I sent an email to Conroy of the Ministry of Truth regarding the plan to compulsorily censor the internet for all Australians, all the time in every place. My letter was entirely about censorship. The reply was entirely about how the technology used wouldn't slow down the internet. Hardly mentioned censorship. I was to be assured that an unelected panel would know what is bad for me and my children, and what is best. I think we opponents of this plan had better work out what it is that we don't like. We shouldn't get distracted about the internet being slowed down. The problem is censorship.
One hope is that perhaps the High Court will find that this plan harms the implied right to freedom of speech existing in our constitution (discovered a few years ago) but it seems too narrowly defined (as "political communication").
So just think: I'll be tunneling to an overseas server like a Chinese dissident, but from the comfort of my own living room. Will it be illegal to teach people how to circumvent censorship? Will it be illegal to do it? Will sites teaching this be censored, to save ourselves from ourselves?
If the ALP introduces this legislation into parliament, that's it for me. There are no real liberal parties in Australia. To me, the ALP has been the closest approximation most of the time since I've been voting, but perhaps no longer. The other great feature of ALP governments in my adult life has been their competence. This current government has buckets of talent. But Conroy is out of his depth on the frontbench:L he negates the talent argument.
So, what to do? I guess I'll have to vote Green, since one strand of the party seems pretty liberal. Plus the Greens have been remarkably constructive in the Senate, although of course not on their signature issues. If I have to choose between a party that supports censorship, a party that appeals to base instincts of greed and fear, and a party that doesn't believe the market is usually the best way to ratio scarce resources, I'll have to choose the third, since it is merely irrational, , where the other choices are morally repugnant and lead to dark places.