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About this website

SydWalker.Info is a personal website. I live in tropical Australia near Cairns. I oppose war, plutocracy, injustice, sectarian supremacism and apartheid. I support urgent action to achieve genuine sustainability and a fair and prosperous society for all. I rely upon - and support - free speech as defined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see below).

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"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers"

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Unless otherwise indicated, material on this website is written by Syd Walker.

Anyone is welcome to re-publish material sourced from this site, as long as the source is acknowledged with a hyperlink.

Material from other sources reproduced here is presented on a 'Fair Use' basis. I try to cite references accurately. Please contact me if you have queries, comments, broken link reports, complaints - or just to say hello.

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Beyond the Fringe: Dialogue with 'James'
Nov 30th, 2008 by Syd Walker

I have become embroiled in a debate with someone who calls himself ‘James’, on the SomebodyThinkoftheChildren website.

James Who?That excellent site is at the forefront of the No Clean Feed campaign. Run by Brisbane-based IT expert Michael Meloni, it mounts a powerful anti-censorship case on various fronts, focusing on Australia. Right now, the hottest topic is the Rudd Government’s plan to introduce compulsory Internet censorship.

SomebodyThinkoftheChildren, in my opinion, is an essential daily visit for Australians at this time.

James has raised concerns that I should not be ‘exalted’ and he says he’s worried the campaign will be tarnished by the involvment of someone with such “incredibly fringe opinions”.

I’ve responded a couple of times.

Here’s my latest response on the thread over there (corrected for typos and mis-spellings):

OK James. This is positively my last comment on this thread, as I don’t want to impose on Mike’s blog, which is focused on censorship issues and doesn’t need to become cluttered with extraneous debates.

Actually, I agree with you in one sense. If it became easy for the Government to portray members of the anti-clean feed campaign as people who hold non-mainstream views on other topics, that would be a problem.

But is it likely? My minor contributions to the campaign are eclipsed by the long-standing contributions of people like Mike Meloni and Dale Clapperton – and many, many others more technologically knowledgable than I am.

On the blog again
Nov 2nd, 2008 by Syd Walker

It seems this blog is back in business.

Several years ago I got drawn into local environmental campaigning, mainly because the State government of the day decided to build a 4-Lane Highway most of the way to my backdoor, trashing World heritage rainforest in the process and locking the region into long-term car-dependency.

Happily, the current State Government, under Anna Bligh’s more enightened leadership, has taken a rain check on this mad proposal.

Earlier this year, after copping a good thrashing in the local government elections, I found myself once again able to resume life as a cyber-peasant.

Now I discover that the Australian Internet is under attack. The Federal Government (whose election I celebrated not many months ago) is starting to look like it might be a real pest. The ghost of Blairism, perhaps? Playing fast and loose with our civil liberties.

Lenin’s famous quotation springs to mind: “You may not be interested in war… but war is interested in you”. Governments are like that too, it seems.

It takes a lot to stir up most Australians, but Senator Conroy may have found the magic formula.

Australia’s blogosphere hasn’t really got started on this yet. The revival of this blog, in part, is my small contribution to the cause.

The Rudd Government has a simple remedy.  If it’s really concerned about the matter of Internet censorship and wants the topic thoroughy considered, refer it to a Senate Inquiry. Let’s get the facts on the table and have a rational public debate. Thought before action.

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