Heard the latest about Stephen Conroy and his mad desire to censor the intertubes?
Apparently the OFLC has been ringing up local ISP's that have big online publishing departments - the heavy hitters at least - suggesting that they might like to get their content classified. Or else.
Well you can understand where the OFLC is coming from. I'm told that they can charge seventy bucks a pop, so for them it's just good business. Money raising for bureaucrats, and besides they help keep the intertubes clean for children. Jeez, when you think of all the content being carried over the intertubes, it's a gig for life. Figures to make a minister chortle with glee.
What's that you say? Doesn't seem to be doing much for 14 year olds undergoing lie detector tests about their sexual activity on commercial radio? Oh but don't you know that was just a criminal investigation to see what kind of rape was involved - non consensual or statutory. Or to find out what the sweet thing was up to so we could all get excited.
Pardon me while I choke on my vomit about this government and their specious disgust about Bill Henson, and their platitudinous crap about caring for the children.
But back to the OFLC. So here you have a government body which is supposed to be advisory but acts like its a censor fresh from the good old days when to Prowse meant to take a one armed slash at anything that hinted at sex.
And of course if you're a big business, you have to play it safe, you want to stay onside with government.
But ain't it a marvel, that on the one side Conroy is building a brand new NBN to enshrine the wonders of the intertubes - you know all that brand new content delivered at lighting speed to your humble computer - while over with the other hand, any content is threatened with censorship, inspection, certification and sullen suspicion. Fuck the content, but we'll deliver it to you fast, in predigested pap form that's safe for babies.
So what's the future of UGC in this brand new Orwellian world? Well user generated content is the kind of deep dark activity that surely will attract the interest of the inspectors. After all, we all know that users of the intertubes are deep down perverts interested in doing naughty things to children.
But, but, but you ejaculate (now steady on, there's not going to be any ejaculations on this site), what about YouTube and videos on google and all the other content that's out there and carried to these humble shores by the full to overflowing intertubes? What about the billions upon billions of pages that the OFLC has yet to cast its beady eyes over at seventy bucks a pop?
Well durr, it's simple. Get a clean bill of health, or get censored.
Or is it Tweedledum and Tweedledee? There's Conroy with his intertubes filter at a grand ISP level designed to catch anything that would upset my aged aunt. And over in the other corner is the OFLC trying to make as much money as it can by checking out everything it can find to whack a label on. If they apply this to UGC, they could solve the budget deficit, and fund an expedition to Mars.
The preposterous absurdity of Conroy's meglomaniac desire to act like a Chinese mandarin stands fully revealed when you consider the absurdity of what he proposes to do to content, and what impact it will have on the operation of the intertubes.
Now some readers in the past have thought this site is mad lefty. But can I just say that hell will freeze over before I vote for a government which contains Stephen Conroy as a minister, or chairman Rudd as its chief censor (and while I'm at it Nathan Rees can go take a hike).
Hmm, guess the only choice now is between the Greens and the Shooter's Party. Whatever, where are you Asher Moses, time to give this Conroy fresh hell.
UPDATE: at Whirlpool, they seem to think this news is a load of garbage.
Just to clarify, I'm talking about the content arms of big ISPs getting calls from the OFLC - the publishers that serve movies, television and games online (there are only a couple of large ones in Australia). One would think the internet was regulated through the Telecommunications Act but this is specifically about entertainment content, not telecommunications. Gamers and others should feel the fear.
Just remember you read it here first, and then wait for the denials.
(Below: MikeFitz. By the way, the first number is still the active parliamentary contact number and before the UGC content on this site gets a take down notice, here's Senator Conroy's other contact details).