That’s how we do!

Obeezy buying up all dem buns! Flashin’ that cash-loaf around. Now that’s how you lead the free world!

With all this free time to by cinnamon buns I thought the O-man could help me out with my assignment. Given that he seems to have more free time than I do right now. So I sent  him an official message to the white house that went something like:

Dear President of the United States Barack Obama,

First and foremost my name is *bleep*. I am an Australian university student and I am writing this comment to you as a piece of assessment. In regards to this I have a few  questions to ask:

  1. What is your view on ‘freedom of the internet’?
  2. What place does censorship have in a democracy?
  3. How were those cinnamon buns in Alaska 01/09/2015

Thank you for your time

Unfortunately he is yet to reply.

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That thing you forgot about

The National Broadband Network is currently being rolled out across Australia and will be available in three potential forms:

  1. Fibre – A Fibre optic cable laid either in the ground or installed via overhead lines. Also currently trialling ‘fibre to the node’ and ‘Fibre to the Basement’, details of which are yet to be released.
  2. Fixed Wireless – For when NBN can’t be connected in less densely populated areas. The fibre optic cable will run to a local transmission tower and then to an antenna fitted to the roof of your house.
  3. Satellite – Broadcast to a satellite and then delivered via satellite to a service dish on your roof. This option is not yet available.

It now appears that sooner or later we will all have to take the leap of faith and commit.

So here is an optimistic reminder of the claimed benefits of the NBN:

Benefits for home: Greater ability to work from home, smoother video conferencing, everyone in a home can be online at the same time on multiple devices, greater access to entertainment (music, video, games, news, sport, international), future generations will have easier access to education, faster transfer of documents and information.

Benefits for business: Efficient access to cloud based services, better video conferencing, improving of online experience for customers, widespread availability of fast and reliable broadband could allow for more flexible working, greater connectivity to markets, great connection regardless of location, ability to share resources.

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Get that democracy rollin’

All this talk of democracy, internet security, democratic representatives, and even more government-related/educational topics has left me thirsty for more information on politics on a local level. I found myself (totally not motivated by university assessment) asking questions like:

Who are my local, state and federal representatives? and when was the last time my local member spoke in parliament?

As I found out, and so can you, my local representative is Graham Perrett who last spoke in parliament as a questioner during a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for OneSKY equipment rooms project in Melbourne and Brisbane. He also gave a rousing speech on Veteran Affairs for a Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (2015 Budget Measures) Bill. As far as national members of parliament go there’s George Brandis, Matthew Canavan, Chris Ketter, Glenn Lazarus, Jo Lindgren, Joseph Ludwig, Ian Macdonald, James McGrath, Jan McLucas, Claire Moore, Barry O’Sullivan, and Larissa Waters. Representing the Federal government we have Tony Abbott, Anthony Albanese, John Alexander, Karen Andrews, Kevin Andrews, Bob Baldwin, Adam Brandt, Bruce Billson, Sharon Bird, Bronwyn Bishop, Julie Bishop, and Chris Bowen just to name a few.

Apart from finding out who’s who in the big ol’ world of politics I also took a step back to assist my local community by signing an epetition. An epetition which is (funnily enough) available online on the Brisbane City Council website as a ‘Request for development at West End to remain within South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood Plan guidelines’. If this applies to you then be a part of your community and make a difference.

Get that democracy rollin’

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Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Does anyone remember the ‘cleanfeed’?

The ‘cleanfeed’ was an attempt by Senator Stephen Conroy in 2009 to enact legislation that would apply ‘filters’ for access to the internet that would be enforced by Internet Service Providers through mandatory ISP filtering. The filters were proposed as a means of preventing harm to children by limiting access to specific content on the web: preventing harm to children online by blocking websites with adult content and preventing harm to children off the web by increasing moderation of child pornography websites. Senator Conroy proposed a filter that would block all adult content including legally accessible adult websites. A secondary filter would allow users to volunteer for access to legally accessible adult websites. The problem was that many innocent sites, such as breast cancer related websites, would be caught up in the filter. There was also the ‘small’ problem of public outcry against obstruction of civil rights and liberties.

This information begs the question: What place does censorship have in a democracy?

Well, censorship does have a place in democracy. Regardless of which system of government you participate in there will always be people who will violate laws without regard or concern for other members of society. From standards, which are theoretically set by equal and fair representation of everyone, arise parameters of right and wrong. It is from these parameters that laws are rightfully dictated. As an example in most modern societies child slavery has been deemed immoral and wrong and therefore laws have been created as preventives against and punishments for those who breach these laws. Censorship is a preventative measure to protect the victims of these crimes and to stop further crimes being committed. In some circumstances censorship is appropriate particularly when protecting civil rights. An example of when censorship is not appropriate is when it violates civil rights such as the right to free speech or the right to freedom of assembly. When civil rights are violated through censorship the act of censorship is seen as unethical as long as members of a society deem this unacceptable and continue to enact their right to have civil rights.

The key point there being “continue to enact their right to have civil rights”. To continue to have rights you must be active in maintaining them. One of the best ways to maintain these rights is to be informed. So do some reading on the Trans-Pacific Partnership before history repeats itself again.

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