Tim Blair


New Criterion



Tuesday, May 27, 2003
A WARNING before I leave. HREOC is not the only agency of our helpful government to be tinkering with automated censorship of websites. A number of organisations are introducing filters between the naughty web world and their keyboard peons. The Commonwealth Government is very keen for others to wade into this jungle of absurdities. One case was reported recently.

Deep within the bowels of our national Parliament you would find, if they let you in, a grumbling appendix where information specialists and researchers digest the raw materials of information to provide our elected representatives with whatever substance adds gravitas to the insults that are the currency of their debates. It is called the Parliamentary Library.

While HREOC's aim is to demonise sites that link words like 'Islam' and 'terrorism', so demonstrating the crime of Islamophobia, the Parliamentary Library seems more concerned about pornography. Well, Uncle supposes the bosses there know their staff better than he does.

The presence of pornography on a site is, of course, easy to detect. It is signalled by the presence of words like pe**s, va**na, f**ck, d*ck, br**st and to*s. Not to mention phrases like: 'the Black Rod entered the Chamber".

Uncle is resigned to the fact that all of his pages will be filtered out by the Parliamentary Grundymat, but others may wish to ensure that Members of our national legislature have ready access to their wisdom. In that case, never use the word "toes" again. There, I've done it, and I feel ever so naughty.