Monday, 31 December 2007

It's for the Children

From via Tim Blair.
EVERY Australian with an internet connection could soon have their web content automatically censored.

The restrictions are planned by the Federal Government to give greater protection to children from online pornography and violent websites.

Under the plan, all internet service providers will have to provide a "clean" feed to households and schools, free of pornography and other "inappropriate" material.

Australians who want uncensored access to the web will have to contact their internet service provider and "opt out" of the service.
It is unclear exactly what will be deemed inappropriate material.

The adoption of mandatory ISP filtering comes on top of the former government's offer of free internet filtering software for home computers.

Chairman of internet user group Electronic Frontiers Australia, Dale Clapperton, said mandatory filtering eroded freedom and would not improve online safety for children.

"China, Burma and Saudi Arabia and those type of oppressive countries are the only ones that have seriously looked at doing something like this," he said.

"In Australia, which is supposedly a liberal democracy, the Government is saying that the internet is so full of this material that it must protect us from it by trying to block it."
Family First senator Steve Fielding, who has campaigned for ISP filtering, said he would be watching the Government "like a hawk" on the issue.

"Australian families want more (internet protection) and deserve more than they are currently getting, and this is a real test for the Rudd Government," he said.
And just in case the Government makes a "minor adjustment" to its policy, or someone decides that you have no need to know what's been blocked, here is something that will protect your children. Protect them from religious or political censorship, something far more harmful to them than unfiltered Internet access under adult supervision.

I especially don't trust a "political" party that publishes policies like this one. Goodness knows the Greens - another religious party, effectively - are bad enough, but they are positively sane in comparison. The few bits of their policy I agree with as a small-l liberal are the very ones "Family First" eschews.

Censorware evasion techniques thanks to a comment at Tim Blair's by the most estimable EvilPundit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I worked for a state government department in Deathcamp Western Australia until I escaped to Sydney recently. The department had filters on its internet access, preventing me and co-workers from accessing websites about intersex, or any website that used any of the T-words anywhere. Thus my co-workers remained in the dark about things I was quite happy to admit to being born with.

If all of Deathcamp WA had censored internet access then I would be dead, because it was only for the fact that I managed to find out about intersex on a website in early 2004 that I have remained alive.

So is this what all of Australia now has to look forward to? Censorship and death? I am a member of the NSW ALP, and have applied for membership of the Central Policy branch. We will see where that gets me.