudd suitable' and so excommunicated by his holiness?

Check out today's ABC news 'Greenlight for internet filter plans' 15th December 2009.

So when can I but my brown shirt and leather sash, Herr Rudd?

Das Goebbels speak is said to save our innocent children from harmful overseas sites which contain criminal content, including child sex abuse and sexual violence.

Sounds noble enough, but Rudd's censorship powers will be in their detail.
Is the Ruddnet being cast wide across a realm he fears he cannot otherwise control -the Internet and Blogosphere? Our Rudd is known for his clandestine flights to Afghanistan, but has he in the wee hours taken off to Fiji to get direct dictator advice on censorship from from neighbouring Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama or even Robert Mugabe?

Father Rudd is unprecedentedly stepping into the role of parental responsibility if people accept the spin that it is only about protecting children. To claim "the Government believes that parents want assistance to reduce the risk of children being exposed to such material" sounds no more than moralistic spin. But it could be read that parents have been found irresponsible and its time government took over parental responsibility!

Is Rudd capitialising on spin of noble child protection while extending Federal censorship to anyone online daring to criticise Rudd, Rudd Policy, Ruddnomics and any Ruddism? Are we about to witness unprecented government censorship on any opposition akin to what Howard and Bush did.

See also:"Greenlight for internet filter plans" of 15 Dec 09, Stop Internet Censorship! of 4 Dec 09.

What you can do: Attend an Anti-Internet Censorship meeting (see facebook). When: Monday 21 Dec 09, 7:30 PM; Where: Brisbane Square Library – Community Meeting Room

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Comments

Thanks, Tigerquoll,

This may be the single most important political issue in the coming months.

If this gets through, then the abilitiy of ordinary people to use the Internet, to show up the lies of Governmen, the Corporate newsmedia, the suupposedly indempendent and, indeed, even much of the supposedly alternative media will be under threat.

As it happens, I phoned Brisbane's local ABC radio station and unusually, perhaps, because they are now in the summer break period, was able to say my piece this morning. I rang after a lot of toing and froing from callers about whether or not mandatory Internet filtering would achieve its claimed objective. Here's what I said from my own recollection (minus all the clumsiness that often occurs when I speak on the spur of the moment):

"The main question we need to consider here is whether or not any Government now in office in Australia can be trusted with these powers.

"If the answer is 'yes', then it would be appropriate to move forward to the technical discussion about whether or not Mandatory Internet Filtering can achieve its stated goals of blocking Child porn.

"However, our experience of at least the last 20 years demonstrates that governments cannot be trusted with those powers. If they had those powers they would be able, at will, to remove acess to sites whose views are threatening to them.

"The Internet is one thing that has allowed democracy to function to any extent at all in recent years.

"Imagine how Mandatory Internet Filtering could be used to silence an effective campaign against privatisation in Queensland or an effctive campaign against Rudd's insane lifting of immigration levels through the ceiling."

I wascut off after that, which may have been just as well, as I had not orgnaised my thoughts well beyond that. At first I feared that it was not going to be played, when it was not aired shortly after the 10.00AM news, but it was played about roughly an hour later after the 11.00AM news.

I don't think we can afford to assume that it will be voted down by the Liberal National Party opposition, although, at the moment, they have said that they will.

In 2007, I would have though it would have been great if Labor had won an even greater majority than it did, but if it were to win a majority across both houses as a result of a double dissolution election it could ram this legislation through straight away.

How we stop this without going bakc to the Liberals and Nationals with WorkChoices, slash-and-burn budgets is not immediately obvious and even if we do, there can be no absoute guarantee that they will maintain their opposition to Mandatory Internet Filtering.

Whatever, this issue has to be given utmost prominence in the coming Federal elections.

James Sinnamon

Brisbane Independent for Truth, Democracy,
the Environment and Economic Justice
Australian Federal Elections, 2010

I have just read both of the above comments and some communication I had with James, recently - comes to mind: excerpt below:

...SS8 on the other hand is more forthcoming, claiming that their "products"
allow intelligence agencies to "visualize and analyze a target's internet
session" ...

and

... "electronic surveillance solutions" are "deployed in over 25 countries"
and that their data installations "can intercept more than 100 million
subscribers."

With the point to make:

* What would Rudd need to have a 'Nanny-ish/Moral/Censorship of the Internet' - for?

There is already 'technological proprietorship' of the 'air-waves' in any case in the form of private companies, paid for' - by governments' -type- surveilance, which have far reaching abilities to intercept and intervene in 'innappropriate material' (so deemed, by government).

** If this issue is to be fought on ANY platform, it should be a direct attack of FURTHER, UNECESSARY surveillance - Jame's information came from the Global Research article "Underming the American People's Right to Privacy: The Secret State's Surveillance Machine" of 11 Dec 09 by Tom Burghardt and is definitely worth a good look!

On the issue of internet filtering, the Australian Federal Government is stepping into a field of nannying it knows nothing about, but should through open and transparent consultation with the Internet industry.

Meanwhile, it seeks private enterprise to assess the problems and to make policy recommendations. Naive government must then again seek private enterprise to implement and enforce that policy. Clearly this is not a role for government. Why the urgency?

By it trying to achieve a higher internet morality standard Government is embarking upon censorship. In doing non-government stuff it is making a shamozzle of its Inernet Nanny project and attracting the wrath of the Internet industry and Internet users, and deservedly so.

Government should review its governance role and realise it would do better to openly consult with the internet industry and its leadership representatives to design and set Internet filter accreditation standards. Appropriatelty, Government should then apply stick and carrot approaches to encourage ISPs to comply with the new standard, allow for public comment and a transition phase.

But Rudd's censorship approach smells of an uninformed kneejerk do gooder response by government with too easy access to public money to waste and which is unaccountable for the delivery return on investment.

Reseacher, Nina Funnell, at University of NSW 'Journalism and Media Research centre' has written an insightful assessment in the Sydney Morning Herald, 18 December 2009, which is entitled 'Conroy will be censoring people, not the internet'

In her article, Funnell observes, "earlier this month I attended a conference on internet regulation and filtering, which attracted academics, technology and industry experts, politicians and other major stakeholders in the internet filtering debate. There was general - if not universal - agreement that the proposed filtering attempt would be an ''epic fail'': surely Communications Minister Stephen Conroy knows how expensive, ineffective and easy-to-circumvent it will be?"

Funnell continues, "Conroy had already backgrounded the Australian Christian Lobby" so why hadn't Conroy backgrounded all the other major stakeholders? Why was he showing preferential treatment to the Australian Christian Lobby?"

So this is all about pacifying an influential lobby group, to which devout Catholic Rudd is personally sympathetic. Rudd's internet filter project has overtones of the Spanish Inquistion, albeit without the torture. Nonetheless, Rudd is abusing is position or power and influence.

Funnell goes on about concerns "there will be very little transparency over what is blocked. This was made apparent in March when an earlier version of the Government's blacklist of banned sites was leaked, revealing that the scope of filtering could extend well beyond kiddie porn. Google has also released a statement condemning the proposed filter, pointing out that it would be "the first of its kind amongst Western democracies".

Funnell is correct in her observation that "while..politically subversive content may be considered upsetting, fringe or distasteful to some, censoring on the grounds of taste is a wildly subjective game."

Is Big Brother or Father Rudd trying to convert us all into good Catholics? Is this part of a neo-Catholic revivalism, like the Catholic fest called 'World Youth Day"What a shame the Government hasn't learnt from that embarrassing bungle."

The Rudd's Internet Nanny project is set to be another example of Rudd succumbing to pressure from lobby group and a waste of tax payer monies on an policy that won't do what it is intended. Yet it seems set to stymie internet productivity.

Let's review the underlying motive - public morality. Well, public morality and decency should start with politicians setting personal behaviour standards themselves. Rudd's Internet Nanny is not only an abuse of power, it is illconceived from an effectiveness perspective, it is wasteful of public monies, it demonstrates that Rudd is stubborn, doesn't learn from policy mistakes, doesn't listen to experts (despite his fettish for expert committees at every decision opportunity), it is undemocratic, and it is politically two faced.

Rudd, your motives are transparent!

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia