The Australian government has had a long
and storied history
of trying to block porn on the Internet. But, this Thursday, a bill was introduced in Australia that would take this censorship even further. The bill would allow the federal police to alter the blacklist of sites currently controlled by the Australian Communications and Media Authority
. With this, the federal police are empowered to blacklist any site that "encourages, incites or induces," "facilitate(s)" or "has, or is likely to have, the effect of facilitating" a crime. This brush is incredibly broad, and without proper checks and balances, it seems likely to be abused. Australian Police would be able to block any site they don't like, and claim that it is "likely" to facilitate crime. Australia's censorship trip down a very slippery slope takes a big second step here. First porn, now "criminal" sites. With this power, Australia is but a tiny step away from censoring valid free speech. Maybe Australia should just route all of its traffic through China's "Great Firewall
" first -- that might be easier.