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Censorship Government The Internet News

National Censorship Plan Offensive, Says Aussie Shadow Minister 116

downundarob writes "Senator Nick Minchin, the Australian Shadow Minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, has written (or more likely a staffer has written) this interesting article on the Australian Federal Government's continued zeal to enforce ISP-level filtering in Australia. In the article he posits that 'Underlying the Rudd Government's plan to screen the internet is an offensive message: that parents cannot be trusted to mind their children online.' Meanwhile, we wait for filtering trials to start, trials that have been delayed and which have next-to-no support among the industry. Telstra BigPond — Australia's largest ISP — has refused to take part, comparing internet filtering to 'like trying to boil the ocean.' The third largest, iiNet, is prepared to participate to highlight flaws."
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National Censorship Plan Offensive, Says Aussie Shadow Minister

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  • by carlzum ( 832868 ) on Sunday January 25, 2009 @03:29AM (#26596345)
    From the article:

    The minister must start listening to the experts, who have repeatedly made the point that most predatory risks to children lurk in those areas of the online world this kind of filtering will do little to combat.

    Blacklists and content scanning will have, at best, a negligible impact on child predators and pornographers. Any progress will be quickly negated as pedophiles adapt to the technology. Even proponents of the filter have to recognize that.

    Given the enormous monetary and social costs, I can't believe this will ever really materialize. I'm sure some politicians exploited the issue for their own benefit, but I suspect the idea will either go away or be implemented in a symbolic, watered-down manner.

  • Censorship (Score:2, Interesting)

    by candreacchio ( 1418793 ) on Sunday January 25, 2009 @03:35AM (#26596363)
    Well... The Senator for Censorship is becoming more and more unpopular in australia.... I was part of his trial for internet censorship (was... i switched ISP's) and let me say this... it was appalling the speeds we were getting.... I mean.. loading up took at least 30 seconds on a decent speed broadband
  • Re:So... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wellingj ( 1030460 ) on Sunday January 25, 2009 @04:08AM (#26596473)
    Don't kid yourself. Obama will also do anything to protect his flock including an electric fence up despite the fact that some of them are sheepdogs that neither need nor want his protection.
  • i still object to the term "shadow" anything, mainly because of the immediate gut negative reaction, that the post you were responding to alludes to. i listen to the bbc alot, and i constantly hear the term "shadow" used in terms of opposition politics, and i always scratch my head over the term

    in the usa, there is no pro-abortion movement, there is a "pro-choice" movement

    in the usa, there is no anti-abortion movement, there is a "pro-life" movement

    there aren't even used cars anymore. they are all "certified pre-owned"

    the whole point is, people have negative gut reactions to certain words, and so, such words are avoided for public relations reasons. in fact, governments and poliicians are usually most sensitive to this phenomenon, and are very antagonistic to angry or creepy sounding phrases and words and negative connotations, and the first to propose alternative phraseology with a very vague touchy feeling positivism about it

    so it feels very weird to me to hear anyone in politics or government referred to as "shadow" anything without protesting and using an alternative term. i would, in fact, bet on seeing a slow scaling down and fading away of the term "shadow" anything in respect to government terminology. i mean heck, why not call him "sith lord"?

    creepy and vague terminology is not a winner in political contexts. call him the "alternative minister" or the "new way minister", but not the "shadow minister"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 25, 2009 @05:37AM (#26596761)

    Internet filtering
    Thank you for your correspondence concerning internet service provider (ISP) filtering.
    I appreciate your interest in this important issue.
    I am aware that the issue of ISP filtering has attracted criticism from people who are concerned that it will lead to censorship of the internet.
    Freedom of speech is fundamentally important in a democratic society. For many years however, most Australians have accepted that there is some material which is not acceptable, particularly for children.
    The genesis of this is in civil society where social conflict is governed by the imposition of rules that restrain citizens from harming one another and society as a whole accepts that the public interest requires that those rules are enforced.
    This is why we have the National Classification Scheme (the Scheme) for classifying films, computer games, and publications. Under the Scheme, it is illegal to distribute, sell or make available for hire material that is classified Refused Classification (RC).
    The internet is already subject to regulation which prevents ISPs or other internet content providers from hosting prohibited content as defined under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 within Australia. Prohibited content is determined by reference to the Scheme.
    We also have strong criminal laws aimed at preventing people from possessing or distributing material relating to child sexual abuse, including over the internet.
    The Australian Government recognises that the internet is an essential tool for all Australian children through which they can exchange information, be entertained, socialise and do school work and research. The ability to use online tools effectively provides both a skill for life and the means to acquire new skills.
    Cyber-safety commitment
    The Government has committed $125.8 million over the next four years to a comprehensive range of cyber-safety measures, including law enforcement, filtering and education. Measures include:
    â Expansion of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Child Protection Operations Team - funding to detect and investigate online child sex exploitation;
    â Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions - funding to help deal with the increased activity resulting from the work of the AFP to ensure that prosecutions are handled quickly;
    â ISP-level filtering - funding to develop and implement ISP filtering, including undertaking a real world âliveâ(TM) pilot;
    â Education activities - funding to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to implement a comprehensive range of education activities;
    â Websites / Online helpline - funding to ACMA to improve current government cyber-safety website resources and to make them easier for parents to use, and to provide up-to-date information. ACMA will also develop a childrenâ(TM)s cyber-safety website to provide information specifically for children, and improve the online helpline to provide a quick and easy way for children to report online incidents that cause them concern;
    â Consultative Working Group - funding for an expanded Consultative Working Group. This group will consider the broad range of cyber-safety issues and advise the Government, to ensure properly developed and targeted policy initiatives;
    â Youth Advisory Group - funding for a Youth Advisory Group which will provide advice to the Consultative Working Group on cyber-safety issues from a young personâ(TM)s perspective; and
    â Research - funding for ongoing research into the changing digital environment to identify issues and target future policy and funding.
    International cooperation in regard to online safety is crucial. The Government is pursuing an international agenda for collaborative action on cyber-safety. Progress on this was made through my recent engagement at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) forum in Seoul in June 2008. The Seoul Declaration for the Future of the Internet Economy states that partic

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 25, 2009 @06:09AM (#26596871)

    You know what? Fuck that Children, yeah I said it. I am tired of these little snot rags ruining it for the rest of us. Are parents so fucking stoned or lazy that they can't monitor their children? What the hell is Australia turning into. People give the United States a lot of shit but we have no where the level of bull in our ISP system. We have players like Comcast wanting to cut down on the amount of bandwidth used but that is for their own greedy selfish needs and not because the Government wants to sanitize everything in the same of little shit bags between the ages of 6 and 17. Wow a kid sees a titty or worse on the interwebs. Hey guess what, almost every kid has at the beginning of their life been pulled out of a stretched vagina and has breast fed. Anyway it always seems to be the most sheltered children turn into the hardest oversexed drug addict ready to shoot the next person who stands in the way of their next fix. So lets stop halting the progression and overall enjoyment of society because of some shitbag kid who will grow up as fucked up as the rest of it. For as long as there has been civilization there have been kids in those civilizations and they have grown up and done the same bullshit as their kin before them. The only thing that has changed are the tools of those civilization (technology, governments, worldview, etc). These snot rag 6-17 year olds are going to grow up to be the same assholes as we are and will attempt the same logical fallacy that they can change the next generation to follow the "right path" that they didn't get a chance to because of the adults of today. It's a stupid cycle and if we try to fuck with it, we will only make things worse. All anyone can do is parent your kid on an individual level, try to teach them some of values and guide them to becoming a productive member of society. Think about this for a second, why is it the guys with the outward appearance of being a saint have the most fucked up skeletons in their closet?

  • Re:Censorship (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Just because I'm an ( 847583 ) on Sunday January 25, 2009 @08:29AM (#26597307)
    Your apparent pride in having difficulty with English aside I suspect the other point of contention was your claim that no filtering had yet taken place.

    You will find that infact some trials in Tasmania have already taken place and a report on the effectiveness, or otherwise, of that effort can be had here [].

"Remember, extremism in the nondefense of moderation is not a virtue." -- Peter Neumann, about usenet