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PLEASE, PLEASE let there be another planet out there where commonsense, honesty, decency and respect are the norm, and where corporations have been stripped of their ‘person’ status. And PLEASE tell us how to find it! Because things are really looking grim on Planet Earth where every day, more government-sanctioned corporate outrages occur. It’s a constant fight between the We, the People, and Them, the corrupt companies and their bought-and-paid-for politicians, who try to keep us in the dark, like mushrooms, feeding us bullshit. It’s tiring but, thanks to the Net and the fact People 2 People communications have taken over from the corporate media which used to be our sole sources of data and information, we’re making progress. In one of the latest wins, the Australian government’s efforts to censor the Net have effectively been scuttled, says the Sydney Morning Herald. And according to the story, it’s largely down to independent senator Nick Xenophon who joined the Greens and Opposition to block legislation required to get the scheme started. “The Opposition’s communications spokesman Nick Minchin has this week obtained independent legal advice saying that if the Government is to pursue a mandatory filtering regime ‘legislation of some sort will almost certainly be required’,” says the story. Senator Nick Xenophon previously indicated he may support a filter that blocks online gambling websites but in a phone interview today he withdrew all support, saying “the more evidence that’s come out, the more questions there are on this”. The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has consistently ignored advice from a host of technical experts saying the filters would slow the internet, block legitimate sites, be easily bypassed and fall short of capturing all of the nasty content available online. Despite this, he is pushing ahead with trials of the scheme using six ISPs - Primus, Tech 2U, Webshield, OMNIconnect, Netforce and Highway 1. But even the trials have been heavily discredited, with experts saying the lack of involvement from the three largest ISPs, Telstra, Optus and iiNet, means the trials will not provide much useful data on the effects of internet filtering in the real-world. Senator Conroy originally pitched the filters as a way to block child porn but - as ISPs, technical experts and many web users feared - the targets have been broadened significantly since then. A secret blacklist contains 1370 sites, “only 674 of which relate to depictions of children under 18,” says the SMH, adding: “This week Senator Conroy said there was ‘a very strong case for blocking’ other legal content that has been ‘refused classification’. According to the classification code, this includes sites depicting drug use, crime, sex, cruelty, violence or ‘revolting and abhorrent phenomena’ that ‘offend against the standards of morality’. The Australian government, “has said it was considering expanding the blacklist to 10,000 sites and beyond,” adds the story.