Australia has a new political party whose goals are in line with modern thinking by advocating a little more sex in the lives of people. In sharp contrast to right wing conservatives who deny reality, the sex experts want a national sex curriculum in schools and recognition of gay marriage. According to Eros head, Fiona Patten, “we’re concerned about the Australian government becoming nanny state.” She had hoped Kevin Rudd would be more open to ideas, and was shocked when he termed photographs of nude teenagers as “shocking.” Ms. Patten also expressed concerns about a government proposal for a national Internet filter that would block about 10,000 web sites.
The Chinese government blocks web sites it deems offensive because they express ideas about freedom, the Iran government does not want its youth accessing 5,000,000 web sites that offer a variety of ideas about life in the 21st century and now Australia is concerned that people will access information about sex. One can be against pornography without denying the right of those who enjoy it their right to pursue what attracts their interest. Government has no place making decisions about personal human interests.
China’s booming Internet population has defied attempts by its government to exert control and continues growing at the fastest rate of any nation in the world. There are currently 253,000,000 Chinese on the Internet compared to 223.1 million Americans. The Chinese figure represents a 56% increase from a year ago. This means approximately 19% of the Chinese population is online compared to 71% in the United States. It represents the first time another nation has soared ahead of the United States in access to the Internet. Of course, one dramatic difference is the extent of government interference with use of the Internet by Chinese authorities. Beijing blocks access to Web sites run by dissidents, human rights groups, and some foreign news media. For example, the Chinese population was blocked from seeing pictures or stories concerning Tibetan protests several months ago.
The research firm BOA China, says China’s online population should keep growing by 18% annually and will reach about 490 million by 2012, a number that exceeds the population of the United States. The bad news is continued Chinese government efforts to suppress dissident voices on the Internet. The good news is this spurt in Internet membership offers possibilities the creative ingenuity of those on Internet may one day surpass the ability of any government to suppress the voices of freedom.