Big Brother watch­ing on­line

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

IN­TER­NET cen­sor­ship en­forced in China and Iran is out­ra­geous to many of us in the West, but cen­sor­ship can take many forms, even here.

In­ter­net cen­sor­ship can range from black­list­ing file- shar­ing sites to block­ing po­lit­i­cal opin­ion.

Australia’s Clean Feed manda­tory fil­ter was re­jected, but with new leg­is­la­tion drafted for next year, we may not be free on­line for long.

Sim­i­larly, Amer­ica’s Stop On­line Piracy Act and Pro­tect IP Act cen­sor­ship bills were also scrapped, but now the Cy­ber In­tel­li­gence Shar­ing and Pro­tec­tion Act ( CISPA) poses a new threat to free­dom.

You may think that if you are not do­ing any­thing wrong, you have noth­ing to fear, but this style of on­line mon­i­tor­ing is more per­va­sive than that.

CISPA would al­low com­pa­nies to mon­i­tor pri­vate email, in­ter­net searches, and other on­line ac­tiv­ity and then share in­for­ma­tion with the Gov­ern­ment. This in­for­ma­tion could then be used at will, in­clud­ing for pur­poses un­re­lated to cy­ber­se­cu­rity.

Big Brother is your back- seat surfer un­der laws like CISPA.

Be­cause the in­ter­net is im­pos­si­ble to con­trol, in­ter­net fil­ter­ing is a grow­ing prob­lem around the world.

Most coun­tries ap­proach in­ter­net cen­sor­ship by cen­sor­ing a broad cat­e­gory of in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­tent, and that is where the spec­trum of con­tent tar­geted for fil­ter­ing be­comes complicated.

‘‘ In­ap­pro­pri­ate’’ con­tent now in­cludes po­lit­i­cal, re­li­gious and se­cu­rity- re­lated con­tent, es­pe­cially in au­thor­i­tar­ian regimes.

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