Tagged With filtering

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Just two days before the election, the Coalition has announced it will introduce an internet filter that would be switched on for all broadband services and mobile devices by default should it win. Quite aside from the political timing , the plan seems light on technical detail to the point of confusion. UPDATE: The Coalition is now saying the policy it issued was an "incorrect document", though that leaves several questions unanswered.

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Australia hasn't yet seen a blogger die in custody (that was Bahrain) or had a major internet service provider deliberately redirect users onto pages featuring malware (that was Belarus). However, internet censorship rules still see Australia featuring on the 'Enemies Of The Internet' list of countries produced by Reporters Without Borders.

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One of the more tedious arguments used by people who favour compulsory Internet filtering and other forms of censorship is "People who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear from these systems". In his LCA keynote today, security researcher Jacob Appelbaum highlighted a simple point that's worth making when people say that: if you have nothing to hide, why are you wearing clothes and why are there curtains on your house?

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Thinking of voting for the Greens but don't want any preferences flowing to pro-cenosrship minister Senator Stephen Conroy? As part of its ongoing Fight The Filter campaign, Gizmodo has a comprehensive explanation of why voting for the Greens above the line in the Victorian senate won't see any of your preferences directed his way in practice. I'm personally still planning to fill out all the numbers on my own Senate voting form -- that's the only way to balance my views on a lot of issues -- but if that seems too much hassle, it's well worth a read.

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We've already had a switch of Prime Minister today, but almost as soon as that was announced, Nick over at Gizmodo kicked off a series of posts arguing for a change that could make even more difference to how technology is treated at a federal level: switching Senator Kate Lundy into the communications and IT portfolio.

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Google offers SafeSearch to stop offensive content popping up on your workplace computer or in front of the kids, and Microsoft's rival search engine Bing has a similarly-labelled option. But while Google's system can distinguish between images and text in videos, Bing seems to take a much less subtle approach: if a video sounds remotely raunchy, it gets blocked regardless of actual content.

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Legislation to enable mandatory censorship legislation will hit Parliament next month. To highlight the issue during the week of Australian Day, Electronic Frontiers Australia is backing a 'blackout' campaign encouraging people to darken their social networking profile pictures and web sites.