Censorship and Privacy in Australia

Two articles here on censorship and privacy in Australia, but not directly linked to the internet. One, from The Australian newspaper is an opinion piece about the “moral cleansers” at the Classification Review Board who take no notice of public opinion on what is deemed acceptable and not. In this article the focus is on a court case between Adultshop.com and the Classification Review Board where Adultshop.com argued the CRB had erred in classifying one of its films, Viva Erotica, by giving it an X18+ classification (sexually explicit nonviolent erotica). The second from the Sydney Morning Herald looks at security and surveillance technology, privacy and an inquiry into privacy in the brave new world of global communication by the Australian Law Reform Commission.Moral cleansers past their use-by date by Ross FitzgeraldMrs Grundy was immortalised as the universal wowser by literary giants such as Charles Dickens and James Joyce. She was the neighbour from hell who disapproved of anything new, from the colour of your house to the latest obscenity at the bookshop. Her creator, 18th-century playwright Thomas Morton, never actually brought her to life on the stage, preferring to make her a much more potent character through her invisibility.Her universal opposite was another unseen but all-pervasive character immortalised in English common law, the reasonable adult. Unlike Mrs Grundy, who judges all things through her narrow set of values, the reasonable adult is often described as someone endowed with standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted in present-day society.John Howard (a Methodist, like Mrs Grundy) managed to purge the Australian system of government of just about all its reasonable adults. He turned small-l Liberal ministers such as Philip Ruddock and Helen Coonan (matron of the John Stuart Mill group, no less) into mega-Grundys within just a few short years. He carefully installed puritans in key positions throughout government departments and agencies and has left us with a wowserish administration that is ill-fitted to deal with the progressive nature of modern Australian society.
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23013963-7583,00.htmlau: Technology that exposes your dirty linen
Once-wary Australians accept their daily lives being monitored, writes Damien Murphy.Big Brother is washing you.The washing machine of the future may not only wash garments according to the instructions on the clothes but secretly collect information for telemarketers, political parties and anybody else with an interest in people’s dirty linen.The Australian Law Reform Commission says washing machines could be fitted with radio frequency identification equipment, known as RFID, which stores information and transmits it to a data-processing system.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.