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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Oz "Great Firewall" crumbles. Houston's faith restored.

I haven't been writing about it much (or about anything much, recently), but I've been passionately following the debate about the Australian government's attempts to put a national "great firewall" in place to monitor and censor *all* internet traffic going into and out of Oz.

After so many years of the ridiculously imperious John Howard government (non-Aussies: think of a short, unattractive ideological copy of George W Bush), one would have hoped that a policy as anti-populist as this would never have gotten up under current Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. I wondered about Rudd's motivations on this issue in a previous post.

Packaged under a cynical and false ribbon of protecting us all from child porn and terrorists, the proposal was, in essence, to give the Aussie government the same powers over internet content that the Chinese government has (and uses).

Well, it appears to be over. About a week ago, this was in my industry's trade press:

Oz telecoms minister backtracks on mandatory Internet censorship proposals

After all the macho posturing and endlessly-repeated bloodly-minded determination to ignore outraged public opinion, the Australian government is now suddenly back-tracking on its much-vaunted and virulently-criticised plan to pass legislation that would impose Orwellian levels of censorship on the Internet browsing habits of its citizens...

Read the rest HERE, and have a beer.

(And on a side note, that is some damn fine writing for an industry trade rag. It's got snap and real pace. Kudos to Martyn Warwick of TelecomTV.)

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