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588 comments

Huh? (-1, Offtopic)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208588)

Error: nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

Looks like I have to apply for slashdot as well.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14208657)

I, for one, welcome our new senetorial overlords.

WTF! (4, Insightful)

yuri benjamin (222127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208590)

Anyone who's desparate to surf pr0n will find a way around it.

Re:WTF! (4, Funny)

moro_666 (414422) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208613)

I'd love to see how they manage to filter all the content on year 2005/2006, they have to add a massive park of machines for it. And even then they will be unable to do anything about encrypted connections around the internet.

  I can't imagine any possible way to do it. Unless they link all the lambs in australia into one massive quantum supermachine ...

wish in one hand... (5, Funny)

shams42 (562402) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208592)

Well, I want monkeys to fly out of my ass. That doesn't mean it's likely to happen.

Re:wish in one hand... (4, Funny)

raoul666 (870362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208683)

Oddly, a goatse link would be informative in response to this parent.

Re:wish in one hand... (1)

cronotk (896650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208727)

I believe that anybody hanging around here should be able to find it at Wikipedia.org ;)
Posting the Link MAY cause bad karma y'know?

Not a nanny (0, Troll)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208595)

Is this any different from hotels or cable companies blocking adult channels by default? By requiring this step, it blocks children from adult sites on the Internet (to the extent that the filters work).

This gives much more power to parents to control what their children have access to at home. Whereas there are numerous ways to circumvent PC-based web filters, there really isn't much a child can do to bypass ISP filters.

It's a good idea.

Re:Not a nanny (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14208649)

Jesus. This has been discussed so many times under so many different permutations and yet this type of opinion still exists.

Ok. So you want the ISP to filter for you to keep the "baddies" of the internet away from your children.

Great. Who decides what sites the ISP should filter? What is the criteria? Who develops the criteria? Who oversees that the ISP are filtering only to the criteria mandated? And so on...and so on...

Yes, ISPs can filter. It won't work. Some "bad" sites will get through the filter and many perfectly legitimate sites will get blocked. The current market of PC-based filtering software clearly proves this.

Here's an idea. Supervise your children when they are on the internet instead of relying on your ISP or (god forbid) the government to do it for you.

You are not a very good troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14208656)

That is all.

Re:Not a nanny (2, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208721)

Is this any different from hotels or cable companies blocking adult channels by default?

Are they required to do so by law? Or do they choose to?

Re:Not a nanny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14208753)

Is there any difference? Isn't the end result the same?

Australia (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14208596)

Since when does Australia matter? Aren't they all a bunch of criminals anyway?

So? (5, Funny)

tajgenie (932485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208597)

So what? Isn't the government the same as my parents? The government gave birth to me, raised me, fed me, taught me right from wrong. Surely they should be allowed to censor me?

Re:So? (5, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208693)

You silly person. You are talking about TV. TV is not the same as the governement.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14208718)

You probably don't mean what you said but there are lots of people in the world who do or at least act like they do.

As for your question I'd say that depends on your mental age and which country you're living in. A lot of people don't seem to mature mentally at all, ever, and would be both utterly confused as well as insulted if you told them. All of which begs for empowering the nannystate even further since these people are given adult rights and choose what they perceive as the easy way out (socialism in disguise which will sooner or later always transform into fascism, disguised or not).

When was the last time you heard a discussion not only about rights but about duty? The overwhelming focus is on rights, but as an example it's actually a duty in addition to a right for an adult to vote. Those who are surprised by such a notion aren't yet fully grown up. No free society is purely based on rights but also on the duties that actually safeguard those very rights. This is a brittle arrangement but the best one so far for anyone who believes in the individual and that society needs to be built upon the freedom, rights and duties of the individual rather than the group.

Internet != Web (5, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208598)

The article talks about the Internet but my bet is that they are talking about content filtering on http traffic.

Peer to peer is much harder to filter and readily available to the porn industry.

You don't think they actually comprehend that! (4, Insightful)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208696)

You are attributing far too much intelligence to them. Anyone who would seriously think of filtering the internet obviously has no idea of what it is.

Re:You don't think they actually comprehend that! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208745)

You are attributing far too much intelligence to them

I am perfectly happy about the Government not comprehending this issue. More freedom for us. I just wish they weren't forcing adult websites to be hosted offshore. I would like to have the revenue.

Re:You don't think they actually comprehend that! (2, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208780)

I just wish they weren't forcing adult websites to be hosted offshore. I would like to have the revenue.

If you want the revenue, then operate an adult site on an offshore server. Good luck to you, but it sure looks like a crowded market to jump into.

-jcr

Nasties on the net (5, Insightful)

Paska (801395) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208601)

"Keeping kids from nasties on the net"

Here, I have a much better suggestion - supervision your children while they use the internet!

Re:Nasties on the net (2, Interesting)

hyu (763773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208651)

It should be well documented by now that nobody believes we are capable of doing this. Every government representative or corporate executive seems to think that we need guidance. And they might have a point.

If there are so many incidents, then clearly there is some sort of issue, correct? It's all well and nice to say that we should supervise or self-censor, but how many people really do that effectively?

At the age of eleven, I was surfing pornography on the world wide web. At age twelve, I was playing highly violent videogames. I was enthralled by Grand Theft Auto 3 at fourteen. I may not have acted upon what I was seeing and playing, but I was still being exposed to it.

I'm not trying to say that we should censor the internet becuase parents don't know how. What I'm saying is that maybe there is a reason behind why everyone tells us we should have this censorship and guidance. Many government debates are started just to make an issue come to light, not necessarily to actually make huge reforms like this one happen.

Re:Nasties on the net (2, Funny)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208765)

At the age of eleven, I was surfing pornography on the world wide web. At age twelve, I was playing highly violent videogames. I was enthralled by Grand Theft Auto 3 at fourteen.

And yet you are posting on slashdot. So where's the problem?

Re:Nasties on the net (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208792)

At the age of eleven, I was surfing pornography on the world wide web. At age twelve, I was playing highly violent videogames. I was enthralled by Grand Theft Auto 3 at fourteen. I may not have acted upon what I was seeing and playing, but I was still being exposed to it.
Yeah, and what's your point? Do you think you were damaged by it, or something?

Re:Nasties on the net (0)

natd (723818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208704)

Completly unworkable. Assume a household with 3 children. Are we supposed to set up a dedicated computer room instead of their bedrooms (where kids have had their PCs since ..forever...1981 in my case) and make sure there is a full time watcher?

Kids over 13 or so can stay home alone. Do we lock up the computer room when the adults are out? Computing to the current generation is as pervasive as book reading was the one before. They will have free access to it whatever we think.

Re:Nasties on the net (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14208781)

Anyone who gives a little kid their own computer and unsupervised access to the net in their bedrooms, should be kicked in the head whenever they ask the government to do something about the problem they've created for themselves. Hey, here's a smart idea, put cable TV in their rooms too and don't block the Playboy channel, then ask the government to step in and do something about it.

It is not hard to configure computers these days to only access the net through a proxy and then implement filtering on the proxy. If you have one of those kids who can get around stuff like that(and actually, they aren't as common as the hypsters like to say), then you can bet they'll get around any government mandated ISP filter. If you're a parent who isn't technically savvy enough to do that, but you have the money to put computers and internet connections into all your kids rooms, then you have the money to hire a consultant to set a proxy up for you.

-A Parent

Re:Nasties on the net (4, Interesting)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208794)

Completly unworkable.

You're fucking kidding me, right? Parents supervising kids is unworkable? If parents aren't able to raise their kids, without big brother, perhaps they should put their kids up for adoption (which in Australia is even more of an option, as there is a shortage of unwanted children).

Are we supposed to set up a dedicated computer room instead of their bedrooms

Well, actually, many families do have a dedicated computer room. But that really isn't important to this discussion.

make sure there is a full time watcher?

Actually, I do remember knowing someone who wasn't allowed on the computer without supervision (and this was pre-internet). But normally that isn't necessary. It's all a matter of trust. How much do you trust your kids? How much CAN you trust your kids? If you've raised them right, then yes, they won't do the wrong thing. But you have to encourage openness and be someone they can open up to.

But even if you haven't instilled trust in your kid, you can monitor the computer (there's all sorts of programs that allow you to have varying degrees of monitoring), from a simple net-nanny type program to knowing everything they type on their keyboard. Buy a decent net-nanny program that keeps a log of when it's enabled and disabled. The only thing the kid can do, is delete the log, which will tell you, they've done something they shouldn't have.

But the real question is, are you going to buy cable with adult channels and not place a lock on the adult channels? Of course you aren't. So why do people do it with the internet?

Kids over 13 or so can stay home alone. Do we lock up the computer room when the adults are out?

Are you being satirical? Or are you truly ignorant of the most basic password function on a computer?

Um ok (5, Funny)

dirtsurfer (595452) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208606)

Wildly unpopular, impossible to implement and very, very expensive to even attempt.

Yup. Sounds like a winning proposal to me.

Re: Um ok (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208778)

> Wildly unpopular, impossible to implement and very, very expensive to even attempt.

If it appeals to the voters in his district, the rest is irrelevant.

He forgets (1)

samjam (256347) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208610)

He forgets or never knew that there only appears to be a common stream to censor (http) because it was NOT being censored.
As soon as he censor he fragments the web enough to make his censoring useless.
Of course anyone using the non-censorable "technology" must be a criminule, right?
I'm anti-porn, I think it damages peoples minds, but I don't like this either.

Sam

Re:He forgets (3, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208732)

"I'm anti-porn, I think it damages peoples minds. . ."

Well yeah, having your mind damaged by morality'll do that to ya.

KFG

Interesting (2, Insightful)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208750)

I'm anti-porn, I think it damages peoples minds, but I don't like this either.

Interesting, as I've always felt that porn helps people relax and release tension. Like anything else, it can be addictive and too much can probably hurt you (though, like most things, too mcuh is dependant on the indivdual). It's also certainly good for couples when it's watched together (and is something both enjoy watching).

There is also the old reality/VR argument. Like video games, there is a significant difference between porn and reality. The problem comes when people can't differentiate between the two. In porn's case I'd argue that the lack of sex ed in schools probably contributes to that, as people develope their ideas about sex from pornos without having been taught anything about the reality of it (the "you mean all gals arent completely shaven, enjoy teh buttsecks, and like facials and giving blowjobs?!?!?!?" type mentality).

Porn is at its basic sense fantasy, and can actually sometimes be really funny if you understand that. Hell, my girlfriend and I spent a couple hours laughing at/critiquing some rather unrealistic and amusing porn this past weekend.

To bring this back on topic, regardless of one's views towards porn, filtering it is both impossible and a dangerous move to attempt. This is an area of parental responsibility, it should not be censored by the govt for us.

Re:He forgets (2, Funny)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208782)

[...] a criminule, right? I'm anti-porn, I think it damages peoples minds, but I don't like this either.

Hmmm, but without pr0n, it looks like one develops quite bad spelling.

Nanny-ness of this isn't important compared to (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208612)

The privacy issues of such a rule are staggering. Suppose the police want to find out who all the pervs are on a city block. They just subpoena the local ISPs to find out who's applied for pr0n access. Not to mention what happens if the ISP gets hacked (electronically or socially) and someone manages to get a copy of the pr0n access list. I suspect a lot of legislators will eventually be exposed for their hairy palms if such a law ever got passed.

Re:Nanny-ness of this isn't important compared to (3, Insightful)

scsirob (246572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208744)

Although you are absolutely right that they can find all the pervs in a city block, they will most likely find that *all* males with an internet connection in *all* city blocks would then qualify as a perv. The problem is that most communities are hypocrits about this and go "Ohh, Noooo, What a shame!" towards anyone who is publicly caught watching pr0n.

mmmhmm (-1, Flamebait)

breadboy21 (856238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208618)

Just one more reason why the continued control of ICANN over the internet is a wonderful thing. Just imagine if a world body got control and decided to put China, Iran, or apparently Australia on the board governing it. No bit tax, free access to whatever sites you want, the only way to go is down.

Re:mmmhmm (2, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208643)

Just one more reason why the continued control of ICANN over the internet is a wonderful thing. Just imagine if a world body got control and decided to put China, Iran, or apparently Australia on the board governing it.


This is just the opinion of one right-wing senator. It's not going to happen. You have a lot more neo-con nut jobs in your senate or lobbying it who propose the same or worse.

Sigh... (1)

Hervard (933602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208619)

Senator's come up with the stupidest things sometimes. Good in theory but impractical to implement.

Re:Sigh... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208634)

Senator's come up with the stupidest things sometimes.

Especially when the party in power has a majority in both houses of parliament. The result is that even Government senators are hardly listened to. They can talk crap to their hearts content now.

Re:Sigh... (1)

traabil (861418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208748)

Senator's come up with the stupidest things sometimes. Good in theory but impractical to implement.

Reminds me of that show on TV a while back. "Senators say the darnd'est things", was it?

Re:Sigh... (5, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208759)

No, it's not even good in theory! It's extremely bad in theory! It's opressive and totalitarian, and is a policy better suited for those "towel-head" theocracies that the US and Australian government are -- allegedly -- enemies of. In fact, it's the kind of idea that in a sane world would get this senator kicked out off office almost immediately, because it's dangerously close to treason for any allegedly "free" society.

Redneck Senator (5, Informative)

syousef (465911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208620)

This is a Tasmanian senator. Tasmania is an Island long associated with jokes about incest and redneck stupidity. For you Americans think West Virginia style jokes (except that Tasmania is a very cold place and it's population quite tiny).

Re:Redneck Senator (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14208630)

Tasmania is a very cold place and it's population quite tiny

So that's where they [nationalgeographic.com] disappeared to.

I have to tell you this (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208658)

20 years ago I went hitch hiking in Tasmania. Going up the east coast was a pain because all the shithead retirees living there associate carrying a back pack with being a radical greenie. I couldn't get a ride.

An old combee van pulls up. A hand waves me in. Inside that van were six people with extreme facial deformities. Think the bar scene from Star Wars. These people were ugly, but the nicest people I met on the entire east coast of tassie. They were only going 5k up the road and apologised for not taking me further.

I was lucky to make it for my plane from devonport that night. I haven't been back. Lately I had the thought that right wingers in NZ could buy the place from Australia. They would get 300000 right wing voters which should put the NZ nationals back in power for a while...

Be a bit nicer! (3, Funny)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208671)

(except that Tasmania is a very cold place and it's population quite tiny)

To start making remarks in which you combine cold with tiny is just not nice. It is always like that when it is cold!

Does someone have a list of names? (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208622)

Just a senator?

From TFA:
LAST month, 62 members of the federal Coalition signed a letter to the Prime Minister calling for a ban on access to pornographic, violent and other inappropriate material via the internet.

The signatories believed the internet should be regulated in a similar way to other media. If adults wished to "opt in" to access the material then of course that would be their right, and they would have to apply for their right of access.


Does someone have a list of names of these idiots, so our Australian friends know who to rail against and vote out of office ASAP?

No list required (1)

xixax (44677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208713)

Does someone have a list of names of these idiots, so our Australian friends know who to rail against and vote out of office ASAP?
"The Federal Coalition" is the conservative party currently in power; judging by current performace on other liberal issues, they aren't going to give a sweet FA about a handful of irate geeks. Not when we apparently have exploding towel-heads[1] hiding under every bus shelter.

Xix

[1] Well, that seems to be the imaagery we are fearful for

Re:Does someone have a list of names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14208742)

Does someone have a list of names of these idiots, so our Australian friends know who to rail against and vote out of office ASAP?

The Liberal Party

From the horse's mouth. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14208639)

This article appears on his own website [guybarnett.com] :

Senator Guy Barnett today called for a national ban on access to pornographic, extremely violent, and other inappropriate material via the internet, subject to "opt-in" rights for adults.

Adults wishing to view pornographic material and other material banned as such would have the right to "opt in", to receive such material.

Senator Barnett said research showed that most Australians would support such constraints applying both at public institutions such as schools and libraries, and in the home.

"I was staggered to learn recently that most libraries in Australia provide unfiltered access to the internet, and there is no legal obligation on public libraries to use internet filtering to prevent children's access to pornography," Senator Barnett said.

"General access to pornography at Commonwealth, State and local government public facilities is particularly worrying."

Senator Barnett said high risk places for children such as public libraries, child care centres and on-line access centres should have filtering to ban access to pornography and other inappropriate material.

"As Members of Parliament we have a duty of care to ensure that pornographic and violent sites are not available to children," Senator Barnett said.

"In Tasmania in August it was discovered that children could access pornography at the State Library in Hobart. I wrote to the State Minister for Education Paula Wriedt on August 16 and five weeks later she says she is having a review done. This is not good enough," he said.

"It defies belief that students, especially minors, can be vulnerable to on-line porn sites at public libraries of all places. Public libraries are education institutions in the same way as schools are and should be protected as such from pornography and other inappropriate information," Senator Barnett said.

One option is for a filter to be applied at the Tier 1 (e.g. Optus, Telstra, and Primus) internet service provider level. It could operate on the basis that those customers who wish to access pornographic material could apply to do so.

This reform would be supported by parents, (see statistics below) and would have the effect of filtering out pornography at home and on public sites, with the onus being on adult users to 'opt in' if they wish.

A Federally funded site called www.netalert.net.au has extensive advice on the use of filters and other safety advice for institutions and individual users. Some filter software is available free on the web and the Netalert site provides information on various filter sites.

A survey by the Australia Institute called Regulating Youth Access to Pornography dated 2003 found that 84% of boys and 60% of girls had been accidentally exposed to pornographic material on the internet, while two in every five boys had deliberately used the internet at some stage to see sexually explicit material.

"The survey found that 93% of parents were in favour of filtering out pornography available on the home computer, let alone those in public buildings. The survey also drew a link between prolonged exposure to this material and tolerance of sexual aggression," Senator Barnett said.

He said he would be canvassing the issue with his Federal colleagues over the next few weeks.

The Australia Institute survey found that a much more effective method of restricting access of children to Internet sex sites would be to require all Australian ISPs to apply filters to all content, with some managed exemptions for adult users.


It appears that he's another person who believes in something with which most people would not disagree (filtering in public institutions, like public libraries) but takes it too far by extending it to make adult content 'opt-in' for homes.

If parents want to protect their children at home, they can get opt-in filters. No usable filtering software, whether on the home PC or on a major hub, is 100% effective, with both false-positive (non-Adult site labelled as Adult) and false-negative (Adult site labelled as non-Adult) making a national block a very unfavourable policy.

Re:From the horse's mouth. (2, Interesting)

darkewolf (24563) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208746)

The best bit is:

A survey by the Australia Institute called Regulating Youth Access to Pornography dated 2003 found that 84% of boys and 60% of girls had been accidentally exposed to pornographic material on the internet, while two in every five boys had deliberately used the internet at some stage to see sexually explicit material.

Suggesting that only boys go out of their way to look for porn. I am sure there is one or two girls that actively look for porn. Of course, maybe guys are a touch more obcessive about it.

Pity my elected officials (5, Informative)

fatboyslack (634391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208640)

As a term of reference for you delightful residents of the US of A, Tasmania is like the US 'south' (rednecks, interbreeding et al) and the 'Liberal' party isn't actually a liberal party, but a conservative party (similar to your Republican party).

However, this motion/proposal is unlikely to gain legs as Howard (current Australian Prime Minister) would almost certainly leave it as a 'conscience vote' and I sincerely doubt that it will have the popularity to get through the lower house, let alone the upper house.

And, as I understand it, this sort of 'filtering' would be quite difficult to do and the current upper echelons of politicians *and* public servants switched on enough to listen to those who would advise them on the viability of 'filtering'... so false alarm and ignore the political posturing. The guy is (most likely) in a marginal seat and is trying to buy some credit with the local religious conservatives.

"while two in five boys had deliberately used the net to see sexually explicit material" ... and the other three were lying about it.

I'm Spartacus (1)

JulesLt (909417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208790)

My experience of Australians suggest that most of the male population would opt-in pretty sharpish anyway.

Australians... (-1, Troll)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208644)

All this really goes to show is that, much as one might have expected, Australians really are as stupid as people from Utah [slashdot.org] . Then again what can you really expect from a country with people dumb enough to elect Pauline Hanson [wikipedia.org] to parliament.

To all those intelligent people in Australia and Utah (don't worry, I know you exist): you have my condolences, but really, isn't it about time you thought about moving or something?

Jedidiah.

Re:Australians... (3, Funny)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208670)

Then again what can you really expect from a country with people dumb enough to elect Pauline Hanson to parliament.

She was thrown out after two years when it was obvious what an idiot she was. You re-elected Bush. Who's dumb?

Re:Australians... (1)

zem_11 (729831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208743)

"Ooooh look at me we don't have any narrow minded politicians where I'm from. Australia is, like, so dumb"

Get a brain cell muppet before typing.

Damn sheep shagger ... LOL

It's already in place (1)

Squigley (213068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208646)

They implemented this rubbish years ago. Hell, search the /. archives, it'll come up with articles about it.

It didn't make 1 iota of difference, and if anything happens this time, things still won't change.

Re:It's already in place (2, Interesting)

bollocks (80650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208682)

If there's a difference it's this:
The first time round, the Howard government passed the law banning porn on the internet in exchange for getting independant Senator Brian Harradine's support for the partial privatization of Telstra (Govt owned Telco). So what happened was they spent a couple of million on setting up an agency to do it, then never enforced the laws.

The difference this time is that it comes from within the government itself, which means that we'd likely get more than just the laws this time, they may actually try to enforce them (and just because they can't get rid of net porn doesn't mean they can screw things up trying).

These people should censor themselves.... (2, Insightful)

Dual_View (933041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208659)

AFAIK, Australia is still reeling from the effects of gun control laws. Clearly, they have not learned the lesson that unrealistic attempts at regulation only cause the problem to become worse. I have no sympathy for the politicians that think this will solve anything, even in the remote condition that it manages to work properly. However, I do have sympathy for the people of Australia that will have to deal with this, as well as whatever federal institutions and causes are robbed of money that the Australian government redirects to this misguided endeavor.

Those filters will not be effective by any stretch of the imagination. It's unlikely that pornography can be statistically "filtered out" the way spam is. Also, those who actually have a vested interest in the Australian market for pornography will just start signing up for hosting that's based in another country, like the United States. So the Australian government gets weepy and blows through a large supply of tax money EVERY YEAR on a solution with barely any chance of success and no redeemable returns even if it is a success.

Do these people even stop to think before they open their mouths to speak?

Where do you get this stuff? (3, Insightful)

poptones (653660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208660)

It used to be ozzies had the reputation for being self made, independant, and relatively free thinking individualists. I can sort of understand this stuff here in the US since we screwed up three hundred years ago by not putting those puritans back on the boat from which they came - but lately you people "down under" often make our own fascist government look like sodom in comparison.

Far be it from me to tell the people of another country how to run their own show... I'm just grateful for the contrast. Every time I see another "we must filter porn to protect the children from carnal knowledge" or "me must outlaw cameras at school sports events to protect kids from the evil paedophiles" stories it reminds me just how much more fucked up things really could be here in the US.

We're just like you now. (1)

R3D (5136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208749)

Ever since the Fair Trade Agreement went through (and possibly some time prior), we've been effectively the 51st United State of America.

Re:Where do you get this stuff? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208791)

me must outlaw cameras at school sports events to protect kids from the evil paedophiles

Camera phones really are banned from changing rooms (pools, gyms etc).

Proxy anyone? (1)

TheBeardIsRed (695409) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208661)

This also makes me wonder if they will filter google images, art sites, etc. Who will determine the "vulgarity level"? The line across which art nudes become porno. Looks like it'll be time to fire up squid to help some aussies get their jerk on. ... or off i guess i should say.

Alternative (5, Insightful)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208665)

FTFA: I believe the system should default automatically in favour of protecting our children before we start considering the rights of adults.

I believe the system should default automatically in favor of protecting our rights as adults before we start considering the children.

Big difference...

The adults who wish to protect the children in their custody can then opt-in (and pay for) whatever safe haven/playpen schemes they wish to create.

Getting Sick of This (2, Insightful)

tymbow (725036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208674)

I'm going to say this very clearly... because I am getting so very tired of "solutions" based on the "won't someone please think of the children" excuse (followed closely by the terrorism excuse) for every perceived I'll in our world. BE A FUCKING PARENT TO YOUR CHILDREN AND STOP TRYING TO BLAME EVERYONE ELSE! IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. It's that simple. Spend time with them, listen to them and stop the mindless quest for wealth and possessions.

Okay by me... (5, Insightful)

narcc (412956) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208676)

They can filter all the porn they want -- as soon as they can define it: http://www.spectacle.org/296/opt.html [spectacle.org] (Safe For Work)

(Or, even better, tell me why it's immoral.)

More seriously:

There are some fine lines between art and porn...stuff like: http://konzababy.tripod.com/photography.htm [tripod.com]
(?Not?Safe?For?work?) Click the tiny image to enlarge. -- Is this art or porn? (I say art 100%)

Even closer still are things like http://www.domai.com [domai.com] (Not Safe For Work)

See this interview [domai.com] (Not Safe For Work) on domai.com for an interesting dialog about nudes/art/porn. -- Is Domai Porn? Difficult to say (I lean more toward yes, but I have reservations)

Any thoughts? What makes porn ... porn?

Re:Okay by me... (1)

know1 (854868) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208712)

oh dude, never mind the not safe for work warnings, we need warnings about naked pregnat women. and i think that picture is neither art nor porn, just as i picture of bill gates at the side of an article about microsoft isn't either. apart from that though i totally agree with your post

Re:Okay by me... (1)

schlumpf_louise (829960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208770)

Reminds me of being in school, trying to view the Nottingham Rock City gig guide on their website. Because "Nashville Pussy" were playing at some point, the site was automatically a porn site and was blocked.

Re:Okay by me... (1)

liangzai (837960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208773)

I've just studied the Chinese law in this matter, and it seems most countries in the world define porn as imagery or literature that evokes sexual lust -- for the average person.

Most works of law also exclude physiological and educational imagery, as well as works of art. Art can be hard to define in some cases, but the rule of thumb is that if it affects your nether bodily parts more than your heartily innards, it is probably porn, not art.

And since I have just studied censorship in China, I can tell you with some accuracy that such censorship is impossible by technical means. 12% of all the web sites are porn sites, and there are some 400 million web pages displaying porn. Every month 1.5 billion pornographic objects are transferred through the pipes via P2P apps.

There are only two ways to stop the flow of boobs on the net: cut the line altogether, or globally enforce the no porn hardline.

Porn is an integrated part of the internet, and those who don't want it can stay away from the net.

Definitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14208786)

Art: suitable for talking too much
Porn: suitable for masturbating too much (or even having too much sex!)

Some people get hot from talking too much hence the blurred lines :)

Freedom of Speech, not just for anyone (1)

ajgeek (892406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208680)

First off, could I ask a question? Did a clue train leave the station without me? I once heard of this thing called freedom of speech, is this true? Seriously, censoring the internet is like censoring a friggin library. The material is MEANT TO BE SEEN! Come on people! I can head to my local archives and look at all the pr0n I want and better yet probably be condoned on my appreciation of Renaissance art! Get a friggin grip! If you want to censor something, go after the important stuff, like how to build nuclear bombs in a weekend with spare parts. Stupid people suck!

Re:Freedom of Speech, not just for anyone (2, Interesting)

Smuffe (152444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208711)

>If you want to censor something, go after the important stuff, like how to build nuclear bombs in a weekend with spare parts.

You wouldn't happend to have a link do you? Been itching for something to do during the holidays...

Hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14208686)

Bit early for April fools' jokes, isn't it?

Seriously, he can't do that. It's not possible and most likely not legal.

What the heck is going on down there? (2, Insightful)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208689)

I always thought of Australians as being a pretty loose bunch. Then "mate" becomes a no-no in parliament, there have been a bunch of nanny laws coming into effect, and all in all, it looks like the nuts that have made such a mockery of what the US Republican party used to pretend to stand for (small government, individual over the state) have been at work down under.

What the heck is going on down there?

Deja vu (5, Informative)

Woldry (928749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208692)

Libraries worldwide have been contending (with varying degrees of failure) with this sort of proposal for years now. In the U.S., many states now require library Internet computers to be filtered; the federal government has also made it a requirement for most of the federal funding available to libraries.

Because of these restrictions, the library where I work is filtered. We staff have to immediately disable the filter for any adult patron who requests unfiltered access (and we're supposed to, but often, er, forget to) restore the filter as soon as that particular patron's session is over.

You wouldn't believe the idiotic stuff that gets blocked -- innocuous, harmless, completely innocent stuff, right alongside the more questionable. One fellow from out of town couldn't log into his own business's web page with the filter on -- presumably because his first name, which appeared in the URL, began with a "D" and rhymed with "ick".

Meanwhile, the patrons blithely find all the porn and violence and four-letter-word-headphone-breaking rap music they like. They learn very quickly which sites the filter isn't catching, and openly share them with one another.

The staff terminals have the filtering turned off full-time (technically illegally, if I understand correctly). Although library policy says we are only to turn off the filter "as needed", it's dadblasted impossible to do our jobs with it on, so it stays off.

So now these Australian senators want to impose this state of affairs on an entire country ... yeesh.

Rule #1 (4, Insightful)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208695)

Be very, very, very watchful when you hear someone saying "we need to protect the children". Those people are using an argument that can be used to defend almost anything. And it makes it hard to say "No".

Filters, bah (2, Insightful)

munrom (853142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208702)

I work in a public school in Aus, the net connection is very heavily filtered, even for staff, to the point that trying to do work is a fight.

The system is slow, useless, stupid, retarded, limited, programmed by monkies and those are it's good points!

List of stupid thinks these filters do
Breast Cancer research = fail, students might see some tits, oh noes!
Any reasearch relation to sex = fail, can't let our kids know about sex!
Image searches = fail, sorry we can't filter out just the porn so we'll just block it all!

Yep, just what I want for my kids if I had any, a internet connect that couldn't be used for legit research!

Australian Sedition Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14208726)

Australia also has new Sedition laws, which ban you from critising the government. You are not allowed to "urge disaffection for the government or either house of parliament." Australia also has laws which let the government arrest people in secret and makes it a crime to report any secret arrests.

http://blogs.smh.com.au/entertainment/archives//00 2970.html [smh.com.au]

Australia has no Bill of Rights in our constitution. The Government can do whatever they want to whoever they want. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Can we dump the /. rhetoric? (2, Insightful)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208731)

You know, I'm tired of seeing comments like this in stories of this sort:

Another step towards becoming a nanny state.

You know what? Every democracy on the planet will have some representative somewhere who decides to take up some kooky cause. One of the strengths of a democracy is that the majority can prevent such idiotic ideas from becoming a reality.

Should we be educated about when some moronic public representative decides to take up such a cause? Yes. But do we have to assume that just because one elected/appointed representative professes a bad idea that the entire state is about to go downhill?

Last I checked, Austraila is a democracy, and there is a process that must be followed to go from an idea to a legislative act. The idea, however, is not the act.

If and when an idea gets past the first step of legislation, then is when you have to worry, as it usually means that other elected representatives support the idea. But one bad idea hardly means the downfall of society -- chances are very good that this effort will go into the dustbin of history, like a variety of bad ideas elected officials have professed and later dropped due to lack of support.

Yaz.

A lesson for Guy Barnett (3, Informative)

itadaku (886782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208736)

"Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it". Marginal uber-conservative Guy Barnett should have taken a lesson from his prodige Senator Alston who too, tried to turn Australia's internet into the envy of China's. In 1999 an ultra conservative luddite independant Alston who had lucked his way into a crutial seat in the senate found both majority parties eagar to please the key swing vote. Riding the high wave of a power trip he tried to introduce similar internet censorship legislations which would see ISP's responsible for what is a parents job. Thankfully Alston lost his powerseat during following elections and this all failed dismally. Alston was exposed as the luddite nutjob he trully was and the sun once again shone.

Australian's need to write to Guy Barnett and tell him stop the moral grandstanding.

not a big threat (yet) (2, Informative)

danny (2658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208760)

This guy has been mouthing off about this for some time. But unless he comes up with something new, he seems unlikely to sway his party. The anti-sedition laws have been rammed through, but they caused enough of a backbench backlash that I can't see Howard and co wanting to stir things up again. But please join Electronic Frontiers Australia [efa.org.au] and help us keep an eye on this kind of thing! Danny.

Law will have OPPOSITE effect (5, Insightful)

heretic108 (454817) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208764)

This law would have the exact opposite of the desired effect:
  1. Parents are presently concerned about kids accessing unwholesome stuff - in the absence of government/isp-level censoring, many parents are actually doing the unthinkable - Spending Time With Their Kids
  2. Kids love breaking rules, so the possibility of accessing illicit material will become more attractive
  3. Two new words will be added to kids' vocabularies: CGI and proxy
  4. For every cgi web proxy the ISPs detect and block, two more will spring up in its place.
  5. Meanwhile, parents and teachers will doze off in a false sense of security that Big Nanny State is keeping their kids safe, while the kids meanwhile are actually seeing stuff that's as bad as ever, maybe worse, with much less parental oversight and guidance than before.

The only, repeat only way to police what kids see on the net is to have a human in the loop in real time, for every kid. And we could be waiting a while for that to happen.

Well, I guess the developers of Freenet [freenetproject.org] , I2P [i2p.net] and other anonymising networks will be grateful, as support, userbase and donations surge.

they have (1)

adrianmonk (890071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14208783)

From the article:

Anyone who wants to view pornography or 'other adult material' (details not specified) must apply to their ISP to be given access to it.

They have applied to be given access to it. They did so when they signed up for Internet access. Internet access means you are able to connect to any computer on the Internet that you want to, just like when you get a phone and you expect to be able to call anyone you want to.

Something much closer to reasonable, at least for protecting the freedom to communicate as people see fit, would be to require ISPs to implement some sort of filtering capability and require them to ask new customers whether they want the filtering on or off, with no default setting allowed. Then the customer's preferences are made clear from day one. It would be a stupid burden for ISPs, but at least it wouldn't stifle free communication.

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