The Internet: Censorship Versus Human Rights

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Internet: Censorship versus Human Rights
Jesslyn Sung 10/02/2011

What is your ideal picture of a free-speech internet where your human rights as are prioritized? Since Hillary Clinton’s landmark speech last year, "Remarks on internet Freedom", the net today promotes a more open internet with human rights. The internet revolution is further supported by the social networks services such as Facebook and Twitter, where people’s right of freedom of speech and expression seemed to be ungovernable. However, the ongoing Wikileaks has trialed and tried to expose the Australian government’s loyalty towards this principle. On 3rd February 2011, Australian communication minister, Stephen Conroy, was asked whether or not the Australian government is going to cut off the internet access in cases like the Egyptian crisis in order to escape from protestors. In response, Conroy assured the mass media that such phenomena could never happen in Australia. “…Australia’s a vibrant democracy, where the government doesn’t control the internet…” If so, what are internet censorships and blockings for?

This is the propaganda of internet freedom in Australia. Australian government takes full control of the filtering process of the internet contents. Wikileaks had once exposed Australian’s secret Internet blacklist which is believed to prevent child pornography, but some blacklisted sites was said to have nothing to do with it. Who then sets the internet content criteria for Australian net? The net-censorships created certain boundaries which indirectly limit our liberal rights. The freedom of expression in internet should have included the right to post freely in public, and to be listened by anyone who cares to listen. With the government involvement in approving or disapproving internet contents, this principle of free speech becomes pointless. Australian censorship policies have contradicted with the principle of internet freedom they are suggesting. How is this different...
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