The Internet Censorship General Strike

Last night at BTUB I met Michael Meloni from Somebody Think Of The Children (along with lots of other great people) and we were talking (of course) about the Australian government’s absurd plan to filter the internet.

I’ve been wondering over the last few months about what we, the Internet community, can do to alter the decision of the Rudd government on this issue. Signing petitions and writing letters to the Minister are great, but I suspect they aren’t enough to change the course he’s on. This morning I was reading Howard Zinn’s awesome “A People’s History Of The United States” and he was discussing the many strikes that occurred in the USA during the 19th century and I started wondering if a strike is one way we can get politicians to take notice of our concerns.

If the IT and Internet community in Australia went on a general strike over the issue of Internet censorship, I have no doubt that we could cause many Australian businesses and government agencies pain. A strike by the IT/Internet community would also generate a lot of press.

Then I started wondering how we’d mobilize the community. We don’t have a union or any kind of genuine organization. There are groups like AIMIA and the AIIA but I seriously doubt they would support any kind of industrial action, nor do they represent many people working in the industry.

So we need to organize and mobilize. We need to create a single focus point for action. Any ideas?

9 thoughts on “The Internet Censorship General Strike

  1. Sorry, Cameron, this strike proposal has EPIC FAIL written all over it. In today’s economic climate, how many people would risk losing jobs? Look at the massive consulting and contracting segment of the IT&T community right now – job losses and shelved projects right, left and centre.

  2. what about if we all grew hitler mustaches in december and called it …? Its ok for geek girls who arent blessed with facial hair to wear an armband of their design. Malcolm Gladwell Idea 2: mashup the old Labor orange workchoices sticker with: your internet rights worth fighting 4. It could b a orange badge that supporting blogs could wear plus paste into signature sectiön of emails.

  3. Ah OzDJ, your ancestors would be proud of you. For thousands of years people have risked their lives for freedom but you’re not willing to risk your job? You’ve been Pwnd by the man.

  4. Cameron,
    I’m sure this issue (Internet censorship) is in the back of many minds. Maybe it’s time to bring it to the forefront.

    Once people see on a hugh scale how censorship can and does affect their livelihood then they will be more than willing to get on board.

    Australia’s laws on Internet censorship are, theoretically, amongst the most restrictive in the Western world. (Wikipedia)

    How is it as an Australian affecting your bottomline? If it’s true what OzDJ says then why not go at it from that angle….Sad but true, unless it hits in the pocketbook especially with this economic climate you might be just pissing in the wind!

  5. Sully,

    first of all I don’t think we should base our principles on whether or not something affects our bottom line. Slavery was pretty good for the bottom line of the plantation owners. Surely we need to fight for things that are right, not just the things that are profitable?

    That said, I’m sure you’re right that more people will fight for something if it does make them money or save their jobs.

    Censorship by the Government has every chance of affecting *my* bottom line in the future. They might just decide to put “podcasts promoting atheism” on the same list as sites promoting euthanasia.

    But that’s not the reason I’m fighting it. I’m fighting it because an Internet free of government intervention is the best chance the human race has of defeating the interests of the wealthy elite. It’s the greatest tool we’ve ever devised and if we let it get corralled by the elite, then we will regret it forever.

  6. Very well said! I couldn’t agree more!

    We must take a stand for something or we will fall for anything
    and we have fallen under the spell of the wealthy elite!

    All I’m saying is:
    Nothing will arouse us quicker and make us ready to fight more than messing with our $$$ !

  7. Hmm while I applaud the sentiment, I’d have a hard time reconciling with the fact that I would effectively be punishing my employer for the government’s mistakes. Perhaps only government IT workers should consider it? Especially the ones working on this stupid filter implementation in the first place!

  8. 327, it depends who your employer is I guess. If you work for a small, privately-owned firm, then I agree. However if you work for a large corporation or government agency, it’s a different matter. If enough big companies tell the government to back off, then they will. We need to hurt the government and perhaps the best way to do that is to hurt the people who tell them what to do – the large corporations.

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