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Australian Govt. Proposes Internet "Panic Button" For Kids

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the panic-panic-panic dept.

The Internet 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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434 comments

Definitely questions for... (4, Funny)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228492)

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?

I'm sure there are plenty of experts on Slashdot that are very qualified to answer. ;)

Re:Definitely questions for... (5, Insightful)

reginaldo (1412879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228624)

What exactly are the police going to do? It's not like the kid is in imminent danger, the perpetrator is not physically there.
If the police don't need to respond instantly, wouldn't it be better for the kid to tell his parents what happened, as opposed to wasting police resources on a non-emergency situation.

Re:Definitely questions for... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30228966)

I was hoping the dolphin would be the power button...

Re:Definitely questions for... (4, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229056)

Show me where on the dolphin he touched you.

Re:Definitely questions for... (1, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229238)

It is not clear from the article that the button will work EXACTLY like 911 and compete with emergency response resources. On the other hand, police departments have non-emergency numbers that people are encouraged to call with any potential concerns which do not constitute immediate danger.

A reasonable functionality of this button would be to replace an existing screen with a splash screen that allows a child to interact with the responder while the later gets a remote desktop to the original session (presumably either with child's permission or if conversation seems to indicate a crime taking place). 99% of use would be a child scared by something which is not actually illegal or dangerous and the responder simply explaining what happened and closing the problematic content.

As for asking parents, they may not be physically nearby at the moment or little Jonny may not be comfortable with showing mommy an IM window with discussion of his penis. What exactly is wrong with providing an additional option that may be less embarrassing and available at all times?

Re:Definitely questions for... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30228638)

My younger brothers know not to call 911 unless it is a real emergency. But I can't say they'd have the same discipline with something like this.

Also, it seems that this would encourage people to use the panic button for stupid reasons. If there really enough of a problem to justify these extreme measures, then children shouldn't be allowed to use an internet connected computer without supervision. I don't routinely let my brothers play with the stove, but if they want to eat something I help them cook it. I don't see why use of the internet should be any different, other than parents not wanting to participate with their kids or not having the time to supervise them fully. A few of the kids I babysit have told me before that they are allowed to use the computer whenever they want. My usual response is 'That's your parent's decision, but my computer doesn't get touched unless I'm there.' Parents should be made more aware of the dangers and responsibilities of having open access on computers in their home for the younger kids.

Instead of a police button, get some parental material out to inform the responsible adults about the issue. I think that would do much more good.

And since most of the cyber-bullying that I've encountered was perpetrated by early teens, and not malicious adults, I'd say that parental supervision would prevent a lot of that from happening in the first place. Parents need to be more responsible. --End of rant.

Re:Definitely questions for... (5, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228834)

this would encourage people to use the panic button for stupid reasons

Brittany left a really mean posting on my FaceBook wall. She keeps saying I still like Shakira when I told her, like, three weeks ago that I don't like Shakira anymore. So now Brittany keeps telling everyone at school I bought those purple sneakers to match something I saw on Shakira's video when I told her already I didn't even see that video until, like, yesterday.

Re:Definitely questions for... (2, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229144)

That's kind of the reaction I had.

Serious question here - Is cyber-bullying even illegal? TFS asks whether or not flaming/trolling qualify, but what difference does it make? I realize that there could be libel (or slander?) problems if I make offensive false allegations. And possible issues if I encourage violence or rioting or some-such. But if I just call Anonymous Coward an ass-hole and say that his hair looks funny, surely that's legal cyber-bullying, right? And I don't have to worry about a visit from the cyber-dolphin or my tax $$ being spent on law enforcement reviewing whether or not AC actually IS an ass-hole or whether his hair actually DOES look funny?

Re:Definitely questions for... (2, Informative)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229088)

Based on the replies below, I think we've come to a solid consensus... It's option 1.

IMHO 1 in 4 children are copiously ridiculed, harassed, and are treated poorly... I'd even argue that some arguments here can get downright mean... And yet, here we are every day.

If someone takes the trolling and flaming as bullying, they've been bullied. They can learn to live with it, or they can go somewhere else.

That's... (4, Insightful)

pudding7 (584715) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228502)

...the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Calling 911 because someone is making you feel bad? Calling 911 because some guy 1000 miles away wrote some words that made you feel bad?

Re:That's... (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228618)

Come and see the violence inherent in the system!

Help! Help! I'm being repressed!

Re:That's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30229224)

Bloody non-AC poster!

Re:That's... (4, Funny)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228632)

What do you mean, I just called 911 because I have been modded down on Slashdot and they said its being taken care of...

I wish I had that panic button.

P.S. I am 11 years old.

What's Dumb is Ignorance (5, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228710)

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.

Re:What's Dumb is Ignorance (4, Insightful)

Shagg (99693) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228780)

There's a big difference between talking to your parents if you're bullied at school versus calling 911.

Re:What's Dumb is Ignorance (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228858)

You act like its an epidemic. Those people are weak and are having natural selection take place. There are over 6 billion people on this planet. How many shootings are there? Maybe one every couple of years? So thats one in 6 billion every 2 years? What is the problem here? Have some perspective. These people are weak and need to understand that the world is a cruel place. Those that can't handle it will die off and hopefully not pass that genetic trait on to their children and we will all be better for it.

Re:What's Dumb is Ignorance (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228872)

Dude - if your kid gets bullied at school, do you:

a) take care of it w/ the kid (e.g. teaching him how to fight back) and/or the school administrators if necessary, or...

b) call 911?

This isn't a hard question, I promise you.

Re:What's Dumb is Ignorance (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30229218)

Dude - if your kid gets bullied at school, do you:

a) take care of it w/ the kid (e.g. teaching him how to fight back) and/or the school administrators if necessary, or...

b) call 911?

This isn't a hard question, I promise you.

Good luck with getting the school administrators on board. Where I went to high school, they had a rather unjust policy that seems designed to encourage you to be a doormat. Someone could physically and violently attack you with absolutely no provocation, and there could be a multitude of witnesses verifying that it was totally unprovoked, and if you defended yourself you were punished just as much as your aggressor. Usually this meant a three-day suspension. Not only was this unjust, it also fails to reflect how the justice system handles similar real-world scenarios.

I was quite fortunate that my parents saw what was wrong with this policy and supported me. They were unable to modify the school's policy or to prevent the suspension, but they were not upset at me for defending myself against an aggressor. If I had started the fight, then naturally that wouldn't have been the case, but I respected them enough not to put them into that position. I was only ever attacked once or twice and I successfully defended myself both times. One of those times I knocked someone out. I am not proud of that because I don't like violence, but I acknowledge that sometimes it's necessary when you are dealing with an aggressor who cannot be reasoned with. If you roll over and let the aggressor walk all over you, you are only encouraging more of the same. I believe this understanding is why it only happened twice during the entire four years of high school. Others who tried to obey the school policy were not so fortunate and tended to get picked on or attacked quite a bit more than that. This is a natural predictable outcome and I think the school is aware of that.

Nowhere did it ever occur to me to call 911 or to get the police involved for a fistfight during which no one was seriously hurt. You want fewer bullies, don't turn schools into even more of a police state than they already are. If you want fewer bullies, teach people not to be such easy targets. If you really want to do this well, teach them martial arts and be sure to instill in them a great respect for their art, that self-defense or the defense of an innocent is its only legitimate use and that all other uses of it are abuse. This is the fistfight equivalent of why states that allow conceal-carry permits see dramatic drops in violent crime. It's simple, really: both bullies and criminals have a strong preference for helpless victims who either cannot or will not fight back.

When people talk about how the "liberals" dominate the schools and are turning them into institutions of undesirable social conditioning, this is an example of what they're talking about. I don't mean "liberal" in the sense of politics, but rather, those people who don't understand the folly of trying to appease a would-be dictator or a would-be aggressor. It's like they want a perfect fluffy-bunny world where we all just get along. I'd like to have that world too, and we're not going to get it by rolling over and submitting to those who would rob us of basic rights such as personal safety. That's what these people just don't seem to understand, or worse, they understand it perfectly well and consider the psychological damage that such broken policies cause to be desirable. Children who grow up in an environment which teaches them that legitimate self-defense is wrong are quite likely, as adults, to look to government to take care of them because they have been discouraged from taking care of themselves. Again when I say "liberal" I mean it in a way that is perhaps better described as "statist".

Re:What's Dumb is Ignorance (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229176)

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.

He wasn't mocking people who ask for help. He was mocking the notion of calling 911 over bullying. The last time I checked 911 is for emergencies. Having your feelings hurt != emergency.

I don't buy your apologism either. School shootings don't happen because people can't get help. Help is readily available in school. You've got teachers, guidance counselors, administrative staff, etc, etc. It seems to me that the student who is debating shooting up the place could have sought help from one of those people if he was inclined to do so.

Re:That's... (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228830)

I'm thinking that we as a society are becoming (or are already) a bit too fetishised over coddling their children.

(warning: impending 'get off my lawn' rant/moment...)

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".

Nowadays, the Internet is easier to deal with - if someone is acting the fool, teach your kid to block 'em and inform the webmaster/etc. Teach 'em to toughen up and to ignore the idiots of this world - it'll better prepare them for adulthood.

Leaving your kid alone online is the perfect equivalent of letting them wander around alone on Times Square - if you're dumb enough to do it, then at least prepare them for the inevitable bumps and bruises... or perhaps maybe not let your kid surf the thing unsupervised, eh?

At least this way there's no scrambling around on the cops' part over false positives (because those are almost guaranteed with this system), and nobody has to waste taxpayer money over something that parents should already know how to do, FFS...

Re:That's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30229084)

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".

Guess we had different parents. Mine tended toward "I don't care who started it, you are in big trouble."

I don't think that "well, he started it" worked as an excuse even once for me.

Re:That's... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229192)

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"

Never start a fight, but always finish it.

Re:That's... (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229256)

Perhaps some of the coddling stems from the fact that some people can't say "No" to their kids. As such, they like things like this that push the responsibility of dealing with bad things on other people. Working at a store, I see it all the time. Parents who can't get the kids to behave, probably because they have no power as authority figures, point to me and say "you better stop or that man is going to get mad at you".

I should charge for that.

Re:That's... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229152)

Oh, get a grip. This is more like your kid telling you there was this creepy guy with candy who wanted kids to go with him for a ride, but your kid didn't go. Maaaaaaaybe it wouldn't hurt to tip the police about it. Why should this button go to the police and not to the parents? Well duh, because it's the parents. They're likely to freak, revoke computer permissions which is exactly why it won't get pushed. As if you'd need your child to push a panic button to reach you, you wonder what kind of parent that'd be. As far as I know there is a system like this in place in Norway and the only real issue was that nearly nobody pushed it.

I've got a friendly dolphin (2, Funny)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228524)

out in my van
actually it seems I have one right here in my pants

So long (4, Funny)

j-stroy (640921) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228664)

and thanx for all the filth!

Re:I've got a friendly dolphin (1)

courtjester801 (1415457) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228824)

Does that dolphin dispense candy?

Re:I've got a friendly dolphin (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229136)

Yes, but you have to coax it out.

Re:I've got a friendly dolphin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30228862)

Interestingly enough, why did they pick a "friendly dolphin"?

Male dolphins have been known to kill humans. There are actually some studies that show that dolphins kill people more often than, say sharks!

They should pick an animal which isn't known for killing humans, such as the cuddly porcupine.

Re:I've got a friendly dolphin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30229226)

Nearly every creature capable of killing humans has. It's not that they're mean animals it's just that sometimes we humans look like a tasty dish. I'd say more humans have been attacked by dolphins because more people think dolphins are safe. Kinda like those people who think it's perfectly safe to have a chimpanzee as a pet.

Re:I've got a friendly dolphin (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228898)

This was no accident. I think you did that on porpoise.

Time to buy stock now... (2, Interesting)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228526)

http://www.panicbuttons.com/ [panicbuttons.com]
My wife has one of those on her keyboard, it's pretty funny.

I know.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30228530)

I am sexually abused by the interwebs daily...

friendly dolphin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30228534)

Y'know what else looks like a "friendly dolphin"? Come over here and let me show you.

How long until (4, Interesting)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 4 years ago | (#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?

Re:How long until (3, Funny)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228672)

Probably about as long as it took you to type that po--oh, wait. Yep, there it is.

Re:How long until (1, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229004)

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?

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. Frankly, if someone tried this I wouldn't be surprised if the criminal community "policed itself" and put the poor bastard out of his misery out of fear of unwanted attention/legislation.

Re:How long until (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229100)

Well if it was done from an unsecured access point with spoofed MAC address delivered from an expendable (and cheap like $300) laptop computer AND the guy never brags about it. The chances of catching the guy are slim to none.

Re:How long until (1)

wjc_25 (1686272) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229140)

You seem to think people will only act maliciously if there's something to be gained. I can't imagine why one would think that.

Re:How long until (2, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229242)

What would be the motivator for such a malicious act?

4chan would do it for lulz in a heartbeat. And people who honestly believe in personal responsibility (those of us who believe in being a responsible parent to our own children) probably wouldn't care if they did.

As far as I'm concerned, the only malicious act takes place when the government starts trying to parent my kids for me. Anything that destroys that infrastructure is pretty much deserved. While I won't actively help the channers, I'll certainly applaud whatever they do to disrupt this bullcrap.

I also expect rule 34 will kick in regarding friendly dolphins before the end of the day, if it hasn't already. I'd check Encylopedia Dramatica right now, but that site is about as NSFW as you can get.

Re:How long until (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229196)

How long then until a worm emerges that floods the govt with hundreds of thousands of fraudulent calls...?

Shhhhh, it's job security for us techies. If lawmakers want to tangle themselves in a yarn ball and then pay us to rescue them, then let them!
     

Re:How long until (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229198)

You don't need a worm. You need about a dozen 8yo's who like dolphins.

The government has the most experience (5, Informative)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228564)

Of fucking people......certainly more than some anonymous internet perv.

The Internet is not Real Life (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228574)

Your access to the Internet is limited basically to the box on your desk, or the phone in your hand, or other devices that are similarly entirely under your control. It's not like normal harassment or bullying in that you can easily get away from it simply by turning off the device you're using to access it. If you're getting bullied in real life, you have to try to run away and get help immediately before your attackers catch up with you and continue the beating. Online, you can simply get off the computer and tell the proper authorities (be that the police or your parents or whoever) at your leisure. There is not the same need for immediacy.

Also, the whole idea of grooming children (or more often FBI agents posing as children) is that the pedophile gets the child to believe they're safe, and so they would have no motivation to push the little dolphin button. The kids that go off to meet pedophiles do so because they don't perceive that they're in any danger. If they don't perceive the danger, why would they alert the police to anything?

Re:The Internet is not Real Life (4, Informative)

joebok (457904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228732)

...you can easily get away from it simply by turning off the device you're using to access it...

I think you've just saved the tax payers of Australia a ton of money - just replace the circle & line logo on the power button with the "friendly dolphin" icon and the children are safe!

Re:The Internet is not Real Life (2, Funny)

getNewNickName (980625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228918)

You say it's easy to just turn off your computer to "escape" from the internet, but that's like saying that you can easily escape from physical bullying by staying locked up in your house. We're not even talking about pedophiles here, just kids bullying other kids. Cyber harassment is a real problem. The anonymity of the Internet makes things worse; at least in the physical world you can see who your bullies are.

Re:The Internet is not Real Life (2, Informative)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229010)

I'm not saying kids who are being bullied online should turn off their computers forever, I'm saying the immediacy issue that would require a 911-like service isn't there. They can temporarily log off, and then tell their parents about it at dinner, or call the police and ask for help. There's no immediate physical danger involved, so there's no need for an immediate response capability.

Re:The Internet is not Real Life (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229170)

If you're getting bullied in real life, you have to try to run away and get help immediately before your attackers catch up with you and continue the beating.

You haven't been bullied, have you? You don't run -- it only encourages them. You turn into any attack -- 95% of the time, that's the right answer. Bullies, muggers, rapists, etc., all have one thing in common: They go for the low hanging fruit.

Online, you can simply get off the computer and tell the proper authorities (be that the police or your parents or whoever) at your leisure. There is not the same need for immediacy.

Or, you know, you could ignore them. Or be a responsible parent to your child, instead of wasting taxpayer dollars chasing down every bad word someone else's kid says about yours.

Also, the whole idea of grooming children (or more often FBI agents posing as children) is that the pedophile gets the child to believe they're safe, and so they would have no motivation to push the little dolphin button. The kids that go off to meet pedophiles do so because they don't perceive that they're in any danger. If they don't perceive the danger, why would they alert the police to anything?

Grooming takes time. It doesn't just happen one evening while your child is propped up on the bed and you're having dinner, and the next day they're on a bus. A lack of parental supervision is the problem here -- if we were actually spending time parenting instead of working two jobs and leaving the child rearing to the schools, televisions, and computers, this wouldn't be possible.

This government solution isn't: That friendly dolphin isn't there for the children, it's there for the parents. So they can feel less guilty about not watching their kid. It's the same reason we have padded foam and rubber all over playgrounds, and the swing sets have been removed, along with all the other interesting things to do. Meanwhile, I used guns, went hunting, rode motorcycles, ATVs, and played hide and seek in a five acre field. Bullies didn't give me much trouble growing up -- rural girls scare the ever-living crap out of city boys.

Take a hint, parents: Raise your kids to be self-reliant and strong, and you'll never have to worry about their safety. But keep them as your precious snowflakes, and you'll raise a bunch of fragile weaklings that will spend their lives suckling the tit of the government and crumpling at every hardship. I don't say this to be mean -- I say this because the other thing a rural upbringing gave me was a lack of tact. ;)

Are penguins friendly too? How about beasties? (3, Funny)

stagg (1606187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228612)

Or are children using any kind of unsupported OS on their own? Click the little red devil for help.

Re:Are penguins friendly too? How about beasties? (4, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228988)

"click"!? In *BSD!?

*blink* .... *blink*...

(turns to crowd - )

It's a HERETIC! BURN HIM!

They didn't think this through... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30228644)

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

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_cPI1-kGAMoY/SsIe_WaE5gI/AAAAAAAAACA/U2qgupZJsU0/s1600-h/stimpy.jpg

Well, there's a silver lining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30228666)

At least this looks to be somewhat close to (an attempt at a) solution for an actual problem, instead of blanket bans on "baaad content" that apply to everyone, not just those deemed unfit to stand up for themselves. If it gets the censor out of everyone else's hair I'm for it.

Still and all, kids have had to put up with bullying in school since whenever, right under the noses of strategically placed nearby teachers and there too most can learn to stand up for themselves. Maybe it's really hard for kids to ask their parents for help with the internet, though in following generations that may change. Growing a thicker skin is part of growing up, so why won't we let our kids do exactly that?

A national panic button, just because a few kids, boys and girls alike, managed to get lured into whatever it was that made the news last week? Because that's what we're talking about. How many incidents on how many kids with access to the internet in the entire country? Well? How many?

achievement unlocked (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228668)

achievement unlocked

you are a regular pusher, well done!

pressing the panic button 50 times in a minute unlocks this award and gives you access to Juvie hall.
Extra Rewards: Parents must pay $500.

Re:achievement unlocked (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229148)

Exactly. This reminded me of an old addon for macs that would make the trashcan do an animation of Grover, complete with him singing he likes trash, when it's emptied.

When discovered, a friend's kid threw away everything and emptied the trash, just to see the animation.

Panic buttons should look scary, not friendly.

This is better handled in private enterprise (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228674)

No need for the government to get involved.

sure, you can have a panic button (4, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228676)

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!"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I've_fallen_and_I_can't_get_up [wikipedia.org] !

Why a friendly dolphin? (1)

XSpud (801834) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228682)

I'd think a lot of kids would just click on a dolphin icon just because this represents something "good".

Shouldn't the icon be something that the average kid knows to be representative of "bad"? Like spinach or something?

Another one? (1)

hyperion2010 (1587241) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228690)

Don't we already have one of these? I think its called the "Power" button unless I'm very much mistaken. There's even a key-combo for it "alt-f4" or "ctrl-w".

Already have one: the power button. (1)

yourpusher (161612) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228694)

Or is turning it off just too much to ask?

Put your finger in the blowhole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30228696)

The dolphin thing is a little too weird.

I think the little tykes should punch the monkey.

Or perhaps it might be a little more taxpayer effective to just re-purpose all those old turbo buttons.

Re:Put your finger in the blowhole (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229178)

Better yet, make it a cartoon like face of the representative of your local state (or province). And, very time it is pushed, it debits $200.00 (Australian, USian or whatever country) from that representative's personal bank account.

This provides two very important things:

1. Direct feedback to the representative on how stupid their idea is and
2. A very large incentive for the representative to repeal such nonsense.

Everybody wins!

Hacked (3, Interesting)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

I wonder if they told the police... (1)

stagg (1606187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228706)

I wonder if they told the police... cause your average 911 line is going to be just thrilled if this starts automatically forwarding whiny kids to them. I guess it could be a huge make work project for social work grad students, god help them.

1 in 4 children (1)

101010_or_0x2A (1001372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228712)

are sexually abused by the Internet? I always knew that its only a matter of time before these large "pipes" would start doing real damage, and the "service providers" would think of other ways to screw innocent kids over

Can sexual abuse take place in a virtual world ? (4, Interesting)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228726)

"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....
http://www.pandys.org/whatissexualabuse.html [pandys.org]

Re:Can sexual abuse take place in a virtual world (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30229042)

(sigh). Gun analogy. How quaint. Of course i can't pick up a PC and use it to fire deadly metal pellets at you, but yeah, it's the same thing. Sort of. If you look at it right.

GUNS KILL PEOPLE. GET OVER IT.

Re:Can sexual abuse take place in a virtual world (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229244)

Of course i can't pick up a PC and use it to fire deadly metal pellets at you

No, but you can easily bash someone over the head with it. The danger is in the wielder of the object, not the object itself.

GUNS KILL PEOPLE. GET OVER IT.

I hate to break it to you, but you are on the losing side of this issue in the United States. GET OVER IT.

Re:Can sexual abuse take place in a virtual world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30229220)

I don't know, that ethernet cable has been giving me creepy looks lately. :-)

About to Press the Friendly Dolphin in 3... 2... 1 (1)

Wowlapalooza (1339989) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228738)

Halp! Halp! I'm being groomed online!

Oh, wait, I just remembered I'm a forty-something guy, instead of a 12-year-old girl. Maybe I just misinterpreted something somebody said, or maybe my luck is actually turning for the better...

What the 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 number actually means. (4, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228752)

The way the large percentages for sexual propositioning/harassment on the internet are pretty misleading. In order to get that number they are counting fairly tame stuff such as mildly lewd comments from friends over IM and the like. For example, a teenager asking another teenager if the other was a virgin would count or possibly even asking "hey, did you end up making out with that cute guy." When one looks at what one would normally call a real problem, such as sexual solicitation by strangers and the like one gets under 3%. See http://www.csicop.org/si/show/predator_panic_a_closer_look/ [csicop.org] .

There's already a panic button. (2, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228756)

There's already a panic button on every desktop, laptop and netbook. It's called the Power Button. It will automatically disconnect you from whatever you were doing and turn off your computer. Combine this with a talk with whatever parental figure(s) the child has (both before and after online access is granted) and kids should be covered. Not every "think of the children" problem needs a government mandated solution.

Laugh or Cry? (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228766)

I don't know whether to laugh because it is so ridiculously stupid or to cry because whoever suggested it was serious.

Until virtual reality gets much, much better, (3, Interesting)

Perp Atuitie (919967) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Oh honestly now... (5, Funny)

greatica (1586137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228794)

How can Dolphins save you from the net when they get caught in them all time?

New Euphemism (2, Funny)

solszew (130449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228798)

I think that, if I were a small child, I'd probably pound on that dolphin button all day long. Hey, pounding the dolphin! New euphemism! Kids, don't try this at home...

The OTHER online bully (5, Funny)

CarlosHawes (1256490) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228828)

So could I use this to report Internet "bullying" the next time Windows Genuine Advantage pops up to see if I have handed over my lunch money to Redmond as required?

WTF is wrong with Australia? (4, Insightful)

visualight (468005) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228838)

Can we go a few months without an article on slashdot describing yet another moronic idea from someone in Australia?

Seriously, there's something wrong in that place and I'm very curious to know what. Or maybe, these stories are coming from the Australian equivalent of WeeklyWorldNews?

Panic button = power button? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228850)

Maybe they can just stick a dolphin sticker over the power button.

I don't see this getting abused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30228874)

WTF are they thinking?

In other news..... (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228914)

This just in from AP News (be-ee-de-ep, de-de-p,deep);

AV product company XYZ says a new form of computer malware now gives a whole new meaning to the term "pushing someone's button". Instead of keyboard sniffers the extortionists instead are doing keyboard injection into the computer's keyboard input queue if the PC owner doesn't comply with their demands. Word has it that people are simply ignoring the threats.

In other news... Congress is in session drafting new legislation to enact laws against the latest "Peter Wolf Syndrome" which is currently gridlocking the legal system and has the courts running in circles. Nobody seems to know why so many people are hitting their Internet panic buttons for no apparent reason. More on this new breaking story at 11:00.

Relevant article from Vanity Fair (4, Informative)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228920)

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2009/12/sexual-predators-200912 [vanityfair.com]

The short version is that the police and the media are contributing the hysteria of online child predators and blowing things WAY out of proportion. In the huge majority of the cases where minors are involved in sexual conversations online, they are engaged in them with other minors.

Gimme a sec to get back off the floor... (1)

Porchroof (726270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228926)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

How about a button for when my ass begins to itch?

Hey boys and girls.... (3, Funny)

unitron (5733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228946)

Here's a neat button and everytime you press it a bunch of cars with with flashing lights and screaming sirens will come zooming up to your house!

Reminds me of the diapers with the moisture sensors that played a little tune every time the kid needed changing, which was pretty often once the kids figured out how to make the music play. : - )

I'd like to suggest a novel approach (1, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228956)

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.

Got that in Norway (1)

akselsm (1569667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30228974)

Here in Norway, the police is present, and has a big, red "POLITI" button on Facebook, Twitter as well as in Windows Live Messenger, and on Norwegian social networks (biip.no, nettby.no). The button is linked to a chat service with officers from Kripos (National Crime Unit). Apparently, children have reported abuse (violence by parents) as well as bullying, enabling Social Services to react.

Boss Key Next? (1)

andrewagill (700624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229030)

Let me know when they add a boss key [wikipedia.org] .

Stop now. (1)

Xeno man (1614779) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229060)

What a complete waste of time, money and resources. They will spend a few years deciding on parameters, spending money on consultants for a few more years, spend more money building a center somewhere, hiring and training agents, millions on hardware and proprietary software, once it is done, another year to get it to actually work, then when it's running there will be a rash of false alarms and confusion, clarification on when children should use the system, millions spent on an informational campaign educating the public on how to correctly use the system all before the system is scraped entirely and called a big waste of money and a complete failure.

Why leave this up to the child? (1)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229064)

How can they be sure a child will know how to identify a sexual predator? Since when is trolling a crime? Also where are the parents? Are parents okay with an unknown adult be it a police officer or a social worker getting into their child's business? Since when did it become the governments job to parents peoples children? Why not allow the parents to make the choice on if the police should be called. Leaving that decision to a child is just opening the door to all sorts of problems.

Also why is it that we now need programs like this? Kids will always be kids. Children have always been bullied in one form or another why is now that this day in age it is a crime and a huge problem? Why not focus on the problem of why now in this day in age when a kid is bullied they shoot up a school or try to commit suicide. Lets find out why kids today are "soft" and let things like name calling or different opinions send kids over the edge where 20 years ago this sort of thing would not happen. If we do not solve that problem kids of today will be in for a rude surprise when they hit the real world.

I am not saying if a child is being sexually assaulted by a 50 year old in yahoo chat that the authorities should not be notified, I think they should and in regards to that I think the parents should make the decision to notify the police. In regards to bullying I think in some cases kids of today should grow up a little and prepare for real life and accept that sometimes people are assholes.

Looking forward to 4chan (5, Funny)

MathiasRav (1210872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229072)

(User has been arrested for this post)

Dolphin? (1)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229078)

Wouldn't an animated Chris Hansen be a better display?

The next big new shiny thing... again. (1)

yogibaer (757010) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229090)

This seems to be the next "big new shiny thing" in crime prevention. In Germany a trade union of law enforcement officers and a foundation called "German forum for crime prevention" pushes for a system called "web-patrol" since the beginning of 2009. You can find a blog (http://webpatrol.wordpress.com/) and a presentation here (http://webpatrol.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/2009-06-09-vortrag-web-patrol-auf-14-dt-praventionstag-hannover.pdf). Nice (fake) screenshots with the panic button integrated in a browser menu bar. Sorry, but german only. Does anybody know about similar initiatives in other parts of the world?

I just had a great idea (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229094)

Instead of having a button on the computer to connect you to police, let's have someone stationed with the child while they're using the internet! Maybe one person per 1 or 2 or 3 kids. This way, the workload is dispersed amongst more people and it doesn't have to go to the police.

Oooh! We can even have this person, or even two people per 1 or 2 or 3 kids, perhaps working in shifts, raise the kid or kids and team them right from wrong and other stuff like that. We'll call them "parents"! Man I am so clever sometimes.

I have just searched for "bear" in the comments. (2, Funny)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229096)

...and found nothing.

NOTHING!

Boogie man (1)

zazenation (1060442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229106)

Good idea -- incorrect routing.

Have the dolphin button ring the parents cell phone with a message like:
"(Kid's name) is having an Internet Panic Attack --- If you don't respond to this message, then the call will be routed to your local law enforcement division -- Remember, please monitor and talk with your children!"

Supply a pager to the parents without a cell phone. Seems like a far less costly method than having to hire thousands of police and/or SS workers to handle the plethora of "I wanna see someone jump when I feel bad" abusers.

And don't forget the legions of lawyers that will be necessary to sort through the pile of litigation!

Washington, D. C. 2050 (1)

flabordec (984984) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229114)

"We are now cleared to launch the missiles"
Keys are turned, glasses are broken, secret passwords are entered
"Whenever you are ready Mr. President, push the cute dolphin button"

Because... as we all know, dolphins are the new panic button.

I am confused... (2, Interesting)

ghostis (165022) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229118)

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.

keep your little turds off the internet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30229158)

if those little whiners weren't on the internet in the first place this wouldn't be a problem.

000 (1)

dandart (1274360) | more than 4 years ago | (#30229212)

What's 000? I'm British.

wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30229258)

Yes, it will/would be another scheme wasting *billions* of taxpayer dollars in lieu of parental supervison... And where exactly is the problem? Is anyone there physically attacking you? Didn't think so. You do know where the "off" button is, right?

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