We have the Australian Federal election this weekend.
I shouldn’t be using one issue as a leverage point for my decision, but in the mess of the propaganda, and election promises both our major parties are making its hard to measure whose plan for our future is going to be better, and no matter who gets in – they will break promises. A politicians promise is usually said with fingers crossed behind their back. I believe their intent to deliver may be there when they make those plans, but the reality is things get in the way. It’s a dark view of a political system, but its realistic.
Both our major parties have platforms I don’t like – some more than others, but I think the biggest issue is one that will affect Australia beyond the term or two of any political party, and that is compulsory censorship.
People who hold power have to be held accountable – and it will be hard to hold someone accountable if they also hold the power – and willingness to use this power to hide any opposition to their power. ( Conroy hid ISP filtering Tag clouds on his website and thus has already shown a inclination to deter people from locating negative feedback on the filter)
Nor do I think that if in power Liberal would be any different, if the legal means to censor what they don’t want to be there was already there to use. They would use it. So we have to make sure it never gets turned on.
First it’s the Filtered list that gets censored, and we are not allowed to know what is on there, and we only know because of wikileaks. A dentist website for was on there. Funnily enough when the list of already banned sites were leaked it was found apparently that most of the banned sites where not in the scope of the supposed aim of the filter.
I will not vote to support a party that will support internet censorship via a compulsory filter. Because once it’s turn on, we will never have the power to turn it off.
It may have been set aside as a non election issue. They had to do that – would have been bad PR, and all the arguments have already been heard – why the concept is noble, the cost , effectiveness and accountability however is not acceptable.
It shouldn’t come down to one single issue as a ultimate decider in who gets to run my country – but we should not forget that this issue is one that Labor is passionate about – one they are not talking about because they are hoping we will forget their plans for the filter. So if you are Australian, and exercising your political vote. Know that regardless of what ever other party line that is delivered, that behind them stands this elephant of an issue – that they have not even been willing to compromise down to a voluntry filter.
We will never get that democratic choice. YES or NO for filter, we can only Vote yes or no for the party.
Liberal has told Australia they will not support the filter, winning the election or not. So they will get my vote.
Of course when it comes to technology there are more things to consider this election, and things we should be aware of.
Censorship getting mixed up with Classifications
Labour; Conroy requested google to Censor Youtube in Febuary, wanting Australia to be filtered much like they do for the Chinese and Thai governments.
Labour also recently announced they will be targeting game and applications available to Australians that have been sold without a classification check. They apparently want to charge $470 to $2040 each app/game to review because of legislation this includes censoring/reviewing every single application/game available to users via smartphones, and I would assume that scope would also cover flash games, and any freeware.
Apple have said that the Aussie itunes is extremely profitable ( the dollar difference does not get passed on to us) but if every single free game offered on itunes – apparently 220,000 apps and games had to be reviewed for compliance. Or if every Youtube video watched to make sure it complied with our classification ratings. I don’t think Australia would be a viable place to conduct business for several internet services. If google can stop doing business with china, why would we be any different?
Furthermore there will be consequences on our local market – forcing small time developers into paying for classification.
Just how out of touch are our politicians with technology? We don’t want 20 year olds with no life experience in parliment, but there feels like a distinct lack of basic knowledge, and technological application missing from the people wanting to be in power during a technology age.
I know I’m voting for him, but Abbott has already shown his lack of Tech Savyness “ I am not a tech head” I can’t imagine the people in power in Labour being too much different. Sure they can all learn party lines, and get a broad understanding of the issue, but hey being a communications minister and a figurehead for the filter still doesn’t mean your tech savy either. Conroys speech. “Up to 20,000 can regularly be getting infected by these spams, or scams, that come through the portal”
Yes the compulsory filter has affected my vote this election. I don’t want Australia to go down that path.