Australia debates internet censorship

It is not only China or Iran. Australia is debating internet censorship, in its case to protect children from online predators. But the proposal is off to a rocky start after several child protection groups-including Save the Children and civil liberty groups’ opposition.

According to ABC News

“The child protection group is one of several organisations including Civil Liberties Australia, and the National Children's and Youth Law Centre who have today released a joint statement opposing the proposed mandatory internet service provider (ISP) filter.

The statement says the filter will neither work to shield children from explicit material nor stop child pornography from being distributed on the internet.”

Child rights advocate and activists say that the filter diverts funds from programs that actually help fight online predators.
Simon Sheikh of GetUP-an organization that seeks to build a progressive Australia-said to Australian IT

“Around $33 million each year will be wasted on a futile and fundamentally flawed scheme.” Mr Sheikh estimates the sum could fund 300 extra police officers to fight online child pornography.”

Over at YouTube, Australians are voicing their opinion-most oppose the internet filter. Here AngryAussie-aptly named-expresses his concerns that filtering the internet is not that simple and the government is wasting time and energy attempting to police people online.

Bloggers are also chiming in. Robert H Mercer doubts if Communications Minister Stephen Conroy-who proposed the filtering, will heed the facts that point towards his scheme’s very slim chance of succeeding.

“A group of mainly smaller internet providers are now finishing their trials of the Government’s internet filtering scheme and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has said he expects to release results in six to eight weeks.
Senator Conroy has said the results will determine whether the Government proceeds with the controversial election policy. Oh yes, I am sure this ponce will give heed to the results……….that’s all pie in the sky………..these morons have already made up their minds!”


  • Leon

    I agree completely that there should be some censorship to protect our children from predators. That should be set in stone with no debate. As for freedom of speech, press, religion these freedoms should be available to every person on this planet, however that is not the case.Knowledge is vital. Lack of knowledge presents disaster. This can be said regarding scams and fraud which is an epidemic that needs to be addressed and it is somewhat. There is a self-help book on this very subject which can be viewed and purchased on called ‘Scammers Among Us Beware’. Please check it out. It just may save you your wallet. Freedoms we need, just as protection, being informed, be harmless as doves but cunning as serpents.

  • Tim

    yep buy ‘Scammers Among Us Beware’ and send us your money….hmm sounds a bit scammy.

    I’m hoping Conroy will use the results as a graceful way of getting out the filter plan. Its turned into a situation where labour is getting into the position where it doesnt want to be seen backing down to other parties legitimate requests.
    Secretly I’m betting hes hoping its a disaster so he can say ‘its stuffed cant do it!’

  • joe

    The experts (senator Conroy is NOT one of these)
    have told us what to expect from these filters:

    1. reduction in broadband speed of 80%
    2. blocking of legitimate sites (eg a dentist!)
    3. missing entirely many other sites
    4. completely useless vs VPN/P2P/other secured transfers
    5. does not address dynamic or community content (what if someone were to try grooming children on a chatroom or MMO game like world of warcraft?)
    6. a Blacklist that noone is allowed to see or appeal against7. Mission creep: this year its all about “save the children”, how long until the blacklist includes legitimate political dissent sites? Sites containing information on sexual health? Even just sites the senator-du-jour doesnt like?

    I am all for doing what we can to make the world safer for children, only thing is, THIS SCHEME WONT.

  • […] Global Voices Advocacy rounds-up the latest news and finds that even many child-protection groups are now opposing the plan, saying it simply won’t protect kids from hardcore pornography. […]

  • Silver Fang

    Save the children! Save the children! Guess what… Some of us don’t care about the children!

  • Froggy

    It should be recognized that a substantial number of political philosophers have disparaged the tactic of giving up freedom for security. A nationwide internet filter is a blatant repudiation of that idea. To paraphrase a great man, those who give up internet freedom for internet security deserve neither. I would assume this to be obvious, but the fact that this measure is being seriously considered by anyone at all (excepting authoritarian dictators) indicates that perhaps this principle has not yet been taken to heart.

  • drumma

    Silver Fang,you need some experience of life. You obviously have no idea of the lifelong damage that can be done to children by sex predators. Grow up and develop some empathy which will reduce your heartless comments

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