The Australian government, which is desperate to bring in some form of censorship, is currently engaged in secret meetings with ISPs and Big Content to see if it can bring in something before anyone notices.
The Aussies have a weird trend in their government which seems to think there are votes with the Christian Right by filtering the internet. While every opinion poll in the country seems to think it is a waste of time, several governments have been shelving the plans and the re-activitating them.
Part of the problem is that any internet filter is easy to get around and the ISPs don’t want to administer them. Now, it seems that the desire for censorship within the Aussie government, and the desire of Big Content to lock up those it suspects of file sharing, seems to have formed an unholy alliance.
According to Delimiter, the Federal Government has held two closed door meetings between the content and telecommunications industries.
The idea is to come up with a way of locking up file-sharers without the pesky need for proof, while at the same time creating a precedent where ISPs have to police users.
It will not be all fair dinkum in the room. Big Content has been trying to sue the ISPs into bringing in voluntary agreements where it can list some of their customers and the ISP will simply cut them off. So far the courts have sided with the ISPs.
The meeting is stacked with Big Content rights holders, including Motion Picture Association, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, Foxtel, the Australian Home Entertainment Distributor’s Association, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, News Limited, Music Industry Piracy Investigations, the Australian Recording Industry Association, the Interactive Gaming and Entertainment Association, the Australian Publishers Association and the Australian Performing Right Association.
Of the Aussie ISPs Telstra, Optus, the Communications Alliance, the Internet Industry Association and networking vendor Ericsson have been invited.