Aussie politicians hoping to bring the great unwashed in their country to heel with new internet filtering software have been shown the dangers of internet censorship.
The Aussies hope to be the first western democracy to bring in internet filtering software which just like the communist Chinese system. Aussie politicians claim that the filter will stop kiddie porn, but also on the shopping list are sites which don't agree with them.
The government has already installed filtering software on civil service servers and learnt first hand what it actually will mean for the great unwashed.
A site which makes it easy to keep a track of what MPs have said in parliament has been blocked by a government department.
Employees at the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service have been denied access to OpenAustralia.org on the grounds that it has been classified as a blog by its third-party internet filtering system.
The site's co-founder, Matthew Landauer, told the Sydney Morning Herald the site was being used by Customs workers to stay informed on issues relating to Customs policy discussed in the federal parliament. They wanted it for a very sensible, work related activity.
When he got on the blower to senior officials at Customs he was told that the website http://www.openaustralia.org and its charity foundation http://blog.openaustralia.org/foundation/ are classified by the filtering software ... as 'blogs'.
Apparently blogs are blocked because they threaten the security of the Australian Customs and Border Protection network.
Not only is OpenAustralia.org website itself not a blog, but is a helpful way of keeping track of what is said in federal parliament. It gives the Aussies a taster of what life will be like under the software filter. It is a world where people are ill informed and where points of view are censored.
It is ironic that in this case it is the sage words of the politicians that have been censored. Our impression was that the internet filter was make their words appear to be cast in stone for the Australian population with all descent crushed.