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Australian Govt. Proposes Internet "Panic Button" For Kids 434

CuteSteveJobs writes "Children who feel they are being bullied, harassed or groomed online could call for help instantly using a 'panic button' on their PCs under a plan by the Australian Government's cyber-safety working group. The button shall look like a 'friendly dolphin,' who will connect the child victim instantly to police or child protection groups. Australian Internet Censorship Advocate Hetty 'Save the Children' Johnson says the Internet needs something like 000 or 911. Will this be another scheme wasting taxpayer dollars in lieu of parental supervison, or could it actually work? Are 1 in 4 children really sexually abused by the Internet? Can flaming and trolling be classified as bullying?"
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Australian Govt. Proposes Internet "Panic Button" For Kids

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  • by Sfing_ter ( 99478 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @02:25PM (#30228526) Homepage Journal []
    My wife has one of those on her keyboard, it's pretty funny.

  • How long until (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jDeepbeep ( 913892 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @02:27PM (#30228550)
    How long then until a worm emerges that floods the govt with hundreds of thousands of fradulent calls, making the signal to noise ratio too burdensome to navigate?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @02:33PM (#30228644)

    Making a big friendly button just sitting there, shining at them? Kids are going to pushing that thing like crazy.

  • as long as the panic button dials the parent's cellphone/ sends a text to the parent/ sends an email to the parent

    not to some intrusive government bureaucracy with an agenda having dubious additional goals beyond just good parenting, not tailored to the specifics of each different parent-child relationship, and costing tax dollars

    otherwise, its basically just a good business idea for someone to invest in and flesh out

    i look forward to unintentionally humorous late night tv commercials for the internet panic button

    "mom! i've fallen into porn and i can't get up!"'ve_fallen_and_I_can't_get_up []!

  • Hacked (Score:4, Interesting)

    by T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @02:36PM (#30228700)
    You know the absolute first thing that will happen is that some pedo-hacker will use a PC virus to hack into the Dolphin and send all "panic" help requests to themselves.
  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @02:37PM (#30228710) Homepage Journal

    Your attitude is exactly why people don't ask for help when they're in a bad place. The result is school shootings, suicides, and other depressing events. Not just among teens either. Adults in general listen to your kind of belittlement and think they're weak if they ask for help.

    This is a particular problem in first responders and members of the armed services. They see all kind of horrible crap, need help in dealing with it, and are afraid to get it because they don't want to seem "weak". This is a particular problem in the Army, which is seeing a spike in suicides lately.

    Mind you, I'm not equating a bullied teenager with a GI who's seen his friends blown up by an IED. But they do have one thing in common: they need for it to be easy to ask for help, and people like you make it hard.

  • by Archfeld ( 6757 ) * <> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @02:38PM (#30228726) Journal
    "Are 1 in 4 children really sexually abused by the Internet?"
    Err NO, exactly ZERO (0) children have ever been sexually abused by the internet. Nor for that matter have any children EVER been sexually abused over the internet, on the internet, or even around the internet. The internet has undoubtedly been a tool used by sexual predators to get access or to provide information on the location of children which they would then prey upon and abuse, but just like a gun has never shot anyone by itself, a interconnected system of computers has never abused or neglected a child, it takes people to do that.... []
  • by Perp Atuitie ( 919967 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @02:41PM (#30228776)
    children cannot be abused by the internet. My question is, how is it that the "defenders of children" never have a clue about children? How many law enforcement resources does Australia plan to throw at answering calls from kids who just wonder what the pretty button does, who think the police should arrest Bobby for calling him a troll, who get scared of the "2012" preview they stumbled onto, who just want to stir things up? If we really want to "protect" kids we'd be better off banning idiocy like this and restricting parenthood to those with the capacity to do the job.
  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @02:53PM (#30228956) Homepage Journal

    Hi all,

    I know this may come across as extremely controversial but I urge you to hear me out.

    For decades parents have looked to schools, sports, and the telly to be their babysitters, and the latest is for myspace, yahoo, and AOL chat rooms to watch over their preteens. This has proven to not work out so well - child molestation is becoming more commonplace, children's attention spans are about the same as that of a goldfish, and they have become very unruly and disrespectful, dropping the F-bomb to old ladies.

    Now people are urging the gubbament to step in and introduce a panic button their children can hit, so the government will babysit their children.

    The crux of the issue is personal responsibility. Personal responsibility is a thing of the past; viewed as outmoded and harmful. After all, if government doesn't take care of you, who will?

    No, what I suggest is revolutionary. It's also frightening, and it takes effort. However, in the long run I think it could work.

    My suggestion is that we bring back personal responsibility. Parents should actually supervise their children. If your child isn't old enough to go out on a date by her or himself, or isn't old enough to go to a pool hall and stay out of trouble, then that child is young enough to require constant supervision. Grow a set, put in some time and actually be PARENTS. You made the conscious decision to conceive a child, now frigging raise the child. Don't look to me to pay taxes for the government to do it for you.

    Oh, and on a different-yet-similar topic: bullying. Don't push for laws against bullying, because what you are doing is creating thought crime. The current bills being introduce don't make bullying a crime based on action and intention, but on perception. They are worded such that if, for example, I have a migraine and my brow is furrowed and I glance in your direction, you could interpret that as intimidation or harassment, and press charges against me. Or, similarly, if you're listening to a podcast and are LOLing at it, and you happen to be glancing in the direction of someone with low self esteem on the subway, that person could think you're laughing at them and press charges for bullying. Instead, you should be instructing your kid who is being bullied to just grow a pair. He should beat the snot out of the bully - or at least make his very best effort to kick the bully in the family jewels. Bleeding hearts claim violence never solves violence, but that's bullshit. Appeasement never curbed the aggression of axis powers, but a nuke ended WWII in seconds. Israel has attempted to appease radical Muslims for decades and yet the Muslims will not be happy until all the Jews are pushed into the sea and Muslims occupy that puny strip of land they had ZERO interest in prior to 1947. What HAS worked is attacking the Arab states back in definitive, decisive blows.

    Bullies have been bullies since man started to walk, and you know what has worked? Not ignoring them. Not killing them with kindness. Not tattling to the teacher or principal. No, what works is not taking their shit, turn around, and beat the shit out of the bully - or at least try to. Then, the bullies stop because they know you're not an easy target.

    Stop looking to government to solve all of your personal problems.

    Personal responsibilty; Crime and consequences. If you do not want to engage in an interactive, responsible relationship with your children, or are unable to, do not bring children into the world - or give them up for adoption by a couple who is willing to put forth the effort.

    We're creating a nanny state and allowing too much government interference in personal lives as it is.

  • I am confused... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ghostis ( 165022 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @03:07PM (#30229118) Homepage

    WTF happened to setting limits as a parent? This seems to be the classic "surely we can find a technical solution to a people problem" hole. What about requiring parents to take child-rearing classes that cover internet predators and how to limit children's activities on the 'net until they are ready to handle the mostly adult online world? This seems like anti-virus tools; the OS is broken so let's build a band-aid that covers the holes. It seems like it would be better, a la the US Head Start program, to educate parents early in the process so their kids don't get into these situations until they are mature enough to handle them.

  • Re:How long until (Score:3, Interesting)

    by corbettw ( 214229 ) <{corbettw} {at} {}> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @03:17PM (#30229282) Journal

    What would be the motivator for such a malicious act? There's no money to be gained, and if they were caught, they'd have the book thrown at them.

    Yes, because those two attributes have kept criminals from ever doing anything malicious that didn't result in monetary profit sufficient to outweigh the possible jail time.

  • by DarkVader ( 121278 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @04:51PM (#30230408)

    Police officers have a very limited amount of training in what the law actually is, and they are not known for being the brightest people.

    I wouldn't put much more trust in what a cop says is legal than in the average person on the street. Police are not attorneys, and are not judges. They might be able to identify an armed robbery, but if a legal question is much more complex than that, most cops are lost. Their training consists of a very small subset of law, with an emphasis on acting first and thinking later.

    The good ones will just walk away. The bad ones will make an illegal arrest, causing someone some serious inconvenience.

    And that's not being anti-police. That's being realistic. You want to fix it? Require cops to have law degrees.

  • by B1oodAnge1 ( 1485419 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @05:15PM (#30230662)

    I'd mod you up if I could.

    I am fascinated by the human species apparent drive to thwart evolution based on the ludicrous assumption that we somehow know a "better" way than what got us here.

  • by binary paladin ( 684759 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <nidalapyranib>> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @07:50PM (#30231890)

    And most of these apes take an oath to uphold and defend the state and federal constitution. Any guesses as to how many of them have actually read the damn things?

    The problem is, even the leadership in most police departments is clueless. I'm currently in a lawsuit with my local police department and in the process of discovery have obtained a copy of their procedure manual. It's FULL of stuff that's totally wrong. It's got everything from misinforming police as to the boundaries of a Terry Stop (as far as most of them are concerned, they can search anyone for weapons at any time as long as they FEEL they need to) to out and out lying about gun laws in this state.

    This problem is further compounded by the post-9/11 hero worship that's been laid on these assholes (and virtually everyone else who works for the government). They act like an elevated class in society and they make their own rules because "they keep us safe at night and protect our freedom." What a bunch of bullshit.

  • Re:That's... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by myowntrueself ( 607117 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @07:57PM (#30231958)

    When our grandparents were kids, if they got bullied, their own parents would respond by teaching them how to fight. Hell, even when I was a kid, my parents' reaction to bullying was usually along the lines of "...well kick his ass then - as long as you didn't start it, you won't be in trouble from us for finishing it".

    I'm no grandparent, but when I was a kid and came home from school one day crying and with a lump on my head from some other kid throwing a stone at me, my grandmother took me out, hunted this kid down and set me on him. Yeah, she pulled me off him when she figured he'd had enough...

    I never failed to stand up to a bully under my own steam ever again.

  • dolphin? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by abarrieris5eV ( 1659265 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @04:26AM (#30234800)
    What strikes me most about this is that the dolphin shape has been decided, while other details, like: what will the button actually do? where do we buy/acquire the tech? is this a good idea? are still undecided. It's like in the hitchhikers guide book where they are back in time on earth with the golgafrinchams and they are wanting to invent a wheel, and the most important decision to them is what color (colour in the book I suppose) to make it.

The person who can smile when something goes wrong has thought of someone to blame it on.