Monday, 25 January 2010

Internet Blackout Week

So I'm running a pop-up on here this week, in support of the Great Australian Internet Blackout Week that is running at the moment. I've slated all sorts of interuptive advertising in the past, so I thought it deserves an explanation.

There are all sorts of devious pieces of legislation being attempted at the moment to force ISPs to censor internet traffic. In some cases this is framed in terms of filtering out child abuse sites, which laudable aim the NSPCC in the UK believe to require ISPs only to sign up to the the IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) to screen out illegal imagery. Most large ISPs in the UK already do this. The French government is quite upfront about the fact that their Hadopi laws are designed to block the free transmission entertainment content online, with the intent of shoring up the revenue streams of those 20th century business models that have failed to keep up with the news over the last twenty years. The Australian model that this pop-up is designed to warn against is a particularly insidious merging of the two - allowing deep packet inspection of ISP traffic to stifle innovation in Australian creative and technology industries, but to give it the sugar-coating of being all about protect children.

As the French government take advice from the Chinese government about censoring the internet (link to ReadWriteWeb France for more detail) the Electronic Frontiers Association of Australia need support in fighting this proposed legistation - and it is important for people in the UK too as Mandelson sets the wheels in motion for 'copyright' and 'child protection' to be the Trojan horse in which Murdoch's vision for the future is legislated into a UK in which it won't work commercially. It won't work commercially because we already pay for non-commercial content through the BBC, and the role and scope of the future BBC is equally tied into this argument. You don't win elections by disagreeing with Rupert.


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