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Censorship Australia Crime The Internet Your Rights Online

5 Concerns About Australia's New Net Filter 158

daria42 writes "As you might have heard, this month Australia gets a new Internet filter, using Interpol's blacklist of 'worst of the worst' child pornography sites. In general, it seems like most people don't object to the idea in principle, but concerns are being raised around the transparency of the scheme, which so far has no civilian oversight, unclear backing legislation and an appeals process which does not exactly inspire confidence. Why is it those who want to implement this kind of filtering never quite address these sort of concerns up-front?"
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5 Concerns About Australia's New Net Filter

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  • Re:A better question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @09:22PM (#36708544)

    Why aren't the authorities using their resources to actually find, arrest, and confine the people who actually produce child pornography?

    Maybe the child pornography is being produced in a different jurisdiction than the authorities of whom you speak.

  • by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @09:41PM (#36708598) Homepage

    The problem with these kinds of filtering schemes is the fact that they rely on allegations of illegality rather than on judgments which establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the website's operators are doing something illegal according to local or international law. The latter calls for the government to make its case against the website's operators in a proper venue, allowing the website's operators to mount a proper defense. At that point the government may as well seek to shutdown the website altogether, which shouldn't be a problem if those accused are truly engaging in illegal (and unethical) behavior.

  • Bible (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 09, 2011 @09:41PM (#36708600)

    the problem is there will always be a way for the false positives to block non-offensive sites ...

    Child porn sites start using Biblical passages as euphemisms for certain things - "Lot's daughters" would be a wonderful search term for under age girl porn.

    It'll get through the filters for a while and when it's discovered, Bible sites will be blocked and the Christian Fundies will start scaring the shit out of the politicians to remove the filters.

    At least that's how it might go down.

    Religion is a wonderful political weapon and it should never be put to waste.

  • Re:Bible (Score:4, Interesting)

    by leamanc ( 961376 ) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @11:34PM (#36708954) Homepage Journal

    I'm not sure using deceptive text would work in this case. It doesn't seem to be automated like a spam filter. It's blacklist of the "worst of the worst" sites, according to TFA.

    That makes it sound like somebody at Interpol is viewing the sites, rating them, and adding the "worst of the worst" to the list manually.

  • Re:The quick answer: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dov_0 ( 1438253 ) on Sunday July 10, 2011 @01:02AM (#36709248)

    The other angle is that Australia has always had censorship. Radio and TV are censored. Video games were logically censored to keep things in line with alread excepted policy. I'm personally surprised that censorship of the Internet has taken so long. I used to run a PC repair business and every customer with children and some without were concerned about what is available on the internet and many asked me to install Net Nanny or some other similar service. Any internet filter that filters out things like child porn and bestiality will be, except for some vocal small groups, quite popular here.

    As for the 'oversights' outlined by the parent, Australians trust our governments a lot more than people in the US. Up until not too many years ago all of our public utilities were government owned, we have free government run or supplemented health care, education and payments and job training for the unemployed. It is quite natural to us that there should be censorship and I think the majority if Australians would be quite happy for the government to be doing it without questioning things too much.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.