06 January 2009

Update on filtering

A nice critical essay by David Kennedy at Ovum here gives some of the history and context of moves to filter the internet by governments. He notes that the original proposal the Clean Feed Party - sorry, the ALP - actually took to the election was merely a proposal for a trial, not a mandatory filtering.

In the meantime, the ALP's model of Clean Feeds - PRC China - has vowed to clean up the internet, which means anything the apparatchiks do not like, including pornography, bad taste and mentions on Tienanmin Square, will be removed by legal fiat and punishment for ISPs.

And the US FCC, not exactly a model of internet savvitude, has dropped the proposal to have a mandatory filter on the free broadband proposal. FCC Chair Kevin Martin was pushing it until it became obvious the Obama administration would not support it, nor the Congress:

Despite widespread concerns and public protests, broadband minister Senator Stephen Conroy has yet to acknowledge the apparent contradiction between promising faster Internet access and at the same time trying to filter everything that travels down those pipes. Indeed, the plans have been expanded to include P2P transmissions. Perhaps Kelly could give him a call and explain the benefits of an open Internet infrastructure.

Oh, and the minister's blog has closed comments. 1984: Are we there yet?

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