Let's face it, there is a lot of vile stuff available on the internet.
And this fact of life is giving "democratic" governments a reason to push government-mandated filtering to block such traffic.
However, it seems to me there is an excellent alternative: Privatize net filtering. We all know that public libraries often employ such programs, that a PC or Mac user can set his system to screen out "adult" content, that Google can be instructed to similarly screen materials coming to one's computer.
But, many worry that these curbs aren't sufficient.
Here's a suggestion:
Religious and cultural groups can set up internet screening units that list sites considered unsuitable. A parent or other user then subscribes to that service, which alerts the user's ISP to that list, and those sites are blocked to that user. Or, the blacklist service sends the user a program which automatically blocks the blacklisted sites.
Of course it is important that users be able to unlock the blacklist at any time, and they would control access with a password. Parents would be encouraged to avoid passwords that children might figure out. It's very easy to go to random.org and obtain a random number for a password. I suggest a range of at least 1,000,000,000 to 9,000,000,000.
Australians don't much like Stephen Conroy's government-run net filtering proposal, after all, a new poll shows. The Age reports that though voters had been inclined to support the Rudd government's proposal, once they obtain more information on the subject, their support drops. The poll was commissioned by the Safer Internet Group, which includes Google, the Internet Industry Association, iNet, the Australian Council of State School Organizations and the Australian Library and Information Center.
David DeGraw, whose financial news analyses are filtered out by Google News, argues that the weird stock market plunge was the work of domestic financial terrorists.
Retired physicist David Griscom has long suspected market manipulation of the sort. And AIM has run columns arguing that the plunge was orchestrated by ghoulish short-selling hedge funds.
I don't know whether these suspicions are valid. Again, it could be expected that high-volume machine trading would result in near random "catasrophes." Of course, one would then expect the occasional inexplicable giant seconds-long surge.
Certainly the mainstream media should at least check on how serious a threat such "financial terrorism" might be.
Windows is wide open to hacker attacks, researchers at Matousec.com have found. Their new attack bypasses every one of a long list of Windows security systems, according to a Zdnet report.
I include this post because it demonstrates that hackers have many tools for "censorship by disruption."
About 100 gag orders per year are imposed by Israeli authorities on the press, the Jerusalem Post has reported. An Arab take on the Israeli press muzzles is found at Middle East Online.
Alleged easing of Egyptian press restrictions comes at the price of two more years of emergency rule, which includes special means to be used in terrorism cases. Critics say just about anything can be defined as terrorism.
UNESCO chastised Nepal authorities for attacks against journalists covering Maoist protests. The UN agency defended the public's right to know. In March, UNESCO denounced the killing of a Nepalese media owner.