The loosely-knit ‘net activist collective known as Anonymous is bringing its protests against the imminent Australian firewall into the real world.
Last week, Anonymous claimed responsibility for the DDoS attacks against the Australian government, which one member of the group claimed were “more effective at stopping the government’s Internet filtering project than singing a petition.” This effort to defeat the government’s desire to filter internet content is part of what Anonymous calls ‘Operation Titstorm.’
Now Anonymous is setting up real life protests in cities all around Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Canberra. These “peaceful protests” will take place on February 20th under the title Project Freeweb.
While I do not condone hacking to make a point, I do agree with Anonymous’ or anyone else’s prerogative to stop the Australian firewall from happening. The point of the internet is to allow unrestricted access to content and information. The AU government claims that the filtering technologies would block things like child porn, but these technologies never work perfectly. If the Aussie firewall goes up, you can be sure that at some point, perfectly reasonable websites will wind up inaccessible to anyone on the continent.
Though it may seem inefficient, a better method is simply to police violations of the law when the law is broken. When you restrict the freedoms of citizens to slightly decrease the chance of potential future crimes, you’re crossing the line into Big Brother territory.