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Google, Yahoo and Others Fight the Aussie Filter

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the quit-trying-to-legislate-this-crap dept.

Australia 166

TheFrunj writes "In the wake of an attack on Australian Government websites comes a statement from a joint group of companies banding together to oppose Senator Conroy's infamous Internet Filter. AtomicMPC has posted the statement up on their site: 'We, the Australian Library and Information Association, Google, Inspire Foundation and Yahoo! agree that Australia needs to take effective action to ensure that internet users, and particularly children, have a safe experience online.' Backed by the weight of the Inspire Foundation, Google and Yahoo, this is a good sign for the local and international community that will hopefully spark some positive reaction."

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166 comments

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What about china? (5, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147414)

So Australia can't filter but China can?

Re:What about china? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147440)

Australia = elected government.
China = military dictatorship.

Re:What about china? (3, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147596)

Australia = elected government.
China = military dictatorship.

That's probably about right. Since Australia prides itself as a democracy it is open to opposing opinion and the will of the people. There is always a problem when a democracy is hindered by extremist agendas, whether its is religious, political or of some other form. China has one party who pretty much do as they wish, and in going into the country companies know that it is the case and therefore have to accept the law of the land. It is up to the people of the nation who should decide the future of their own country, not foreign nationals or corporations - I realise this is not realistic in all cases.

Re:What about china? (1)

Floppier (1746066) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147992)

True, realistically it's more a case of

Australian Govt. = scared of upsetting global companies
Chinese Govt. = quite happy to upset global companies

It's a sad situation, but having Google et al (read - big money) on board is our best chance of sending Conroy back into his hole. Without them, it would only be a matter of time.

Re:What about china? (5, Informative)

socceroos (1374367) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148752)

sending Conroy back into his hole.

I'm pretty sure Conroy's head is already so far up his hole that it can't go any further.

Re:What about china? (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149740)

Let me put on the record that I love that this is modded informative.

Re:What about china? (3, Insightful)

ChoboMog (917656) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148182)

Australia = elected government.
China = military dictatorship. Single-Party State

I fixed that for you... Whether you agree with the policies of the P.R.C. its political structure certainly doesn't fit the label of "military dictatorship", military government/junta or even "dictatorship". Ultimate control over the country rests neither with the military, nor with a single person (ie. dictator).

Re:What about china? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147764)

I was thinking more along the lines of:

Australia = Speaks English and are mostly white people
China = Speaks Chinese (with English subtitles where available) and mostly not white people

But I'd say your way of putting it is probably more acceptable. But in reality, aren't we somewhat accustomed to non-white nations being bad for human rights and having some form of unfair or uncivilized government?

Re:What about china? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148286)

I'm guessing you are just trolling - but what about Brazil?

Re:What about china? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149456)

Actually, what I am saying is what most people are afraid to say. People of the U.S. and of western Europe and the U.K. expect a lot less of other people. But when we see a country we consider to be a peer equal doing these things, we become horrified and will even fight over it.

The question "what about China?" is a good one. And while we use the excuse about their government and all that, what we are really saying is "we can let it slide for these 'lesser people' but will not tolerate it when it is 'one of us.'"

It was a kind of troll, yes, but not the troll you are thinking it was. Essentially, I cry racism over this double standard for human rights.

Re:What about china? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148344)

Japan is civilized and has been for ~2000 years (unlike the UK or most of the world)

Re:What about china? (0, Flamebait)

ross.w (87751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149298)

Australia = Speaks English and are mostly white people

You haven't been to Australia lately have you?

Re:What about china? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147474)

If China jumped off a bridge, would you follow him?

Re:What about china? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147538)

in a heartbeat

Re:What about china? (3, Funny)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147636)

if china jumped off a bridge, my fall would be cushioned my a huge mountain of mushy human remnants, so why the heck not?

Re:What about china? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147804)

cuz it would be gross

Re:What about china? (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147810)

China would drag me with him.

Re:What about china? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147714)

Australia is still salvagable, China is a lost cause.

Re:What about china? (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147894)

Australia is trying to force the ISPs, content providers, and website operators to perform the censorship.

China does the censorship at a country-wide firewall level operated by the government. Iran does it this way as well.

Re:What about china? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148808)

While Australia, the USA and the UK don't filter your internet connection, they most certainly do watch everything you do on it.

You'll be interested to know that in large part they're concerned with more important cases than your petty hacking projects or goat pr0n.

Re:What about china? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148094)

Have you lived in a box all your life?

Australia = elected government.
China = military dictatorship.

Re:What about china? (2, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149278)

So Australia can't filter but China can?

So the Saudis can treat women as inferiors or slaves, but the western world can't?

You're comparing a regressive action to the status-quo. Obviously neither situation is acceptable, but it's only natural that people will protest more strongly against a progressive nation slipping into tyranny than they will against a regressive nation maintaining policies which are hundreds or thousands of years old.

As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion... (5, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147460)

How about people actually started parenting their children? I'm sure as hell not going to let the kids go online alone until they are old enough to do so responsibly. Just like I don't let them watch TV programs and movies out of their age group. Or how I actually spend time with them and talk to them about stuff. (Even a three-year-old can have a proper conversation if you actually listen and support with asking questions.)

So when will people get off their collective asses and stop trying to find ways to escape responsibility and offload it to whatever solution happens to be popular at the time?

I man can dream, can't he?

(And no, I can't control what they do at their friends etc. etc. But there are risks with crossing the street too.)

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (4, Insightful)

migla (1099771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147566)

And even though you can't control or watch the kids at friends or the teenagers out on the town, the best way to have responsible kids is to respect them, not to be too harsh, take interest in them and talking to them about everything.

They will grow up respecting you and they will want to tell you things and they will (statistically, though I'm not gonna pull out any link, so trust me or not) avoid doing stuff that they wouldn't want to tell you.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147774)

That's absolutey true in a Disney movie.

In real life, children, especially teenagers, are mentality disfunctional, and will do anything and everything you don't want them to do. They can sense it like sharks sense blood. But, you think,they follow my bad habits so that blows your theory out the door Mr. Dumb Ass AC!

Well, here's the thing, your kids will rebel unless it's a bad habit; then they wanna be just like you Dad. Gonna be like you.

They only good think about children is making them.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149398)

will do anything and everything you don't want them to do. They can sense it like sharks sense blood.

Sorry, but no. Read GP again.

Yes, if you become the "bad guy" and are constantly on their case and giving them reasons to rebel, then yes, they will try to do things just because you don't want them to. However, that most likely means you fucked up.

After all, if your theory were correct, we'd be seeing a lot more suicides -- the ultimate thing you're not allowed to do, the ultimate way to get back at your parents.

Well, here's the thing, your kids will rebel unless it's a bad habit; then they wanna be just like you Dad.

So, what, they consciously go after things that are your bad habits, and things you don't want them to do? How does that make sense? Are you suggesting they want to be bad for the sole reason of being bad?

They only good think about children is making them.

Well, if you're right, the battle is already lost. You cannot control your kids 24/7, and the more you try, especially if it's just "because I said so," the more they're going to fight back.

There is an alternative, and contrary to your claim, I've seen that "Disney movie" approach work several times, including on myself.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148590)

That's what my parents did. And it worked.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (3, Funny)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147658)

or you could just let them do whatever the fuck they want. even porn gets old eventually. at least for a while. maybe a few hours. or minutes... sorry, gotta go!

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (1, Interesting)

flibuste (523578) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147696)

Let me throw a piece of reality at you:

When you have 4 kids, 2 of whom have learning disabilities and cannot hold a conversation to talk about "stuff" at 12 years old, as a parent you tend to focus on those 2 kids, leaving the 2 others a bit more alone. Sure as hell you cannot be on their back 24h a day.

But thank you for your /.otter advice on parenting. I'm sure that you have an extensive experience on that matter, and you're at the right place to discuss such things.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (5, Funny)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147794)

Congratulations on spawning. Here's your cookie.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148916)

Congratulations on spawning. Here's your cookie.

Isn't a cigarette more traditional?

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148940)

"Isn't a cigarette more traditional?"

Procreation and recreation aren't the same thing.

You can have recreation without procreation despite what certain people tell you.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (2, Insightful)

Shatteredstar (1722136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147842)

See, but now you're saying that because of the 2 you don't have ANY time. Is that true? The OP did NOT say anything about how much time would need devoted, simply mentioned that some time. Yes you have two children with additional needs but it sounds almost like you are trying to make an excuse for why the other two might not have proper parenting. Would such work if say one of those children injured themselves in the home and if questioned you said "I'm sorry but I was taking care of the other two children, I did not have time to make sure that one was safe." Parenting is one thing, being on the child's back constantly is a wholly different thing. For the more harsh argument, if you have issues managing the two children with disabilities then why do you have 4 children? (i'm not sure on the order of birth/twins/triplets/quadruplets in the situation)

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (4, Insightful)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148918)

Ah, the new Slashdot debating style.

The other poster said he had less time to spend with two of his children, focusing more time on the two with learning difficulties.

You heard that he spent no time on two of his children, and then used your failure to understand what was said to construct a fantasy world in which filibuste was responsible for serious injuries.

I love this style of debate. It's used by politicians, bad businesses and lawyers. It's only good for bolstering weak points and for polarising opinion - that is, it's everything we hate in politics. And now we see it in Slashdot, where it puts another nail into the coffin of the 'community.'

On top of all that, the accepted meme at Slashdot is that parents should watch their kids more frequently, and that people just don't take responsibility. Bad laws are attempted because of parental failure. When that's challenged, posters like filibuste are drowned in a deluge of invective from posters who just don't seem to like other points of view.

Lastly, most of the responses to filibuste's post have the assumption that the first two children had obvious learning difficulties. Even if it was the first two, I'm pretty sure such issues are impossible to spot for a while, and maybe, just maybe, they had some more kids because they love children and even if they did realise, thought they were fine to work through this. As indeed they seem to be based on the very short post - the kids who need more attention get it.

Shatteredstar, your post is not insightful. The mods got this very wrong. Moreover, you have no shred of understanding or compassion. You should think more before you post.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147848)

Umm, those are your babies. It's your job to raise them and yours alone. You are not a victim here so start parenting and stop sounding like one.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147938)

Let me throw a piece of reality back at you -

You either chose to have four children or you're an idiot. I'm going to assume that you're not an idiot for the sake of this discussion and assume that it was your choice.

If you chose to bring four lives into this world without the ability to deal with it, that is, to be blunt, your own fucking problem. You are the irresponsible one, and I don't see why any of the rest of us need to be forced by our government to live with censorship laws to "protect the children" just because you're an irresponsible nitwit who wanted to have four kids. Frankly you should probably be apologizing to the rest of the world for having four kids when you by your own admission seem to only have the ability to properly raise two.

I've got one of my own and I know kids can be a handful. That's why we have one. Uno. One kid. One kid that we can focus on and make damn sure we can handle it. We did not rush out to have four kids. We might have a second one once we know whether we can handle one or not. But to think that you might arrogantly go out and have four kids without bothering to figure out if you're going to be able to handle it just stuns me. Unless you're an idiot. In which case I apologize for the rant.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (3, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148334)

I would go one step farther and say that if the poster is not an idiot, then they have committed premeditated child abuse.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148342)

You either chose to have four children or you're an idiot.

I got the statistically improbable option: I have double twins. :D

But like most hardship you can make if work if you are serious about pulling through.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149330)

Heh, that's exactly what I was thinking while reading his comment. I wholeheartedly agree with his sentiment, but he's created a false dichotomy - it's quite possible that the individual whom he's addressing gave birth to quadruplets.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148822)

Ouch. Mega burn. As a father of one who will wait several years to figure out what that one means before having another (which will also probably be the last), I wholeheartedly agree.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (4, Insightful)

jockeys (753885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147974)

Parent poster's point still stands:
raise your fucking kids. If you don't wanna raise 'em and be responsible for 'em then don't fucking have 'em.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148292)

You've no business playing the "hurr slashdotter don't know nothin' 'bout raisin' no kids" card, as you obviously know little enough about it that you COULD benefit from a random slashdotter's advice. This is proven by the fact that you think that there is any aspect of raising your kids that is anything less than 100% your responsibility in every possible way.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31149376)

I am one of 12 children in my family.

My parents had absolutely no problem providing proper supervision, parenting, and care for all of my siblings and myself.

I have to say, as much as I sympathise with you having 2 children with learning difficulties, that if you cannot properly parent 4 children than perhaps you just aren't that good at parenting.

Perhaps you should look at getting assistance. That doesn't mean you get to be lazy and have the government remove freedom from everybody else just because you can't handle your own household.

I'd suggest you start with spending less time on /. and the internet - that's at least an hour or two each night which you can use to look after your children instead of trolling popular forums with your own inadequacies.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149736)

But thank you for your /.otter advice on parenting.

I believe you are mistaken, sir. It's only on topics relating to the appropriate naming of atheist organizations, and the proper way to consume mollusks, that the /. Otters give advice.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31149770)

My Grandmother had nine (9) surviving siblings (5 others died before their first birthday). She describes both of her parents as loving and having spent a lot of time with her. My Grand Uncles and Aunts all have similar descriptions.

My Great Grandfather was a coal miner who worked 6 days a week for 12 hours a day. My Great Grandmother cooked everything from scratch, repaired the home (as in carpentry), made all the cloths by hand, washed them by hand, and cared for livestock at times when they had a milk cow. By all accounts (Aunts/Uncles/Grand parents/diaries) both had an active social life as well.

If you really have so little time after dealing with just two of your children that you don't have time for your other two children I really question your use of time. Surely there is a way to involve all four children in activities. Surly there is a better way to manage your and your children time.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (1)

trouser (149900) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149806)

If you can find the time to troll on Slashdot you can find the time to supervise your children.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31149852)

Maybe you shouldn't have had 4 kids then?

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147800)

um 1 word - KIDZUI

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147844)

How about people actually started parenting their children? I'm sure as hell not going to let the kids go online alone until they are old enough to do so responsibly. Just like I don't let them watch TV programs and movies out of their age group. Or how I actually spend time with them and talk to them about stuff. (Even a three-year-old can have a proper conversation if you actually listen and support with asking questions.)

So when will people get off their collective asses and stop trying to find ways to escape responsibility and offload it to whatever solution happens to be popular at the time?

I man can dream, can't he?

(And no, I can't control what they do at their friends etc. etc. But there are risks with crossing the street too.)

The issue isn't one of parenting (or the lack thereof), but that the democratically-elected Australian Government has made the decision to filter Internet content without the mandate of the people. That is, the Government is going to filter content "for the people's own good - despite what they people may actually want". The "it's for your own good" argument has been used many times before, but in the end, it's all censorship and usually flawed.

Of course, the major flaw here is that the filter (if imposed) will probably catch educational / information content as well as nasty stuff. The Australian Government has conveniently overlooked this point, presumably with the idea that "it's for your own good, you know". It's as equally flawed as the previously elected Australian Government empowering the Australian Broadcasting Ombudsman's office with the ability to shut down offensive websites.... which only worked if the website was actually based in Australia. The first website that was shut down as a result of this law simply moved the content overseas and went on, business as usual. I think they were down for about an hour.

However, to return to the issue at hand: Whilst I certainly agree with a "positive parenting" approach, the censorship of the Internet by the Australian Government is essentially seeking to remove the need for parents to oversee their children's activities on the 'net - regardless of whether the parent wants it or not. This is not democracy in action, it's almost draconian in nature - hence Anonymous' protests.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (2, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148028)

The real problem is that the filter will not prevent the technically savvy (including child pornographers, terrorists and other criminals) from using the Internet do distribute and exchange whatever they like. Even the Great Firewall of China doesn't prevent those with the know-how from circumventing it. So it will inconvenience the average user with its rather questionable goals of keeping Australians safe from bad stuff, but will not in fact cause great problems for a lot of the very people it claims to be aimed at. But, as with China and Iran, the point is not so much to prevent the savvy users, who have a wide array of tools at their disposal to sneak past the censors, but to make the average user believe not only that their communications can be censored, but ultimately that there is all-knowing eye. For China and Iran, of course, it's the regimes themselves that need to foster the appearance of this level of control, for Australia, it's a government that wants to cozy up to the religious vote who see this as a way to enforce their notion of Christian principles.

That Australia seems keen to join the ranks of China and Iran is pretty damned sad. What's even sadder is that apart from whatever authoritarianism and pandering this feeds, it's yet another example of security theater. It might have some limited Darwinian effect; the duller-witted child pornographers, terrorists and other criminals who use the Internet being foiled, but this will simply be another mousetrap easily outwitted by a smarter mouse.

Even if Australians don't mind their liberties being eroded, they should be mad as hell at all the money and resources being wasted on a project which is utterly worthless if the bad guys so much as set up an encrypted VPN tunnel.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (1)

Shatteredstar (1722136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148254)

Exactly. The "for the children" arguement is overused as a whole. It will only stop people who don't truly WANT to get around it.

Especially with technology progressing as it does people WILL find ways around the filter as they develop more skills. Look at what happened in Iran with the elections. They tried to shut everyone out and BAM new technology and skills went right around it. The resources, time, etc are all wasted on things like this when they could be used to better educate people on what is out there, and encourage children AND adults to know what to avoid and the consequences of actions, instead of simply putting a wall up and hoping noone finds a way to climb over.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148136)

I am going to let my children watch whatever they want, and play whatever they want. This is how I was raised. I always had the freedom to watch horror movies filled with all sorts of gore, and play the same type of games (then again, games back then didn't have much in the way of gory bits).

Talking with your kids, though, is certainly helpful.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148430)

I am going to let my children watch whatever they want, and play whatever they want. This is how I was raised. I always had the freedom to watch horror movies filled with all sorts of gore, and play the same type of games (then again, games back then didn't have much in the way of gory bits).

We tried letting our kids (3 and 5) watching more aggressive programming for a while. This was very quickly reflected in their behavior.

So I'm choosing the way I was raised, not allowing my kids to see stuff that is deemed unsuitable. (Not that I'm being fundamentalistic about it, but as a general rule.) That being said I'm also not going to have any issues with said kids getting into whatever horror&gore / kinky hardcore porn / whatever once they are old enough to truly separate fantasy from reality.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148710)

The first action on protecting the children from the evil internet from the government proposing this ridiculous filter was to eliminate the previous government's subsidised filtering software. The situation before was that you could get free internet filtering software installed on your PCs at no cost because the government paid for it so you could protect your children. Despite being highly publicised through ISPs and advertisements it had a very low take up rate. In this action the government clearly demonstrates that they have no interest in protecting the children. This proposed filter has nothing to do with protecting the children.

Children are not likely to be harmed by seeing porn online or most of the other content. They are more at risk from sick predators that seek on children on social networks and instant messaging systems which this filter does nothing to address. Spending on the filter will be used as an excuse to take money away from law enforcement, increasing the risk to the children.

The filter is about scoring some cheap political points by treating all Australians like children.

Re:As a parent, I would like to make a suggestion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148908)

Right: simple answer to a complex problem - always attractive.

This would be wonderfully useful in a world where children transition from naive to responsible overnight but here in the real world it takes a few years and during those years they need to learn and grow by experiencing things a graduated step at a time.

Clearly unessecary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147472)

The btards have already assured me that they are going to stop this, just like they totally destroyed Scientology.

Re:Clearly unessecary (1)

ctsupafly (1731348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148368)

They may not have scientolgy yet, but they managed to get at&t to fold in half a day. Seems like when they stick to their forte they're pretty effective.

But the problem is (5, Insightful)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147524)

The problem is that we all have a different definition of "safe."

When I was growing up, my parents had a definition that included things like: good nutrition, outdoor exercise, avoiding physical violence, good hygene, "look both ways before crossing the street," etc.

Today's parents seem to be almost monomaniacally focused on sex and terror.

I don't know what that means long-term, but I don't think the Australian government, Yahoo, or Google should be helping us find out..

Re:But the problem is (3, Insightful)

Shatteredstar (1722136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147880)

Thats what always confuses the heck out of me. It was "be careful, don't talk to strangers. Don't take anything from strangers, look both ways before crossing the street, be home by dinner, and clean your room." were the rules of the land. During the school year it might include "Do your homework." And at times for some "Stop teasing your brother/sister!" normally yelled. Now its not so much a "go out and learn the world, but be careful!" sort of thing but "Don't do anything we don't specifically say you can do!" which is likely hurting children FAR more then helping them.

Re:But the problem is (5, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147958)

Definition of safe while I was growing up was making sure none of the scrapes and cuts got infected.

Definition of safe now days is to not get any cuts or scrapes.

Re:But the problem is (1)

thehostiles (1659283) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148090)

if I had any mod points, I'd make this insightful.

Re:But the problem is (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148150)

I think that is the best, most concise explanation for the problem in this whole thread.

Re:But the problem is (1)

jockeys (753885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148818)

very, VERY well said.

Re:But the problem is (1)

socceroos (1374367) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148912)

Parent is right (pun intended). We should be telling our kids to look at goatse and 4chan twenty-four-sev! .....as long as they aren't infected.

....with what??

WAGE!

Re:But the problem is (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149014)

If your kid looks at goatse for longer than it takes to close the window then you may want to explain a few things to him.

The birds, the bees, the large distended anus.

Seriously though it is a good idea to sit with your children and explain some things to them before you allow them to use the internet on their own.

Not just goatse type things, but also about punch the monkey ads and all the other things about the internet that are bullshit.

I have no kids though, so take this advice with a grain of salt.

Conroy has his own agenda (3, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147568)

...and will not listen to reason, as he has repeatedly demonstrated. I'm not entirely clear what that agenda is, beyond being a douche. Perhaps he's in bed with the media organisations, and the filter censoring kiddie porn is only a side issue, while the real game is filtering music/tv/movie downloads. Perhaps he was teased as a child and this is his revenge on society. Either way he is an irresponsible man and I hope he's now infamous enough that people will vote him out at the next election (though I suspect I hope for too much).

Re:Conroy has his own agenda (0, Troll)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148538)

He probably just hopes that this will finally put his kiddy porn addiction outside of his reach.

Just like alcoholics push for alcohol to be illegal and drug addicts push to have drugs illegal. Those think of the children types are thinking of the children........too much usually.

Re:Conroy has his own agenda (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149414)

Just like alcoholics push for alcohol to be illegal and drug addicts push to have drugs illegal.

Obviously you didn't party much while you were in college ...

Re:Conroy has his own agenda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31149650)

Obviously you kicked your habit.

Re:Conroy has his own agenda (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149836)

Sit in on an AA meeting.

This isn't about those who are fine with their addictions, I am fine with mine, this is about those who are not.

I'm not optimistic (4, Insightful)

zblack_eagle (971870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149500)

A number of factors are likely to keep Stephen Conroy in after the election this year.

In Australian election ballots for the senate we select one box above the line or number all the boxes below the line. To elaborate: below the line we number all of the possible candidates in order of preference (and we have to number all of them in order for that vote to be valid. Above the line we choose one political party who will be choosing the below the line preferences for those voters. Such preferences are selected based on the principles of the political party, on a reciprocal basis or for attempted political gain. This was how we ended up with Steve Fielding [wikipedia.org] .

Due to the extreme number of senate candidates in Australian state and federal elections (last time I voted in the South Australian state election I think there was 46) most people elect to have their favoured political party choose their preferences for them. Based on the traditionalist attitudes of voters that revolve around biases, prejudices and/or traditionalism (my family has always voted for party X) the parties with the most senators tend to be Labor and Liberal, Conroy being a Labor senator who was elected even during the years that the Liberal/National Coalition had a majority in both houses of government.

As I now live in Victoria I'll certainly be voting in favour of candidates that are not him in the election some time this year. However I don't trust the preferences of other parties, nor do I want to re-elect members of the party of fear and xenophobia, so I'll be voting below the line.

But you can count on the majority voting above the line.

Re:Conroy has his own agenda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31149532)

Perhaps he was teased as a child and this is his revenge on society. Either way he is an irresponsible man and I hope he's now infamous enough that people will vote him out at the next election (though I suspect I hope for too much).

No, you're thinking of Thompson.
http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20050808

Just flood Australia already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147578)

It only has 20 million people that can easily go back to more civilized countries. By letting Australia get flooded we won't have to worry about climate change so everyone wins.

Re:Just flood Australia already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148460)

Sea levels will rise by ~20 Feet !!!

I interpret that as.... (3, Interesting)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147622)

"'We, the Australian Library and Information Association, Google, Inspire Foundation and Yahoo! agree that Australia needs to take effective action to ensure that internet users, and particularly children, have a safe experience online.'

So? I read that as they support measures to filter the internet. For the children?

Yeah, the summary is stupid. (4, Informative)

mahsah (1340539) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147654)

If you take it out of context it would seem that way, but RTFA. Still, this is a very poor summary for that reason.

Re:Yeah, the summary is stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147874)

Agreed. The summary is very stupid. I re-read it at least five times, thinking I had misinterpreted the wording. From the summary, it appears as if they all favour the filter, and I found myself dumbfounded because if they favoured it, how is that fighting (against) it? Or perhaps it was meant to say "fighting for" rather than simply "fighting", which implies that they're fighting *against* it...

I didn't read the article yet, but that's just my viewpoint.

Re:Yeah, the summary is stupid. (1)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147896)

I agree. However the context is not what media report on.

And when lines such as "The following statement" and 'We, the Australian Library and Information Association, Google, Inspire Foundation and Yahoo! agree that Australia needs to take effective action to ensure that internet users, and particularly children, have a safe experience online." appear first up like that you are in trouble. So yeah, I did RTFA and quoted the entire first paragraph from their statement. An opening paragraph that reads like Conroy himself wrote. Poor job to the PR people indeed.

Re:I interpret that as.... (4, Insightful)

captaindomon (870655) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147812)

You have to understand the politics. If they started their letter with "We think your idea is stupid and won't work and we won't support it" they would look like trouble causers and they would be dismissed from the discussion immediately. If they start the letter with "We understand why you are concerned, it's good to care about kids, we care about them too, let's work together to figure out the best way to do this correctly without trying to block the internet at the national level" they are going to get a lot more support and understanding. You can tell the letter was written by PR type folks, who spent a lot of time on it. It's a good sign, because it means Yahoo and Google are actually concerned at the corporate level, and are thinking seriously about the best way to address this filtering problem, and they're preparing for a long involved process.

Re:I interpret that as.... (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148984)

You've never dealt with people on a serious issue before, have you?

Here's a tip - starting a message by outright denying the validity of the issue will result in anything you say being summarily dismissed. If you're comfortable with being ignored completely, then go nuts.

There is a good case to make that some support for online child safety is important. How that support is delivered is another matter, and the Australian government is going about this in the wrong way. That the authors of this letter agree that there is an issue (and that's all they're doing in that first sentence) is trivial and does not provide support for the filter.

Everybody poops... (-1, Offtopic)

snapple)(two (1738794) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147624)

...but you didn't here it from me

Re:Everybody poops... (1)

Slur (61510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148050)

...but you didn't here. It from me.

There, fixed that for you.

These people sure think about children alot (4, Funny)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147646)

All this thinking about children these people do just doesn't seem healthy. They're probably using all this as a cover so they can think about children like ...that. To be safe we better lock them all up as pedos for thinking about children so much.

Re:These people do not care! (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147892)

I can hack the aussie gov http://www.cpiu.us/contact-us [www.cpiu.us] I am Director of Software Engineering.Fake Name. you will never stop me. want me to wiki leaks every person in the Australian gov and the entire protocol, Every cover up including ports? I have ports listed. There will be no stopping me. EOF

Re:These people sure think about children alot (1)

Shatteredstar (1722136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147906)

Just need to make them have a seat over there....

Re:These people sure think about children alot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148622)

And all this talking about kiddie porn turns me on.

But seriously: no, it doesn't.

Re:These people sure think about children alot (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149762)

They should start thinking about their children. For example about the part where they grow up and become adults some day. I have a little daughter and as she grows up I want her to be able to enjoy the same kind of freedom I was able to enjoy. I don't want her to have to live in a censorship state.

Actual statement (5, Informative)

mwsw (1011777) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147712)

Re:Actual statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31148340)

It seems to say that the association isn't opposed to censorship in general; they just don't think Australia is going about it in an effective way. That's still not much of a stand for freedom. I'd be impressed if Google had said, "We're going to get Australians uncensored Internet access even if that means the Aussie government threatens to kick us out like China." Anything less than that sounds like complicity.

can't be done, or voluntary filters (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31147860)

long winded rant> Long story short, you can't really convert the world into a safe environment for kids, without trying to and making the world safe for all human beings. That would be a real government job. Other than that, you can put in all the filters, censors, and spies you want, and achieve only partial success at best, creating a vibrant information-black-market in the meantime. Just look at drugs, alcohol, piracy, MP3, and porn. Desired by many, but filled with silly, ineffective rules, prohibitions, restrictions, and regulations, all a waste of time. So, lock the kids up into a disneyland censored world, or teach them to be smart, learn about how things are, defend themselves, and let them go outside and grow up. I'm not advocating throwing two-year-olds into downtown red districts and say "ok, just walk home alone". But expecting the city police or secret government to just tell every drug addict and nutcase along the way to shut up and watch in respect the passing children with blinders or magical-beauty-filter-goggles, but otherwise continue business as usual, is pathetic. If they wanted the world safer, they should do something about it, call the UN, Unesco, the Dalai Lama, human rigthts people, ask what to do, and not call the spies and the police, who are just part of the problem of everyone against everyone. -- /long winded rant>

Make the Parents Responsible (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31147960)

Here in Canada, we have a very simple system of keeping children safe in the real world. We make their parents legally responsible for watching their children.

Why can't we (Canada, Australia and everywhere else) make the parents legally responsible for watching their children online? This way the government wouldn't need to do internet censorship.

Re:Make the Parents Responsible (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148474)

Here in Canada, we have a very simple system of keeping children safe in the real world. We make their parents legally responsible for watching their children.

Why can't we (Canada, Australia and everywhere else) make the parents legally responsible for watching their children online? This way the government wouldn't need to do internet censorship.

Because then the government wouldn't be able to use that excuse to control what their subjects are allowed to view. (Whenever a government acts as Australia is in this case it is clear that it views its population as subjects, not as citizens).

Re:Make the Parents Responsible (2, Insightful)

Tangentc (1637287) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148698)

Because many bad parents would rather have a scapegoat to blame all of their troubles on than hear that they should have been parenting while little Billy was searching for filthy porn online.

Seriously, it may not be easy to raise kids, but don't blame the medium whenever your kid uses it to find questionable material. I like that the article mentioned an education program, which would probably be more effective and less costly than a massive filter anyway. It's just too bad that the knee-jerk reaction is always to censor.

Here in Canada

Though this reminds me, aren't we supposed to be blaming Canada?

Children (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148020)

Let parents worry about what their children are exposed to. If they're not already doing that, it's neglect, and perhaps something else should be done about the parents' carelessness. If the government don't want to be attacked, let them filter their internet connections however they want. Censorship of the general populace's internet connection isn't necessary for either of these cases, and should not even enter into the equation.

Yay /b/!!! (2, Insightful)

nitrowing (887519) | more than 4 years ago | (#31148876)

First off, yay to the /b/tards - I had been watching this a few days before it started and am proud of them. Second, this is from a long time ago and a view I whole-heartedly agree with. Written by the Rotten.com Staff, The definition of obscenity, according to the Supreme Court and known informally as the Miller test, is: * must appeal to the prurient interest of the average person * must describe sexual conduct in a way that is "patently offensive" to community standards, and * when taken as a whole, it "must lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value" Certain people (including parents and schoolteachers) have complained to us and stated that rotten.com should not be "allowed" on the net, since children can view images on our site. One US schoolteacher wrote us a very angry email that complained some of her students had bookmarked images on this site, that our site shouldn't be on the net, and other claptrap. This is our respone. The net is not a babysitter! Children should not be roaming the Internet unsupervised any more than they should be roaming the streets of New York City unsupervised. We cannot dumb the Internet down to the level of playground. Rotten dot com serves as a beacon to demonstrate that censorship of the Internet is impractical, unethical, and wrong. To censor this site, it is necessary to censor medical texts, history texts, evidence rooms, courtrooms, art museums, libraries and other sources of information vital to functioning of free society. Nearly all of the images we have online are not even prurient, and would thus not fall under any definition of obscenity. Any images which we have of a sexual nature are in a context which render them far from obscene, in any United States jurisdiction. Some of the images may be offensive, but that has never been a crime. Life is sometimes offensive. You have to expect that. The images we find most obscene are those from book burnings. Please remember that no child has access to the Internet without the active consent of an adult. And absolutely no child should be left on the Internet alone. Supervision of children remains the responsibility of parents and teachers, as it always has and always will. The rotten staff, April 1997

Re:Yay /b/!!! (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149152)

Wow, that is actually a very good write up of the issue, and I hate rotten.com

As true today as it was thirteen years ago, surprised I never saw this write up before now.

The ALIA statement sucks (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149198)

We, the Australian Library and Information Association, Google, Inspire Foundation and Yahoo! agree that Australia needs to take effective action to ensure that internet users, and particularly children, have a safe experience online. The statement i would sign would be that internet users deserve, freedom and privacy, and protection against Quango's Megacorps and goverments, at all times.

---

Censorship [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

What a waste .... (-1, Troll)

zuperduperman (1206922) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149634)

> We, the Australian Library and Information Association, Google, Inspire Foundation and Yahoo! agree ...

They get Google AND Yahoo to support this initiative and then lead off with "the Australian Library and Information Association". Nobody will even read past those words before they ditch this statement as irrelevant.

I used to be opposed but ... (-1, Flamebait)

thoughtspace (1444717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31149766)

I have read the many responses that object to content filtering but I fear many forget that:

- you can not know what complete responsibility you have for another human being until you have your own children
- pedophiles etc have an addiction and/or psychological problem and they do not reason the same way as a sane person
- you can't let the very people who profit from attracting people to sites to self regulate, that is where the government has to step in

Parents are not internet experts. They do not have the skills to implement content filtering. The experts are the internet companies; but they have a vested interest in not filtering. So that leaves government and the content filtering software companies (but parents don't have the skills to select which program to buy - we just have to do our best).

Filtering is an imperfect science. A progressive percentage reduction in accessibility is how you break down the grouping the internet has given to otherwise isolated cases of pedophiles etc. There will be sites blocked which should not. Considering how little of the complete internet is actually viewed by any individual, I can't imagine how you would know the difference - it certainly wasn't there a mere 15 or so years ago. Companies web sites will change how they operate and check their site availability in advance - not unlike registering a business. Businesses have to manage these sorts of hurdles all the time - it is a risk of business and hence the source of return.

It is correct for governments to classify the content of material at the internet companies and ISPs. Magazines are controlled this way - the creator (hence profit maker) and distribution chain (the other profit makers) had to meet Australian standards. The most obvious example is 'sealed section' magazines and their location within newsagencies. The internet companies are not fighting for your freedom; they want to avoid the restriction that was placed on print media.

The other complaint about the Australian system is that the black list is confidential. I feel this is wrong, but thinking about it - how else could it work? Making the list public defeats the purpose. I know people, as I, believe there should be freedoms. But there is certainly material that definitely should not be available to children and, on an internet scale, a huge number of adults.

Probably the biggest problem was that the Governments reacted too slowly and it is painful to fix the problem now. But it was done for TV and print. The fact of the matter is that the amount of unrestricted extreme material has exploded since the internet.

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