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In the Media

article imageOp-Ed: ‘Anonymous’ group intends to continue cyber attacks on Australia

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By Paul Wallis
Feb 13, 2010 in Internet
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Cyber group Anonymous intends to continue denial of service attacks on Australian government sites in protest against proposed censorship and filtering of internet materials. The government is attempting to keep out objectionable content.
The attacks so far have caused a few groans, but haven't been getting much attention in Australian media. The BBC reports that Anonymous, a group based around the world, has taken a general position on censorship on the internet.
You have to admire the self righteousness of people on the net. They’ll target anything but the problems. Censorship of some materials is actually a demand from the public. The malware creators, pedophile rings, hate groups and spam torrents are perfectly safe from all this outrage.
(Anonymous does say that governments should go after perpetrators, but really, doesn't that just make the point that attacking governments is missing the target? If you want to get rid of criminals, you don't start shooting at the cops.)
A group somewhere on Earth objects to a policy, and people may not get their dole payments. Taxpayers pay for downtime, and everything gets a bit slower and a bit more expensive. Thanks, guys, doing a great job there. Who do you think suffers? Policy makers? Pedants? Snotty little bureaucrats? Of course not. They pin medals on themselves for tolerating all this terrible irresponsibility.
If you bastards want to make a point, why not do it with some class, not devalue yourselves to the same level as spam? Almost any other online approach would look better and have more impact. There’s no mystery or glamour to DOS attacks, just a sort of grungy fashion statement.
Censorship itself is an obscenity, when it’s not an absurdity as well, like the Hays Office. It can be an excuse to block anything, anytime, and is basically anti-democratic. However, crime isn’t a democratic right. If something’s classed as a crime by law, it should be respected to that extent.
Another point is that the internet has now become one of the biggest exploiters of people in history. Should the broadcast of atrocities be unchallenged? Should videos of kids being raped be a natural permitted aspect of any culture? Censorship begins in the mind, not online. Some things aren’t accepted with good reason, and shouldn’t be encouraged by allowing broadcast.
Can we kindly have some actual thinking on this subject, not just “positions” relative to particular words? The fact is the problem, not the principles of censorship. How about even having some ideas about how to put these scum out of business, not more rhetoric?
The Australian government states that the filters so far have tested 100% effective, a barely plausible position which will need to be proved in the real world, outside press releases at some point. Nobody else has yet invented a fully effective filter, and unless this thing is setting its sights on low parameters, just blocking specified targets, there’s no reason to believe it’s any more effective than anything previously attempted.
Meanwhile, at the rear end of chicken zone, a government request to filter YouTube content has met the response from Google states that they consider requests when received from a credible legal source. Google’s policy is to comply with the laws in the countries in which they operate, and this is all strictly business.
Fine, but some content is obviously objectionable. It shouldn’t require much thought on the part of anyone to see the materials may be harmful, like phone cam video bashings, or other disgusting efforts from the world’s geniuses. Assault is illegal everywhere on Earth. Is a legal map required?
What’s truly weird is that Google, Facebook, and other sites aren’t more sensitive. Incitement to violence is not only illegal, it tends to generate physical responses. Why do major sites want to get caught in the middle of these situations? Staying strictly out of major flammable subjects would be a much safer option, and easier to be consistent about in terms of content policy.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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