As commented over on Stephen Collin’s Blog: Dumb decision by our new government over â€˜Net filtering. Some people mention this is a mere policy dump on the last day of 2007. Of course, the Australian web 2.0 community is not necessarily happy about all this talk of censorship.
OK, can we then get our trusty government and ACMA to stop the SPAM I get from Nigerian scammers living on the Gold Coast; offers to enlarge my crown jewels and keep them shiny and bigger than other jewels; Phishing attempts for all those offshore bank accounts on dodgy islands in the Pacific; get-rich-quick schemes co-promoted by members of border religious hill cults.
Since Opt-out is the new word for hidden censorship, that is: how would the non-savvy internet user know they are getting a dumbed-down internet feed, maybe it’s time to ask the Federal Government to do more.
Here is my list:
- Spam filter at the border. Why should Spam filters need to be installed on email servers at schools and at home? As Spam is internet traffic, just block nasty emails at the digital border. Usually spam contains naughty words like p3n15 enlargement that our women-folk should not have to read about.
All we need are virtual drug- and foliage- sniffing dogs, just like Customs owns, and train them to sniff for spam.
- Stop an Nigerian Scams (419 Schemes) from both internet via email and via fax, too. The first Nigerian scam I saw was a fax sent to a work colleague in Perth about 12 years ago.
Stopping the outflow of funds by non-savvy Australians, presumably the same ‘gullible internet users’ the Australian Government is attempting to protect, will help our balance-of-trade.
- Phishing. Since the success of capitalism over that nasty communism and the fall of the Iron Curtain, malevolent Russians have found a quick way to readdress the last 60 years. Sending out emails that look like your bank’s login page. Hey presto! Username and password is logged, and some geek slave of an ex-KGB Colonel is removing your hard earned South Pacific pesos and turning them into Euros.
As this is just internet traffic, the Australian Government must help us to extend the cold war and protect us from new capitalists.
- Identity Theft. A few google searches, and some searching in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter – all legitimate services, and a scammer could pretend to be anyone. Even me.
Using my details, they could attempt to falsely claim social security benefits. Get the $60-odd per month I get and route it to their accounts on a former Australian immigrant processing centre in the Pacific. As identity theft can occur over the internet, the Government should just filter this out too, and protect us all.
All of the above are illegal either directly in statute or in common law.
In none of the above cases can any Government provide a safe environment to all its citizens all the time. Just how far is our benevolent Federal Government willing to go to protect it’s citizens?
I’d prefer the Federal Government set up a division of Department of Foreign Affairs online ready to help out netizens as they travel to this unique universe, not just fearfully blocking. Use the technology to educate people.