No Clean Feed

Monday, January 25, 2010 Monday, January 25, 2010

Imagine - you turn on your computer and begin surfing. But the website you just tried to visit is "not available". You try another, and it's not available, either. It seems that your access is being controlled, and you are only permitted to view certain websites. You decide to be devious, and ferret out secret websites that contain the information you desire. They are found by whispers, and exist only temporarily. But that's taking a big risk - the authorities might trace the access back to you. They may come for you. In the dark of the night.

Frightening. But where is this scene taking place? North Korea? China? Saudi Arabia? Possibly, but that's not the one I'm concerned about today.

It's happening in Australia.

That's correct. The vast southern democracy, otherwise so similar to the west, has somehow decided to erect a "Great Wall of Australia" to protect it from perceived Internet dangers. But in effect it could be more or less identical in form to the "Great Wall of China" that censors their citizens' access to the Internet.

For reasons unknown to me and apparently many Australians, that country is about to do the same. This will not only introduce censorship, but also a means of control the could be terribly mis-used in the future. And it probably will slow things down a lot, too. Innovation, free speech and the flow of ideas will be hampered in a world where such things are essential for progress and development. The worst part is, it won't really achieve what it's intended to do - and it will cost all Australians to create and maintain it.

I would never erect such a wall, and so I've decided to make a statement about it here. I don't live in Australia, but I do support those who oppose the proposed Great Wall. For this week I've changed my Twitter and Plurk profile pics to the above to participate in a worldwide protest against the Australian plan. If you support free access to the Internet, I ask you to read more here and here and participate by following the instructions found right here to change your profile, too. 

Long Live Free Access.


Moggs Oceanlane said...

Smiles though teary eyes (happy tears) thanks so much. I am lucky to know people from around the world who are willing to show their support. It's overwhelming - in a VERY nice way.

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