Electronics man warns of bracket creep

The Labor Government’s internet filtering plan is seriously flawed, says electronics engineer Arved Von Brasch. Even above technical problems, the reach of the existing ‘Refused Classification’ extends beyond child porn, and there’s enormous scope for bracket creep.

Net Censorship

The Labor Part seems determined to impose far-reaching censorship with a flawed internet filtering proposals.

Refused Classification is far broader than just the material Senator Stephen Conroy would have us believe.

Most RC material is legal to possess and view. It includes material on euthanasia, graffiti as art and depiction of acts that an adult can happily engage in anywhere in Australia.

Even so, the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s blacklist contains much more than just RC material.

In Senate estimates this year, the ACMA admitted the list contained only about 50% PRC material, the rest being material that would carry a rating of MA15+, R18+ or X18+. Only 32% was deemed child-abuse material. This is about 300 odd sites out of the trillions of webpages on the internet. This is also on top of a definition of child abuse material that is so broad as to include material that contains only adults, or even no actual people at all.

As the list will be secret, there is no way to know whether your business has been accidentally listed until the list is inevitably leaked again. And who knows how many of the sites are on the list are there as a result of “error”, such as PG sites on Bill Henson’s work, dentists and dog kennels.

No government can be trusted with this kind of censorship power.

The only countries in the world that have such broad systems are ones we rightly look on with disdain: Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and China.

Arved von Brasch, Bruce
Letter to the Editor, Canberra Times 17 Dec 09.

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