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Australia debates internet censorship

Categories: Advocacy, Australia

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 [1]

“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 [2]

“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 [3]-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 [4] 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!”