Thursday, January 3, 2008

Australian Internet censorship

Is Australia an adult nation?
It's so long since I lived in Australia for an appreciable length of time that I prefer to refrain from stating my hasty and uninformed personal opinion on that interesting question. But I've just heard about a Labor project that would consist of blacklisting various websites whose content is judged to be dangerous for the angelic minds of Aussie kids.

In the above sentence, the banal adjective "various" is significant, in the sense that only a random sampling of such websites would appear on the blacklist, for the simple reason that websites grow like weeds in your backyard, and you can no more blacklist all the offensive websites of the planet than you can eradicate noxious plants. The authorities can do little more than bow down symbolically to a lobby of wowsers and do-gooders who know fuck-all about the technicalities of contemporary communications of the web kind.

For almost two years, my personal email communications with Australia have been plagued constantly by some kind of a fuckwit blacklist maintained by Big Pond, designed to prevent the delivery of messages emanating from the French national ISP [Internet service provider] named Orange, ostracized as an alleged producer of spam [an absurd accusation].

In spite of all my efforts, I've never succeeded in eradicating this annoyance, and making sure that all my French emails would be delivered systematically to my relatives and friends in Australia. Often, I had the impression that trying to solve a problem of that kind was like attempting to nudge the Australian Way of Life. That's why I decided to create this blog, so that my relatives and friends in Australia would be able to see what I was doing and thinking in France. So, now that my blog is a thriving offspring, well over a year old, Antipodes says: Thank you, Big Pond fuckwits!

Today, when I start hearing talk about projects to censor the Internet in Australia, I'm itching to answer my opening rhetorical question, at the start of this article. For the moment, I'll force myself not to do so.

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