I’ve been censored for linking to Google
Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-03-20
blogotariat.com has pulled a feeditem from this blog that had links to Google, discussed blacklisted items in Thailand (like The Economist), and included a copy of an email from ACMA.
If you are quick, you’ll also see that the "top story" at Blogotariat has "n/a" next to it… and that top story last night was…
Yep, my post on using the Google cache…
It’s all the more interesting because apparently the "leaked" list at wikileaks wasn’t on the "official" list.
So, go and see my Wikileaks via Google Cache (2009-03-19), which also gives general instructions for getting to unjustly blocked sites (like Dentists, and The Economist and see what could possibly be offensive. Let me know, and I won’t do it again.
This means that Blogotariat (run by fellow-ex-DeadRoo writer "Slim Pickins") has been scared off by Conroy, the threat of the $11,000 per day fine for having a link on your webpage to something on the blacklist, (WHICH OF COURSE I DIDN’T…. IT WAS A LINK TO GOOGLE!).
So, given that I was linking to Google, not a banned site, and wikileaks was not OFFICIALLY banned (apparently it had been overcome by server load yesterday), and where I quoted from wikileaks it was either saying that Thailand didn’t like The Economist (and mentions of similar sites), or a quote from an email from an agency of the Australian government written to people outside the country containing no content that could be classified as illegal.
Can I blame Blogotariat for being scared
No, not really.
The real take-home message is that the scare-tactics cause people to self-censor.
It is the climate of fear, the self-censorship, that is the taste of things to come.
All Ministers will have to do is make noises about what kind of things they think of banning, and those voices engaging in legitimate debate will silence themselves.
It’s a bit like Germans with Jewish friends being afraid to be seen with their Jewish friends in the mid 1930s.
You’ll see more "Top Story Not Available" messages in the future…
It’ll happen when people write about being afraid of being a burden to their families if Alzheimers kicks in.
It’ll happen if you say the economy is in trouble (See "The Truth Will Get You In Trouble" 2008-11-10)
It’ll happen if you say that tourists (or Asian and Indian students) shouldn’t come to Australia because of the threat of being bashed by yobbos (see my review of the 2006 review of the Security Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2002 which included " ‘Hostile activities’ include …placing a foreign public in fear" in "The Scope of Treason and Sedition: Has the Executive Offended" 2007-08-01).
It’ll happen if you mention Plato or show images of the pottery of Ancient Greece (see "Something Conroy Might Block: Pottery and Plato" 2008-12-21).
Unfortunately, arguing that entire continents should be rendered uninhabitable won’t be blocked or self-censored… because it is what the government and much of big Carbon want (see "<a href=”Is rendering countries uninhabitable terrorism?" 2009-03-01).
Read my 3 paragraph post that quotes from Burke’s esteemed "Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol" and be afraid, be very afraid.