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Ingrid Jakobsen ([personal profile] ingrid) wrote2010-04-05 10:35 am

Internet censorship

Dear Senator Conroy,

Stop being so embarrassingly out of touch with your own portfolio. Lee Kuan Yew, "minister mentor" of Singapore, a control freak extraordinaire, understands the practicalities of the internet better than you do. From The Singapore Solution by Marc Jacobson (that is weird for me to type!) in the January 2010 issue of National Geographic:

The great engine of cultural change, of course, is the Internet, that cyber fly in the authoritarian ointment. Lee acknowledges the threat. "We banned Playboy in the sixties, and it is still banned, that's true, but now, with the Internet, you get much more than you ever could from Playboy." Allowing pornography sites while banning magazines may seem contradictory. But attempting to censor the Internet, as has been tried in China, would be pointless, Lee says. It is an exquisitely pragmatic reply. [p.148]

If Lee Kuan Yew, who is significantly older than Conroy, and has much broader political interests and responsibilities, understands that the Internet is not just another medium that can be controlled like magazines, the fact that Conroy can't, or won't, speaks volumes about either his comprehension or his motivation.