By Andrew Middleton
A parody of Pink Floyd’s masterpiece, The Trial:
The Crown will plainly show
The prisoner who now stands before you,
Was caught red-handed searching websites…
Searching websites of an almost “inappropriate” nature!
This will not do…
As was first announced way back in 2007 and quickly dubbed “the Great Australian Firewall,” the Australian Government – with the support of certain minor parties & independents – is going ahead with plans to mandatorily filter the internet for all Australians to exclude “inappropriate” material, or what has now been refined to as “refused classification” content. This disturbing development positions Australia on the World stage as following in the footsteps of countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Iran, and Cuba, in mandatorily limiting the content its citizens can view on the internet. Examples from those countries show filtered material to often include political content not favourable towards the political establishment. Of course, whichever the country, whatever the political system:
Power Corrupts, and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.
The WeAreChange movement opposes and resists internet censorship around the World, just as internet censorship is being planned or implemented around the World. Here is a World map displaying roughly the different levels of internet censorship implemented, recent to mid-2009:
Australians – just like citizens of all “developed,” or “Western” nations – have seen over the past decade (or so) previously sacrosanct freedoms and rights be diminished and Government size, spending, and control increase in an emerging new world order. It could be said Australia’s blushes are somewhat spared by the fact measures to limit internet freedom are also being proposed by the Governments’ of our “close allies,” the United States & the United Kingdom. But none of the citizens in these countries have their access to the greatest tool of resistance to the new world order – the Free Internet – in as grave and imminent danger to fall under Government control and be restricted Chinese-style, as Australians do. So we call out to you, Australian citizens, to stand up for your country, to stand up for your own independence from Government, and to stand up for our and future generations ability to access a Free Internet, in this hour of great necessity and great change. In this way, we can be a real leader on the World stage.
Matthew Bellamy, Frontman of the world-wide acclaimed & chart topping progressive rock band MUSE:“History fascinates me. Politics fascinates me. And the potential of the internet absolutely amazes me. Ever since I was a kid I’ve questioned why the world is the way that it is. Who’s in charge? Who makes things happen? I’ve read enough in the past couple of years to believe that we are due for great change. I think the internet will be the means of that change.” (Source: “Leading the Resistance,” The National Newspaper. 17 September 2009)
Thankfully, many Australians are already standing up. We are very grateful for the work done on the East Coast of our beautiful country, to set up a petition against this measure that, if filled out correctly, will be submissible to Federal Parliament (unlike the widely circulated online petition against internet censorship, see below). Please read more and download the petition here:
From the site. Due to the governments plan to go ahead with imposing compulsory internet censorship on every Australian despite heavy opposition whether it be from the public or experts or businesses or online gamers, we are being ignored, this petition has been prepared, and will be tabled in Parliament to officially express our condemnation of the forthcoming legislation that imposes and infringes on our human rights and effects every user’s experience online.
Every signatures counts, as a democratic country we have the right and therefore the responsibility to resist censorship. Please let me know if you are planning on collecting a large amount of signatures, please email me and introduce yourself, there may also be others I can connect you with in your area that are also passionate about helping to collect signatures for the petition.
To sign this petition, please click below to download and print out, there is room for up to 4 signatures. The mailing address is on the petition.
To sign the petition and help collect other peoples signatures, please click below to download and print out, there is room for up to 14 signatures. The mailing address is on the petition. (For more than 14 signatures, print the page several times)
This petition has been prepared inline with the House of representative rules and is in compliance with the standing orders that apply to petitions.
The House does not accept petitions in electronic form and petitions must be on paper.
Each signature on the petition must be made by the person signing in his or her own handwriting.
Every signature must be written on a page bearing the request part of the terms of the petition.
Signatures must not be copied, pasted or transferred onto the petition.
Please direct all enquires you have about the nature, wording, and format of the petition to Melissa Short (Melsy29@live.com.au).
In acquiring signatures for this petition, we urge you to follow the guidelines and rules set above and to keep the petition signatures and pages as clear and clean as possible. Not doing so, just slightly, may make a page or pages not submissible. So please make sure you’re clear to the person signing the petition what is required of them, and I’d use a pen, not pencil. Submission date is not as yet set, but we will not have long into February before needing to put them in the post as it’s early February when Federal Parliament resumes. So please print this petition out now and get asking for people’s signatures, even if you can only get your family to sign it, that will do! WeAreChange Western Australia will be happy to receive your completed forms and cover the costs of sending them back over east as one whole bunch (contact us about that: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Some ideas for places where to post the petition and to bring awareness to this issue are politicians & political parties (tips on writing to Ministers. If you feel up to it please try), mainstream & alternative radio (please mention the petition!), community noticeboards, universities, internet cafes, and of course, Australia Day events (there’s one such event planned in Queensland). Please discuss ideas regarding this petition and resisting the internet filter on our Forum here: http://www.wearechangewa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=335
An update on the nationally planned protests against the mandatory internet filter, they have been rescheduled for the 6th of March, 2010. You can see the reasoning given here. However, WeAreChange Western Australia will announce shortly a Truth Action to garner signatures for the petition and spread awareness about this issue. Keep up-to-date with the latest news, meetups & events relating to WeAreChange WA via the Forums: http://www.wearechangewa.com/forums
Latest news, the Australian Government officially opens its new Cyber Security Operations Centre, and there is a Labor Party Senator AGAINST a mandatory internet filter! That being, Kate Lundy. Check out the article here (free registration required to read whole article), and e-mail Kate Lundy here: email@example.com