Thursday, January 01, 2009

Australia's Pending Internet Censorship

The 1-year old Labour government in Australia seems intent on enacting a huge Internet filter called "Clean Feed". You can read more about it here and here.

To the second column I left this comment:

To some, I realize that Internet censorship sounds like a perfectly wonderful idea. Remove from the Internet all the "bad" sites and it'll be better for the good citizens. Unfortunately all bad ideas start with good intentions.

Take for example what has happened in my country of Canada with "Human Rights" Commissions and Freedom of Speech. It all started in such a "progressive" way: Prevent Neo-Nazis from saying & writing bad things about Jews. All fine & good, right?

But things have quickly devolved since then. Now we have Muslim extremists trying to use the same legislation to shut up mainstream authors like Mark Steyn. We have a lesbian who got drunk, heckled a comedian, and is hauling him through the same process for "daring" to speak back to her. We have Far Left activists using the legislation to silence anyone who dares disagree with them, even individuals just sharing their opinions on blogs.

And who decides each of these cases? Social activists who came to their positions, not because of any specific legal training on how to be a good judge, but simply based on who they knew. This past year of 2008 has brought out into the open the Kangaroo Court nature of these decision makers. It has become clear that truth is not a defence, facts are not a defence, and precedence is not a defence either.

As the new year turns over, welcome to the Canada of 2009, a future that Australia seems intent on blindly walking into as well. I urge you to learn from our dreadful mistake and chart a new course for yourselves before it's too late. Otherwise you WILL wake up one day and wonder how on earth you lost the freedoms you once took for granted.

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