Recently I read many articles on Australian Internet Filtering and I have a feeling that its worthlessness is wildely misunderstood. Let's say we need to filter some "inapropriate" pages from one trillion URLs (this is a number of pages indexed by Google, according to their blog record posted in July 20081) which is 1,000,000,000,000 pages. This number can be considered as well-known Internet since those pages can be effectively found and accessed. Let's assume 10,000 URLs can be revised on daily basis so in the end of year it'll be 3,650,000 pages reviewed total which is 0.0004% (rounded up) of all pages available. This is filter's "effectiveness" and please note that Internet is changing rapidly so this work has to be done all over including revising malicious pages on block list. If every 10th page goes to block list it will be 365,000 pages per year and they has to be revised as well. According to Google every day few billion pages are being added to index1 so please do the math to see how much faster internet is growing comparing with review speed.

However proposed filtering is not entirely worthless. I believe it can be particulary good for filtering political opposition since that kind of resources are easier to find because their sources are usually well-known. I know many people say "it is unlikely that politicians want to do this", but let me ask you, how do you know it? It doesn't matter if you believe politicians are mean or stupid, sometimes they do silly things and this filtering proposal itself is good enough example.

If someone aims a gun on freedom you don't need to wait for shooting to begin because the threat alone is bad enough. I believe if this censorship instrument will be introduced sooner or later it will be used improperly. What do you think filtering it's being used for in most if not all countries famous for their mandatory internet censorship?

Even worse, this thing will negatively impact Australia's international prestige. Nobody proud of having mandatory censorship - it's a shame and embarrasment. We can only feel more isolated. Internet filtering will always be suspected of misuse.

From implementation point of view, how poweful filtering servers should be to check every URL requested in real time against list of all (tens of thousands?) blacklisted sites without noticeable delay? What will happen if those servers are down? No internet or just no filtering?

From moral side, what's the benefit pretending that violence and sex crimes do not exist? What government claims to protect our children from is not even scope of their interest.

Do you know that in USSR newspapers tend not to report disasters to not worry people. Even when Chernobyl tragedy happen it hasn't been reported in media on time. Many people died because of ignorance and misinformation. This is an example how censorship can protect people from reality.

Just by protesting against this ludicrous idea we can not only save ourselves from embarrasment but also save some budget money. Any use of those money will be better then this little "protection" because if 0.0004% of your body covered by clothes you are still very naked.

With deep respect to EFA. Please support their anti-filtering campaign.