Over the last couple of months, people I barely know have felt compelled to tell me what they think of Bill Henson. My bank manager, mechanic, barista, and others, have all ranted at me about him . They mimic Australian Prime Minister, Kevin 'The General' Rudd's view that the work is "revolting". Like Rudd, they haven't actually seen it. They're just caught up by the media witch hunt. The fact that Henson has never been charged with anything, anywhere, becomes irrelevant. Bill Henson is an established, internationally recognised and critically acclaimed artist. He has represented Australia at the Venice Biennale and has works in major institutions in the USA, Paris, and throughout Australia. The themes he explores – and the pre- and early adolescent nudity in his work – are far from new. Yes, at times I find his imagery discomforting – but not because of prurience. It reminds me of my own adolescence, when I wanted to wear make-up and fake nails and shave my legs. The idea of a child exploring a changing body and the roles – sexual and otherwise – of the woman or man they are about to grow into, is normal. Hell, like most kids, I discovered masturbation in primary school and all my peers were curious about 'private parts'. Still, Henson's work, exhibited in a private gallery, was censored. Because of this, people were unable to form opinions about it for themselves, let alone discuss differing opinions rationally. As always, censorship denies an informed response and imposes the notion that adults need to be nannied and protected – usually from themselves.Censorship of Henson's work is only the tip of the iceberg. Australia is now joining China, Russia and other parts of S.E. Asia in implementing mandatory censoring of the internet. In a quote that could be Newspeak, straight from Orwell's Nineteen-Eighty-Four, the Australian Federal Government has said that the censoring filter will block "unwanted content". It has nothing to do with legality – no-one voted for this and it has not even been debated in parliament. A trial run with selected ISPs will begin before Christmas. Of course, my own web presence could be effected, even though my site and blog are digitally archived by the National Library of Australia. Given the response to Henson's work, it's not far-fetched to envision that my work could be construed as "unwanted" or even illegal. Depending on how some anonymous public servant or low-ranking ISP network manager construes the subject matter of one of my drawings, my sites could be barred or worse, I could – like Henson – be branded a pedophile in the public imagination.I have added a link on this blog to No Clean Feed, a website calling for action against internet censorship in Australia. I urge you to sign the petition to Stop Australian Internet Censorship, and take further action to help fight this serious erosion of our rights. Even if you're not Australian, remember, this could happen to you!