I oppose the mandatory internet filter proposed in Australia

It will come as no surprise to anyone that I oppose the idiotic mandatory internet filter that is being proposed by the Australian federal government at the moment.  I took the time today to write to my local member, Michael Danby, to oppose the policy.  I suggest that anyone who agrees with me that the filter is stupid, which should be anyone that understands the concepts of the internet, does the following things:

  1. Sign the petition against the policy at GetUp
  2. Write a letter to your own Member of Parliament complaining about the policy.  Most if not all members of parliament will have web sites with feedback forms.  Who knows if they actually read them, but it will only take 10 minutes of your time.  Besides, you'll feel better after doing it.
Below is the content of the message I wrote to Mr Danby

Good afternoon Mr Danby, I am a voter registered in your electorate, and would like to speak with you regarding the proposed mandatory internet filter announced by Stephen Conroy and in the media eye at the moment. I am opposed to any such measures, not because I oppose censorship (which I do), but because the scheme will inflict significant penalties on normal people accessing the internet and it will simply not work.
When the trial was introduced, a 16 year old boy managed to circumvent the measures put in place within 30 minutes (ref http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/security/soa/Teen-cracks-AU-84-million-porn-filter-in-30-minutes/0,130061744,339281500,00.htm). Any user capable of using google will be able to bypass the filter by using a foreign proxy (of which there are many (e.g. http://www.hidemyass.com/)) or an encrypting router (such as The Onion Router (ref http://www.torproject.org/)). This indicates that anyone who wants to get around the filter can do so trivially. Children growing up right now already have the skills to circumvent these filters. Given that this is the case, all the filter will do is affect people that are viewing any other sort of content.
As another has put much more eloquently than I, the use of the filter also directly contradicts the interests of the NBN (ref http://newmatilda.com/2009/12/16/conroys-clean-feed-wont-block). The filter has not been trialed at any speeds above 8 megabits/sec, 1/12 the proposed bandwidth of the NBN. The federal government is sending out a mixed message of both trying to usher in a new era in connectivity in this country while attempting to hold it back with ineffectual and intrusive measures.  
I have worked in the I.T. industry for 16 years, and this is the single most stupid technology policy that I have seen in my working career. I implore you to oppose this policy within your party and within parliament. I would welcome the opportunity to speak directly with you on the topic. I can be reached by email on bruce@brucecooper.net or by phone on xxxxxxxxx  
Thank you for your time,

Its not poetry, but I hope it gets the point across.


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