Feeds

Your internet policy sucks, US tells Aussies

America tuts as Oz tightens screws

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Critics of the Australia’s proposed internet filtering scheme just keep on coming. This week, it's the turn of one of Australia’s biggest and most formidable allies, the United States, to put the boot into a scheme that would turn Australia into the free world’s strictest regulator of internet content.

This follows objections raised last week by those well-known purveyors of internet smut, Google and Yahoo, and before that by Reporters sans Frontieres (RSF), a French campaigning group dedicated to defending the rights of the press and freedom of expression across the globe.

It remains unclear, however, who in the US administration said what to which bit of the Australian government, as neither side is prepared to say more than that they are in discussion over this topic.

Speaking to the Associated Press earlier this week, a US State Department spokesman, Michael Tran, said: "Our main message of course is that we remain committed to advancing the free flow of information which we view as vital to economic prosperity and preserving open societies globally."

He then added: "We don't discuss the details of specific diplomatic exchanges, but I can say that in the context of that ongoing relationship, we have raised our concerns on this matter with Australian officials."

So it is difficult to gauge exactly who the United States are talking to or what they are talking about.

No clarification whatsoever was provided from the Australian side of the exchange. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy declined to provide any further comment on the US concerns. However Suzie Brady, a spokeswoman for the Minister, said: "The Australian and US governments liaise regularly on a broad range of issues. It would be inappropriate to discuss the details of these consultations."

What is clear is that as well as stirring up controversy at home, the Australian government is starting to annoy some very powerful players across the globe. One serious concern, expressed by RSF, is that by adopting such a strict approach to censorship Australia will undermine the West’s case when arguing freedom of expression with more repressive regimes such as China and North Korea.

Australia is not yet in the same censorship league as those countries, but it was placed "under surveillance" in the latest RSF report on internet censorship, Internet Enemies.

We must now wait and see whether the Australian government will take account of the effect its policy is having on its friends and allies when the matter comes before parliament later this year. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.