Several things got lost today as Communications Minister Stephen Conroy announced he and his government (our government) are going to introduce legislation to censor the internet (you can read the news coverage here).
First to get lost is Australia's status as an open minded country. We are now in the same club as China and Iran as far as internet surfing is concerned. And what a proud club this is!
Second to get lost is our ability to surf the internet. Sure, it will still be there, but we'll never know what we're missing as the blacklist of banned sites is banned from public access by Big Brother Conroy.
Conroy started by saying he's going to ban paedophilia, but later on it was leaked euthanasia was banned just the same as well as some pretty ordinary porn sites. And even the website of an innocent dentistry was banned by accident and no one knew about it, not even the dodgy dentists. Sure, Conroy's defensive blockage can be easily circumvented (which pretty much indicates how useless this entire censorship affair is - that is, unless greater things are to follow); what we will definitely lose for good is some significant portions of our time on this earth as web surfing performance suffers.
The third thing that got lost is my vote. Conroy's Labor party can kiss my vote goodbye. Today's move means that I'm more likely to prefer the Liberals I despise so much over Labor, simply because you know what you get when you vote Liberal but you don't with Labor. Labor promised action on global warming but is now pushing its "let's keep things the way they are but call it a nice name" emissions trading scheme; and Labor never said anything about censoring the internet before the elections.
By directly attacking the very foundations of democracy, Labor has relegated itself to the very bottom of my voting preferences. I just hope more voters open their eyes to do the same, and preferably go Greens instead - the only party that condemned Conroy's legislation outright.