Home » Australian Politics » Another small step towards civility on the electronic frontier

Another small step towards civility on the electronic frontier

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Like Ray I find the moves  announced recently by Gillard to hold some internet platforms accountable for their anonymous users activities a good if inadequate start to  making cyberspace somewhat more civil environment for those of us who use it, and lets face it that means just about everyone these days. While many long term users have long resigned themselves to the notion that civilising the online space is “impossible” I am rather more optimistic that civility will be enforced incrementally over time and I think that enforcement will come from the courts acting in both criminal and civil cases to demand that those running the blogging platforms provide the identifying  details of site-owners when those individuals have slandered or defamed real individuals.

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The old aphorism suggests that the longest journey begins with one small step, and I see quite a few small steps happening out there and it may take a while but I expect that like the old wild west civilisation and civility will come to the online frontier eventually.

Cheers Comrades

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55 Comments

  1. Ray Dixon says:

    This article tells you why there’s a need for a law requiring all blog owners to provide proof of identity to the blog hosts like Google. The victims have had to go to court (at considerable expense, no doubt) to obtain an order that will give them (at best) an IP and email address. It’s unlikely Google will even have the blog owner’s real name. And then their next step is to somehow trace the owner via that information. Who will do that for them – the police, or will they have to hire a private expert? And how likely is it that the IP is a proxy and the email address no longer exists?

    But if the blog owner had had to register proof of id and address with Google before he was given a blog, the court order would give the offended party that information straight away. Moreover, it would probably have deterred the shithead blog owner from defaming them in the first place. QED.

  2. Grace says:

    Could someone please enlighten me as to when the Australian Government and one Miss (term used loosely) became the owners of the Internet WWW?

  3. Grace says:

    Gillard that should read Miss Gillard

  4. Tel says:

    The Chinese government are well ahead of us, creating a model the envy of wannabe totalitarians worldwide:

    The government has tried to require users to register using their real names and prevent them from using anonymous names which they have traditionally relied on to mask their identity so they can speak freely without persecution. Police reportedly have access to software developed by Cisco that allows them to track people’s work histories and political tendencies. Much of the surveillance software is thought to have been developed by the Chinese themselves, much of it by engineers in the Chinese military.

    … also …

    In July 2007, the city of Xiamen banned anonymous web posting. According to the law all Internet users would have to use their real names, The move came after construction of a massive $1.4 billion chemical factory was halted by the use of a successful Internet campaign that incorporated the sending of a 1 million e-mail and text messages.

    Regulators are pondering adopting a real-name system to clean up the Internet and clampdown on viscous attacks by anonymous posters. A new regulation introduced in 2010 limits those who can operate a site on China’s .cn domain to registered businesses, and requires operators to produce Chinese identification. “In case they need to shut you down for some subversive content, they need to know how to find you,” an executive with one Beijing firm that hosts Web sites told the New York Times.

    There are issues over whether a real-name system is technically viable and to what extent banning anonymous online posting sacrifices freedom of speech.

    http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=232

  5. Ray Dixon says:

    China’s attempt to register ALL users is completely different and far more draconian than the idea that a blog owner needs to show id before getting a blog. You’re talking about all users, I’m not – only the blog owners. And of course they use it to control dissent over there – it’s China!

  6. Ray, assuming this idea comes to pass and I doubt it will for the very reasons Tel has cited, after registration of blog owners, the next logical step is registration of everybody using the internet. Then the next step after that is censorship. Is that what you really want?

    As I said in my post on the other thread, be very careful what you wish for.

  7. I should add I would be very concerned if the Gillard Government had any input into drawing up relevant legislation. They nailed their colours to the mast with regard to controls over freedom of speech and internet censorship some time ago.

  8. Ray Dixon says:

    So you subscribe to ‘the slippery slope’ theory, Fiona? You think ‘big brother’ wants to know all about you? Do you own/drive a car? If so, did you mind giving your details and id to the State in order to have the privilege of driving on our roads? Probably not. Has the State done anything untoward with that information? Have they moved on to “the next logical step” and registered all road users such as cyclists and even pedestrians? The reason you have to register in order to use the roads is for your own safety – same goes for this idea. And Tel has cited China … give me a break.

  9. No Ray – no slippery slope conspiracy theories – just utilization of logical throught.

    Tel’s China experience is relevant.

    We are discussing a Federal legislation proposal, aren’t we? Your State vehicle registration example falls on its face right there.

  10. Iain Hall says:

    Fiona
    The reason that I think that the sort of thing Ray and I are suggesting will eventually come to pass is because the demographics of internet users is changing and its now no longer just the chattering classes who play around online its ordinary folk and the more ubiquitous that the net becomes the more that its users will want, not lawless anarchy that exists now, rather they will want civility accountability and order. And the politicians will want to give it to them in democracies like ours because their election will depend on it.
    Personally I rate Gillard somewhat below that which you may scrape of your shoe but on this I think she is smelling the mood of the electorate with some insight into the future and that is so rare from her as to me most notable.

  11. Iain Hall says:

    Fiona
    It makes no difference in any practical sense if car registration is a state matter here the principle still applies.

  12. Ray Dixon says:

    Fiona, this is what you said: “after registration of blog owners, the next logical step is registration of everybody using the internet. Then the next step after that is censorship”. That’s classic slippery slope theory.

    Tel’s China example is irrelevant – do you seriously believe we’re as totalitarian as they are?

    And Federal or State makes no difference. Presently it’s the States who legislate against cyberstalking so, logically, it would be the States who introduce it. No, we’re not (yet) talking Federal legislation but the PM is right to seek a solution to these problems. I guess you’d think differently if someone started up a blog specifically to slander your real life reputation. It happens – to innocent people. And it is a rising social problem.

  13. I don’t think Ray’s vehicle registration example is applicable, Iain but that’s just me.

    I think you guys are likely to to be in for one hell of a shock if Roxon’s anti-discrimination law reforms become part of the Nanny State we used to call free Australia. These reforms will directly impinge upon our right to commentary, political or otherwise. There’s been quite a bit about this in the press so you both should be across the issue.

    I don’t visit sites where there is lawless anarchy, so I confess to inexperience there. Nor do I hang around hate sites. I am familiar with cut and thrust argy-bargy on blog sites. I have the freedom to use my scroll wheel which I implement. Do I want to silence anonymous opinion? Nope. I can differentiate between opinion and moronic opinion and act accordingly.

  14. Ray, if somebody began a site directly slandering me and I could prove it, then I would seek recourse through the channels available now. it can be done and it has been done. If legislation making the process more user-friendly, then I’d have no issue with that.

    I do have issue with a registration requirement for all internet users.

  15. Iain Hall says:

    Fiona
    My attitude to anonymous opinion on the net is simple if the poster writes with the same civility as they would in their own name then they get a very big tick from me, but I have had seven years of online experience that has shown me that many who post anonymously take it as a licence for bad and malicious behaviour.

  16. Iain Hall says:

    Fiona
    Sadly it is my duty to report to you that “the channels available now” are both torturous, expensive and largely ineffective which is Why Ray and I are arguing for change.

  17. Well, I thought your original argument was to push for a law that would require all blog owners to register. Now the argument has swung round to effectively simplifying the road to legal recourse. As I said, I have no problem with that.

    As for the cretins posting nasty crap anonymously. In real life, those same people are represented by the thugs on the streets, ripping away the handbags of little old lady pensioners and/or kicking in the heads of innocents whose only mistake was freely walking on the same side of the footpath. Or the hoons in control of lethal weapons – their cars. Do you think regulating the internet is going to stop that sort of behaviour we see in anonymous posters. I doubt it.

    Let’s sheet it home to parents and the examples they’ve set for their offspring. if you are not taught respect and self-discipline at an early age, then those of us who were must learn to endure society’s flotsam.

  18. Ray Dixon says:

    Believe me, Fiona, you’d find it very hard under present laws to do anything about an anonymously authored hate site that targeted you under your real name. You say “it can be done and has been done” – any examples? How, exactly? It’s almost impossible.

    And no one (well, not me) wants to “silence anonymous opinion”. That is not the issue and would not be affected. It’s anonymous hate sites we’re talking about.

    And what exactly is your “issue” with having to register or show id in order to get a blog on the air? How on earth would that impinge on your liberties? I take it you have no issue to showing id in a whole range of other activities you engage in, yet for some reason you object to doing so in order to publish a blog that goes out to the whole world?

    You see, Iain & I both blog under our real names (unlike you, obviously) and what happens is that opens us up to the scumbags out there who just love bringing others down. Have you ever considered exactly why you are too afraid to blog under your own name? Would it be because you fear what might happen if you did? Well, it probably would happen. And then you’d be wanting ALL blog owners to provide proof of identity … like Iain & I do. It beats me why anyone lives in fear so much that they remain anonymous and the only way to combat that is to be brave and fight it. You brave enough?

  19. GD says:

    So why do you blog under your own name Ray?

  20. Ray Dixon says:

    Because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be me.

  21. GD says:

    Hmm… is this a good thing or a bad thing?

  22. Ray Dixon says:

    I think it’s a good thing to be yourself, regardless of the risks. If more people did it then there’d be more people agreeing with me on this issue of blog owners needing to supply id before being given a blog. Brian, Fiona et al don’t see the need because they are (for all intents & purposes) anonymous themselves and, therefore, not subject to the type of personal abuse others engage in. You are partially (or mostly) anonymous – what’s your opinion?

  23. GD says:

    I’m anonymous, although not totally as SW has shown. The reason being that my music clients are generally word of mouth, and thus a google search tends to work like the old yellow pages. If the first twenty entries from google show my name and political opinions on someone else’s blog, that’s hardly helpful.

    Being in the entertainment and music world, most of my clients tend to be of a left wing persuasion. I prefer to keep a low profile, politically, so I can still pay the rent.

    However, I have been quite visible on the Letters page of the SMH with many right wing discourses published under my own name. The difference being readers of the Letters page aren’t searching for my services.

  24. Ray Dixon says:

    Fair enough – although do you get much customer enquiry via the net? If your clients mainly find you from a ‘word-of-mouth’ referall then how does Google come into it?

    Anyway, having read your hardline views on immigration (and muslims) I’m not surprised you’d want to say that under an alias – imagine what SW and the like would do if you revealed more of your life like Iain and I do. They do it because they can and you’d be a prime target. The bottom line is this: if the author of SW had to show ID to WordPress he’d never have started up the blog in the first place and you’d have far less reason to fear posting under your own name.

  25. GD says:

    Ray my comment is in moderation and I would prefer it stayed there for you and Iain only to read it. Thanks.

  26. Ray Dixon says:

    Sure, GD. My response is on that same comment.

  27. Brian says:

    I think it’s a good thing to be yourself, regardless of the risks. If more people did it then there’d be more people agreeing with me on this issue of blog owners needing to supply id before being given a blog. Brian, Fiona et al don’t see the need because they are (for all intents & purposes) anonymous themselves and, therefore, not subject to the type of personal abuse others engage in.

    Ideally, everyone should be able to blog or comment on blogs using their full name. But the reality is that these days it’s far too easy for political or personal comment to be linked to your business, and this can create all kinds of problems (as “GD” has explained above). Also, I’ve seen some bloggers and their trolls get extremely nasty and personal and produce all kinds of personal information about others, simply over a political disagreement.

    For these reasons I think anonymity is not ideal but is a necessity for the people who want to keep their business interests and personal views separate.

  28. Ray Dixon says:

    I’ll just repeat what I said to GD ‘off-view':

    I respect anyone’s right to remain anonymous online, provided they don’t abuse the privilege it affords them. You don’t abuse your anonymity, GD, but unfortunately some people do and that’s why I’m saying what I’m saying. What surprises (and disappoints) me is the lack of support we’re getting on this from other users who themselves are anonymous. That suggests they only care about themselves, even though we’re the ones (Iain and I) taking the risks and providing the forums, information, participation and entertainment for them.

  29. Tel says:

    Tel’s China example is irrelevant – do you seriously believe we’re as totalitarian as they are?

    Well, presuming you were awake at the time the ALP did try to put through a compulsory Internet filter. They gave that up when they saw how unpopular it was but given that they have absolutely no chance of winning the next election, you have to wonder why they care.

    I respect anyone’s right to remain anonymous online, provided they don’t abuse the privilege it affords them.

    Where “privilege” means knowing your place and never criticizing your betters.

    If I wanted to live in China I’d be there already, the tax is lower, and the productivity is higher. Trains on time, you know the schtick.

  30. ” What surprises (and disappoints) me is the lack of support we’re getting on this from other users who themselves are anonymous. That suggests they only care about themselves, even though we’re the ones (Iain and I) taking the risks and providing the forums, information, participation and entertainment for them.”

    What an arrogant thing to say!

    I will repeat for the third time, I do not support mandating registration for blog owners. i do not support the next step which would be mandating all internet users be registered and I do not support the following step which would be censorship. I live in Australia, not China, nor Iran. Luckily, we are in an election year and this current mob of nanny state dictators will be shown the door very soon.

    I have no intention of meekly accepting possible compromise of my online safety because of a requirement to register my real name before I can use the internet and perhaps even elect to start a blog somewhere, just because you and Iain seem to have crossed paths with some of the internet nasties.

    Just as it is with real life you have the choice which rooms you enter and you have the choice with whom you interact.

    Maybe if people didn’t go round arcing others up then perhaps there would be no need for these hate blogs which should be served a takedown order, anyway. It doesn’t need registration details of the proprietor.

  31. Ray Dixon says:

    Fiona, if you had to provide id to the blog provider that’s as far as it would go. It doesn’t “compromise your online safety” it just prevents others from using a blog maliciously.

    You’re over-reacting and, as I pointed out, you are already required in multiple other facets of your life to provide id before you get something – like a license to drive, like a car registered, like a bank account, like a credit card, like a home loan, like a rental property … and the list goes on. How’s that impacted you?

    You call me “arrogant” but then look at your own final paragraph. Wow – we deserved it!

  32. Ray Dixon says:

    Tel, the Internet filter is an entirely different matter – it was to do with child porn. I couldn’t actually see a problem with it but that’s another issue.

    And I run a blog and have done for 7 years. Most people who comment there do so anonymously. And a large percentage of them criticise my opinions – so what? That’s not “abusing the privilege”, not my definition, at least. My definition of abusing the privilege of anonynymity is being malicious and highly personal. Running down my character, my business etc. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

  33. Ray Dixon says:

    Just thinking about this and the reactions from Brian, Tel & Fiona, I’m going to risk incurring your further wrath (and being labelled “arrogant”) by saying that I think you are all being rather precious about this.

    As I said to Fiona, you have to provide id in just about every other facet of your life – to governments and private companies alike – in order to get something you want or permission to do something. Why should procuring a blog – a license to publish at will to the whole world – be any different?

    This slippery slope theory that both Fiona and Tel have advanced is almost paranoid. Oh, we’ll be like China! Seriously? What has the government or organisations like the bank or finance companies done with your details that you have willingly handed over to get something you wanted from them? How does that sit with your ‘next will be censorship’ theory?

    Seriously, give me a break. Having to provide id is commonplace and carries no risks.

  34. Brian says:

    Ray, you seem intent on dragging this issue out ad infinitum, while lecturing and provoking those of us who have different ideas and opinions (which seems to be everyone else, apart from Iain).

    It seems far more of an issue for you than for anyone else, so why not take it to your local parliamentarian and see what he/she thinks?

  35. Ray, it’s pretty clear you are pushing a personal agenda. I happen not to subscribe to your methods to achieve your goal.

    I sympathise with you if you have been slighted and if I were to find myself in your position, I would probably feel the same way. However, I am not in your position and probably for good reason. I keep my personal life off the internet.

    GD is using his/her brain by separating business from pleasure when it comes to internet activity.

    I come back to my point regarding cyber safety. If you want to be an open book – then you go against all recommendations, including those from the government. That’s your call. It’s not mine.

    The internet is not confined to the backyard of any one of us. It’s the world wide web and with that comes the obvious dangers of cyber crime, a biggie – as well as those who derive their jollies from stalking and those who love to create mayhem. That IS the internet and there is no escaping that fact. There is no way any form of regulation, legislative or otherwise, would be effective. You have a choice, of course. You can leave the internet altogether.

    It is wrong to attempt to castigate Tel, Brian and me for not supporting you in your mission to push for registration of internet users. That’s what you are driving towards. Across-the-board registration of everyone – in Australia at least. Your motion would never get up overseas!

    You then think you can wallop Tel (and me, indirectly) for drawing a parallel between Senator ‘Censorship’ Conroy’s Mandatory Internet Filter and your Mandatory Internet User Registration. I repeat, mandatory registration would not simply be confined to blog proprietors.

    I am watching the Gillard government slow chip away at our freedoms as it is, outlined in my previous posts. I am sure my illustrations point to the fact I don’t trust this regime with my freedom as it stands today and I certainly don’t trust them to even look in the direction of the internet, let alone tamper with our access rights in whatever form they may take.

    This is a slippery slope, Ray. Once you start fiddling at the edges of internet freedom, one small snowball will inevitably cause a huge avalanche. Is that what you really want?

  36. Anyone else’s posts being subjected to moderation now, Iain – or just mine?

    Enquiring minds need to know! :-)

  37. GD says:

    Hi Fiona, you may have inadvertantly used one of Iain’s banned words. Check the comments policy. Be reassured, no-one is moderating your comments, other than that devilish wordpress script.

    I’ve been caught many times.

  38. Thanks, GD – I’m pretty sure none of my words were suspect, but I will check, nonetheless. It was pretty lengthy which may account for the time taken.

    Looks like it’s gone through now :-)

  39. LOL – it must have been my use of the word storking. Got it!

  40. Ray Dixon says:

    Brian, I put forward an idea in the form of a formal blog post. You have’dragged out’ this issue, not me, by your constant and repeated objections to it – even though your objections were disproved. And of course you’re not as concerned about blogger id as Iain and I are and we’ve already covered that. You don’t blog or even comment under your real name – you use anonymity to protect whatever it is you feel you need to protect. Not that I think there’s anything wrong with that. Anyway, as I said in my last comment, making a big deal about providing id to get a blog is an over-reaction.

    My local member is Sophie Mirabella – no thanks.

  41. Ray Dixon says:

    That would trigger it, Fiona. Anyway, I released it for you.

    I don’t have a “personal agenda”, I have a personal opinion that malicious abuse on the Internet by anonymous people is a large problem that requires real solutions – and just giving up and going anonymous myself is not a solution at all, it’s just caving in to the bullies. And I’m hardly alone in holding that opinion – even the PM is trying to find a solution, albeit hopelessly.

    Sorry if you think I “walloped” you & Tel over the ‘slippery slope’ stuff but it was pretty tame. It’s no wonder you don’t use your own name if you’re that sensitive. And you’ve just repeated that you subscribe to the slippery slope theory re the Internet, yet you ignored my valid questions (twice asked) about all the other id you willingly give out without fear of consequence.

    I know you might think this sounds “arrogant” but I have to say it:

    Being concerned about giving the blog provider id is like worrying that the govt will use your medicare details to poison you.

    Now please try to stay calm and don’t take that to heart. Think about it.

  42. GD says:

    Fiona, while the rest of us may be able walk away from such harassment, it seems Iain and Ray have been subject to rather extreme on-line behaviour. I was a recipient of such behaviour for a blink or two a while back, as a result of this blog, and it not only annoyed me, it frightened me. I’m sure such unwarranted attention is still being focused on the Sandpit and its regular commenters.

    However I am in agreement with you about the Gillard government attempting to censor the internet, censor our opinions and censor our right to disagree with anyone in case we offend them, which is what the recently proposed legislation is really about.

    Bring on the election.

  43. Ray Dixon says:

    I think you’re letting your political bias show, GD. Where in the article I have quoted and linked to does it suggest Gillard is attempting to censor the Internet? She’s merely trying to arrange voluntary protocols with the blog format providers etc to deal with complaints. She needs to actually go further and require bloggers by law to show id to those providers but she hasn’t workled it out yet. Even if she does, how would that bring about or lead to censorship? The slippery slope, eh?

  44. Correct, GD. This regime wants censorship enacted badly and that must never be allowed to slip through. We must remain alert whilst the Gillard government holds power.

    I’m sorry to hear you have also been subject to unwarranted attention from a cyber moron or morons.

    Ray, I am nothing but calm in this conversation with you. And sensitive is something I am not.

    I have already said your comparison between information required by the law of the land and that you wish to attach to the worldwide web are worlds apart. it won’t happen.

    The PM couldn’t find her way out of a paper bag, so entrusting her to enact some form of retribution for you is naive to say the least.

    At this stage, we’ve reached a stalemate. I don’t expect you to concede your motion is impractical and pushing into the realm of outright censorship. I will be standing by my belief that the internet is beyond modification and should remain as such.

  45. GD says:

    Of course my bias is on display. Ray, I wasn’t questioning you, I was agreeing with Fiona’s references to Labor’s internet filter and Roxon’s ‘offend and be damned’ legislation. This voluntary protocol idea will fall by the wayside just as every other labor initiative has. As you say:

    She’s merely trying to arrange voluntary protocols with the blog format providers etc to deal with complaints

    ‘Merely trying’ is all she can do. This won’t go anywhere. As of now she is a lame duck prime minister erecting cardboard barricades against her inevitable demise. Any ‘merely trying’ to do is just that, ‘merely trying’.

    And be sure, this issue will be lowest on her list of ‘things to do to keep me in power’.

    I reckon a blow dry and new colour from Timmy will take precedence.

  46. Ray Dixon says:

    your comparison between information required by the law of the land and that you wish to attach to the worldwide web are worlds apart.

    Fiona, they’re only “apart” because presently the ‘law of the land’ hasn’t caught up with the Internet. But the principle of giving id to a blog provider (in confidence) is exactly the same as giving it to any other company from whom you seek something. And btw, much of the id you and/or most people presently give out is not actually required under law, such as giving id to hire a car or to inspect a property at an open inspection. Funny that people would trust a real estate agent with their id but object to providing it to open a blog.

    The PM couldn’t find her way out of a paper bag, so entrusting her to enact some form of retribution for you is naive to say the least

    I’ve clearly said she’s “hopeless” and I’m not entrusting her to work it out at all. Do you read what I’ve said before you respond?

    your motion is impractical and pushing into the realm of outright censorship.

    The notion of simply providing id before you’re given a blog is a simple process and entirely practical. And it’s nowhere near outright censorship – that’s like saying giving id to to pay by cheque @ Bunnings is “pushing into the realm” of identity theft.

    I will be standing by my belief that the internet is beyond modification and should remain as such

    Then you believe it will continue to devolve into a cyber ‘bitch war’ and should remain so? Some pretty nasty stuff going on out there, Fiona.

    we’ve reached a stalemate

    On that I agree. You’re as stubborn as I am, however, your arguments are more fear-based and lack reasoning (in my opinion). Good night.

  47. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh, okay, GD – I agree with that.

  48. Brian says:

    Brian, I put forward an idea in the form of a formal blog post. You have’dragged out’ this issue, not me, by your constant and repeated objections to it – even though your objections were disproved.

    The only thing that’s been proved is that we all have different views on the matter. You are just obsessed about being right, so you keep dredging the issue up (as you did with the comment before mine) and hectoring other commenters, implying that they are either stupid or malevolent if they don’t agree with you. I appreciate that you have strong views on the subject and that you have been personally affected by anonymous blog posts. But frankly, I find your thuggish approach to debate to be tiresome. Why can’t you just accept that others might not agree with everything you propose?

    And of course you’re not as concerned about blogger id as Iain and I are and we’ve already covered that. You don’t blog or even comment under your real name – you use anonymity to protect whatever it is you feel you need to protect. Not that I think there’s anything wrong with that.

    Well to be honest, I’m not sure the disease warrants the medicine. I’ve been using the web since the early 90s and I’ve never been targeted by an anonymous blog or any sustained online harassment. I’m not even sure I’ve been witness to any. I’ve seen blogs and sites with offensive and insulting comments, but almost nothing that qualifies as defamatory or criminal. I’ve known a couple of teachers who have had students post the usual defamatory stuff about them, but they’ve been able to deal with it easy enough.

    And before you come out with it, no, that is not a denial that it goes on. Of course it does. I’m just wondering how much it goes on. And whether we should regulate and change an entire ecosystem to quash what is ultimately a very small number of ratbags (most of whom would, if ignored, soon fade away).

    Re: your analogy of showing ID in other areas of life. Yes, you show ID when getting a licence, because cars kill people. You show ID at the bank to deter fraudulent financial activity. You show ID at work so you can’t dodge tax. But showing ID to blog gets into a much greyer area, where everything you write and every political opinion you voice is archived forever and inextricably linked to your name. I’m not sure imposing that to deal with a few ratbags is a proportionate measure.

    My local member is Sophie Mirabella – no thanks.

    Ah Sophie… say no more. You might as well raise the issue with Dame Edna.

  49. Ray Dixon says:

    I accept you have a different opinion, Brian. I don’t accept your rationale – it doesn’t add up and you (and some others) are making far too much of the implications of simply showing id (in confidence) in order to procure a FREE blog and a worldwide publishing vehicle. It’s certainly a major problem – ask the PM. Anyway, if you call that “thuggish” so be it, but from where I sit, it’s you who won’t agree to disagree.

  50. Ray Dixon says:

    Correction – that last bit should read:

    … if you call that “thuggish” so be it, but you’re the one hurling insults. And from where I sit, it’s you who won’t agree to disagree

  51. Um – where are the insults you’ve just accused Brian of hurling, Ray? Perhaps, I’m going blind because I can only see a well thought out and rational post from him.

    Your last sentence “And from where I sit, it’s you who won’t agree to disagree” doesn’t make sense.

    My experience is the same as Brian’s. I have yet to come across an obnoxious blog and I’ve been on the internet since 2000.

    If anyone is being precious, it’s you.

    Enjoy the rest of your day. I’m tired of trotting round in circles with this discussion. it’s going nowhere.

  52. Ray Dixon says:

    Then there wasn’t much point to your comment was there, Fiona?

  53. Craig says:

    Gen Y is generally apolitical, election eh, who cares…

    Senator surveillance state wants to filter the internet…

    Gen Y up in political arms.

    See my generation is good for something. :-D

  54. Ray Dixon says:

    You’re showing your age.

  55. GD says:

    Gen Y up in political arms

    Is it? How so?

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