Titbits: Just got back from a 8-Day Tour of Taiwan last night with the family. It was a good break to share some family time together. Taiwan is a beautiful island with plenty to offer. I am sure I will be back for more!
"Australia announces controversial Internet filter - Tue, Dec 15, 2009 AsiaOne
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Australia said Tuesday it would push ahead with a mandatory China-style plan to filter the Internet, despite widespread criticism that it will strangle free speech and is doomed to fail.
New laws would be introduced to ban access to 'refused classification' (RC) sites featuring criminal content such as child sexual abuse, bestiality, rape and detailed drug use."
The description is significant: '...with a mandatory Chine-style plan to filter the Internet...'. That China initiative to have every computer sold in China to have an Internet Filter installed was not implemented though the state still exercise great censorship over the Internet in China through this system called the 'Great Firewall of China'!
Lessons for me are:
1. free speech does not mean irresponsible speeches. The Australian system allows for a 'Public Complaint Process' to an Independent Classification Body who will decide it the site deserved a RC label to protect the innocent, under-aged, and families. As long as it is transparent, it will be accepted as legitimate concerns for the safety of innocent users of the Internet;
2. sure that the 'determined' users of such information will get round to access these RC sites. At the same time, by putting up obstacles to discourage them from accessing such sites by accident, it means that these users THINK that they can handle such contents and wanted badly to gain access to it. This put them in a different category of users. The harms, if any, that they brought upon themselves will be very much their own doing and responsibility;
3. this measure to be adopted by the Australian government also reflects that the public are concerned with cyberspace safety for innocent users. The 'baddies' or the 'businessmen who are operating legitimate businesses within the liberal confine of the Australian laws' just have to try harder to make such that their target audience are NOT accidental users but skilled and expert users. I am sure they will provide a way to co-operate with the laws to ensure that their target audience are accessing their contents smoothly!! They will as their pockets will be impacted negatively otherwise!!
Many of today's youth are addicted to the cyberspace. There are so much information - truth, lies, fabrication, misinformation, harmful and deliberate malicious contents, etc - in it that once the users are 'addicted' to certain type of websites, they actually get cut off from other parts of the reality. That cannot be healthy. That cannot be allowed to continue if we can make it that much more difficult to access these sites so that only the most determined and skilled will want to go through the trouble of accessing such sites.
This strategy makes a lot of sense to me. Saying that it infringes 'free speech' just does not cut it!