Monday, 27 October 2008

Reminder: The Boy Who Cried "Wolf" Got Eaten

Parents and children will be familiar with the Aesop's fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. It's often told by parents to teach their children the importance of not raising false alarms and of telling the truth. While the moral for children is obvious there's a moral for parents as well: after all, the boy shepherd does in fact eventually confront a wolf.

Australian MPs have threatened total Internet censorship and regulation for so long now that one is tempted to assume that the latest threats of mandatory Internet censorship are just more cries of "wolf! wolf!" But Senator Conroy is not "crying wolf." Senator Conroy is the wolf.

Senator Conroy has been dishonest, aggressive and offensive in his plan for mandatory Internet censorship.

Dishonest, because he did not disclose the mandatory nature of the plan prior to the election. It is clear however that this has always been his plan.

Aggressive, because he has not consulted the Australian public nor listened to those who have raised serious and valid concerns about the fairness and practicality of his totalitarian scheme. His staff have attempted to silence critics by pressuring their employers.

And offensive, because when people have disagreed with his plan, he has accused them of being pro-child pornography.

The Senator is wrong, and his plan for mandatory Internet censorship is also wrong. It's bad policy. It's bad tech. It's security theatre. Give the $44M to law enforcement instead. And sack Senator Conroy.

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