Does flickr need an eyetest (freedom test)?

On October 1st, new laws came into effect in Australia that censor government officials from criticising government policy.

Censorship push raises ire of MPS

It’s the result of the Auditor-General’s criticism of a $300 million parliamentary entitlements scheme.  All government handouts now need to be cleared by the Department of Finance before being distributed.  The problem is, that the Department of Finance are including the editing of material to prevent criticism of government policies.

Since most of these government handouts are used to educate people about government mismanagement, by censoring them they’re preventing Australians from becoming aware of potential issues or problems within government policy.

How do you feel about this?

Where is it likely to go?  If it’s now illegal for the government to criticise government policies, how soon will it become illegal for the public to criticise government policy?

What are the implications of this?  Well, it would mean that the government can implement whatever it wants, and if anyone is critical about it, they can be censored so that people can’t know.

What if you criticise the government in a blog post, or comments in an online medium?  What if you have control over how material is presented to the public?

That control would have to be taken away from you, either through a banning of your internet access, or by arrest.

Which leads me to the next issue that Australia is currently involved in.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The aim of this treaty, currently with 40-something countries in secret negotiations about how it’s going to work, is to protect copyrighted goods and prevent counterfeiting.  The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is one of those who have acknowledged participating in ACTA negotiations, but everyone is refusing to disclose anything about it.

It’s secret, and the public has no right to know what is being decided about how they’re going to be treated.

However, a document has been leaked that details possible provisions being considered.

Not only is counterfeiting and copyright being looked at by ACTA, but also ‘internet distribution and information technology’.

  • ISPs all around the world (in participating nations) will be forced to provide information about suspected copyright infringers. No warrants will be necessary.
  • searches can be conducted at borders and security checkpoints of laptops, mp3 players, and cellphones for illegally downloaded music or movies. Anyone with infringing content will be subject to a hefty fine AND have their devices confiscated or destroyed. (This is already in effect at US borders.)
  • all file sharing and file storage will be illegal, since it’s impossible to control what is shared or stored. This means all websites and internet tools that cater to file sharing and file storing will be illegal. No more Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, etc.  No more Google Documents, 3rd party online storage, etc.

There is also a ‘three strikes’ policy planned. Any person that violates ACTA three times will have their internet access banned – for the rest of their life. This will not only affect them, but their household, their family, their work, their entire life. They will not be allowed to access the internet at work…

What are your thoughts?

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I see stupid people

October 12, 2008 · 1 comment

We see them all around us, stupid people doing stupid things. I’ve decided to write a list of the stupid things that I’ve seen people do, and as I see more stupid people doing stupid things, I’ll update this list. If you have examples of some really stupid things that you’ve seen people do, please tell me about them in the comments. We’ll have my list, and we’ll have your list (the readers of this blog).

  • I saw a man putting petrol in his car at a service station. While holding the pump with one hand, he had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and was talking to someone on his cellphone.
  • A man stopped in a roundabout in front of me while driving, so that he could give way to his left (you give way to the right in Australia, not the left). He drove a Volvo.
  • I was in the right-hand lane in a 2-lane freeway, slowly overtaking someone while about 3 car lengths behind a truck, that was going at the same speed as me. Someone screamed up behind me, flashed his lights that he wanted to get past, so I pulled over. He sped past me and then slammed on the brakes as he almost hit the back of the truck in front of him. I guess speeding to get 20 feet in front of me was pretty important to him.

More coming soon as I update this. Isn’t it interesting that we see so many stupid people behind the steering wheel of cars.

What about you? Do you have any stories of stupid people that you’ve seen?

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Global economy on the brink of collapse

18 September 2008

Just a thought I'd like to put out there… The US government is bailing out all these major banks and financial institutions (eg. Fannie May, Freddie Mac, and Lehman Brothers) with billions of dollars.  Many billions. So these institutions are all in incredible debt and can't sustain themselves. And the US, of course, is in […]

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They still call it news

17 August 2008

I'm appalled at how blatant the western media has become with its propoganda. It's no longer news, it's fantasy designed to support the US government's agenda. Seriously. I know a lot about what's been going on. I'm an avid follower of world events. This Georgia/Russia conflict began many years ago, and it's all very complicated. […]

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I’m not sorry

16 February 2008

During the week just gone, Australia had its 'Sorry Day', where the government apologised to the Aborigines for the treatment they experienced generations ago. I can certainly understand the need for the Australian government to be seen saying sorry for something the government was responsible for generations ago, and I see it as a positive […]

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Inappropriate assumptions

26 January 2008

I 'met' someone recently on Facebook that turned out tonight to have a few issues with me. Apparently I was playing 'games' with them because I'm engaged and yet chatting with them (they're female), and I changed the picture in my profile. This apparently made them believe that I was trying to pretend to be […]

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‘All men are paedophiles’

29 November 2005

Qantas and Air New Zealand, two 'local' airlines, have introduced a new 'no men near children' policy. If any unaccompanied child is seated next to a man, the man is forced to move seats. 1) Why shouldn't the child be forced to move seats? Hell, the man was there first! Why can't they seat the […]

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Eyes On The World cancelled… again

28 November 2005

According to you, the reader, politics is one of your favourite topics in this blog. Since you comment on political and news posts in here, but you don't (or rarely) comment in my Eyes On The World blog, and since I said I was going to do more posts in here on what you seem […]

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A war worth fighting for

23 November 2005

Armed forces personnel are trained to deal with combat, and with death. They're trained to go to war at any moment. They accept the fact that they signed up to be warriors, and warriors fight, and often die fighting. If they didn't want to die, they shouldn't have signed up. I used to serve in […]

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Questions about the Holocaust

23 November 2005

It seems there's a bit of a crackdown occurring around the world on 'Holocaust deniers'… Ernst Zundel. In the early '80's he published a book called "Did Six Million Really Die?" He was charged in 1985 with 'publishing false news.' In the two attempts to trial him in '85 and '88, he called upon gas […]

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