Filter perfect for conspiracy theories

Filter perfect for conspiracy theories

Summary: No wonder people get suspicious of governments monitoring the internet and develop all kinds of conspiracy theories. Just look at how secretively the New Zealand Government has behaved with its planned filter to block child porn.

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No wonder people get suspicious of governments monitoring the internet and develop all kinds of conspiracy theories. Just look at how secretively the New Zealand Government has behaved with its planned filter to block child porn.

There we were, expecting it to arrive in March and the devious devils blew what trust we might have in them by launching it last month without even telling us. It seems the Department of Internal Affairs began filtering internet through two small ISPs in February, saying it had been waiting for one of its meetings to announce the news.

We only found out last week when the department 'fessed up after being quizzed by internet freedom campaigners Tech Liberty.

As I reported last month, the filter is voluntary and aims only to curb child porn. But the Kiwi Government is using film classification law for its filter so it can bypass parliamentary scrutiny.

I realise that Australia's filter, being mandatory, is a little more invasive, but at least you are having some debate first.

Where will it end? This is what I and many others fear. The Geekzone website offers a terrifying vision, with a reworking of a classic poem.

... first they blocked the child porn, but I did nothing for I am not a paedophile...
... then they blocked the small breasted women, but I did nothing for fear of being called a paedophile...
... then they blocked all adult sites, but I did nothing as they were "protecting the children"...
... then they blocked all objectionable writing, but I did nothing as it was in the "general public's best interests"...
... then they blocked all free music, but I did nothing as it might be copyright infringement...
... then they blocked my writing, because I was not sanctioned by the government- and no one did anything because it was too late...


We hear complaints from fringe websites that they are already being blocked in our part of the world. How can we tell when the New Zealand Government keeps its blacklist of banned websites secret?

It does make you wonder what content might be banned next.

Topics: Censorship, New Zealand

Darren Greenwood

About Darren Greenwood

Darren Greenwood has been in journalism, not all of it IT, since the days of typewriters and long before the web spun its way around the world.

Coming from Yorkshire, he can be blunt, and though having resided in New Zealand, as well as Australia, for quite some time, he insists he is not one of the 'sheeple!'

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  • It's not just the fringe

    that is going to be affected by the secret censorship of the internet (though the definition of what is fringe is a debate in itself).

    RSF are right - once politicians get a taste for banning things, it seems their sociopath tendencies become even more dominant.
    anonymous