Australian Prime Minister To Spend Hundreds Of Millions To 'Clean Up The Internet'

from the let-us-know-how-that-goes dept

Australian politicians seem to be a bit confused over the fact that any attempt to block all porn online will fail miserably. Proposals to force ISPs to block porn have been put forth by Australian politicians over and over and over again. Now, the Prime Minister John Howard has announced that the government will spend $189 million to “clean up the internet.” That will include giving a list of sites to ISPs to block, though it’s unclear how those lists are determined and if there’s any appeals process for sites who feel unfairly blocked. The money will also go to providing free internet filters to every family in the country — which is certainly nice for those families that want a filter. However, none of that will stop porn on the internet. None of it will stop predators from trying to lure children. There’s this belief that if we just hide it away, these things will actually disappear. That’s simply not true. Just as it makes sense to teach kids some sense of street smarts as they grow up, it makes sense to teach them internet smarts as well — and then they’ll be prepared to deal with whatever they come across, whether or not there are filters. Too often, people assume that once filters are in place that no bad stuff can get through. And that means that those kids are often less well prepared for what they come across online. Instead, if you teach kids to understand the dangers of the internet, it appears they are pretty good at protecting themselves.

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Comments on “Australian Prime Minister To Spend Hundreds Of Millions To 'Clean Up The Internet'”

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40 Comments
name says:

You Dirty Bastards!

SAVE THE CHILDREN!!!!! its all about the CHILDREN…..or should i say votes?

if you dont want to see porn either block it or don’t look at it. There’s no way in hell someone is going to tell me what i can and cannot look at with my own eyes. Anyone who agrees with the above article should be taken out in the streets and shot. this is dispicible!

you are not cool says:

Re: You Dirty Bastards!

um this is a reply to coment 1
um soz to disapoint u but it kinda is all about the kids bcoz wen u r old and helpless who will be running the world? yer thats right it is us.
not being impolite or anythin coz i respect ur opinion or whateva but gosh get some manners please! no need to get all worked up and their is CERTAINLY no need to shoot anyone. maybe u r just a violent person?
thanx.
P.S no need to swear either. 🙂

name says:

Oh Yeah

if they want to pass laws so badly then they need to pass one that requires indiviuals to be evaluated in childhood to determine weather or not your suited for raising children. if you fail then your neutured! If you cannot control someone 1/10th (or so) your age then who needs to do the growin up?

people want kids but dont want to take care of them. if this was changed it would solve alot of problems we have in this global society.

Jeff (user link) says:

It's sad

My grandmother knows more about the internet than your average (they’re all average…) politician. She’s 85.

@#4: You’re absolutely right, if fucked up people would stop having fucked up kids, we could shape-up our society…but instead of doing that, we’ll spend all of our time/money/manpower making sure people don’t smoke on beaches, watching Dr. Phil tell people that need to will themselves to change and not get any sort of on-going, long-term professional treatment and making sure people don’t go 5 over on the highways. Good times.

Charles Griswold (user link) says:

Re: Re:

Any attempt to clean up the internet is welcome in my book.

Really? What would you give up for a “cleaner” internet? Really, all it would take to clean up the internet would be to remove any and all online freedom of speech and/or press. Erect a “great firewall”, close down all online forums, require a license to use the internet, etc. Any totalitarian regime could do that, no problem.

Shaun says:

Re: Re: Re:

Go to legally questionable sites – such as supliers of cd cracks (these are also good for viruses) and often torrent search engines/trackers and you will find porn adds etc on a lot of them. Sometimes they are “dating” sites instead but it is often hard to tell the difference….

But in general if you do not go to any sites that are in a legal grey (or more “black”) area then you will not find porn accidentally.

|333173|3|_||3 says:

Re: Re: Re:

From the article “Howard’s Net Porn Crusade” in the Australian, it appears that families have the choice of insalling the filtering software provided free of charge by the governement or using the ISP-level filters. The ISPs are fighting this tooth-and nail, and at least one of the ISPs wrote a letter to one of the newspapers (either the Advertiser or the Australian) ot say that all they will do is put a modded version of the government filtering software on their connections, and blame the governemnt for any problems.

All the home user has to do is say that they will use the a local filter and not install it, and it appears that it is optional to install the filter anyway (From the Australian, the Advertiser implies that it will be compusory, but it is a squalid parochial tabliod rag anyway).

Sanguine Dream says:

So...

it looks like US politicians are not the only ones tripping over each other in an effort to “protect the children”.

I agree with comment #4. People want to have kids but then don’t want to take responsibility for them. Some of the parents that back this up really don’t realize that this is a bad idea. But most of them are just trying to setup a fall guy. I want to know what’s going to happen the first time some porn site gets through this porn filter and a kid sees it on his parent’s pc. But we already know the answer to that, a lawsuit. And the million dollar question is who will the parents sue? The owners/operators of the site in question? The company that made this impenatrable filter? The government that promised it would “protect the children”?

And besides trying to act as if the porn is not there only gives the real offenders a better way to hide and another weapon to use, the ignorance of her/his victims.

I’m not trying to say show everything to your kids as soon as possible but parents have to quit this nonsense of hiding their kids from the world until they turn 18, toss them out of the house, and then wonder why they go on a killing spree the first time they get dumped. Teaching kids about what’s out there is such a preemptive and smart thing to do. Worried that you daughter might get pregnant? Sit her butt down and teach her about sex and warn her about pregnancy, STDs, and how to watch out for attackers. Worried that your son will become sexually active? Sit his butt down and teach him exactly what preganancy means (you are his parents so you should know a thing or two about that right?), STDs, and how to watch out for attackers (yeah men can be attacked by sex offenders too, so quit acting like it doesn’t happen).

Elohssa says:

Does anyone host from there anymore? Why?

Australia is a democratic(ish) sort of nation. They’ll get the government they deserve. In the mean time, I can’t imagine they’re getting much tax revenue from Internet business. More for the countries that have already learned the “prohibition doesn’t work” thing.

Of course, our pols in the U.S. are no doubt cheering them on.

Come on, Australia, you used to be cool.

Shaun says:

Re: Does anyone host from there anymore? Why?

In self defence as an Australian I would like to point out that it’s not my fault as I couldn’t vote for/against him – I’m not like some stupid gits in the US who are too lazy – they deserve Hitler or his like – but that I was not of the legal age to be able to vote. I can tell you he will not be getting my vote this election – the main reason he got in last time was that he lied and promised to keep interest rates low saying that the opposition wouldn’t (they’ve really skyrocketed, even to the point of there being a rise in this, an election year, for the first time in history)

As for filters in libraries I happen to work as an IT Trainee in a regional library system which runs branches across several council regions (I won’t get into the politics on funding etc that we receive from them) but part of our funding comes from the State Library of NSW and as condition of this we are not allowed to engage in censorship – which in the offline world means we have “art books” – though of course nothing pornographic – and also that we are unable to implement internet filters. We do have a policy that says that for the comfort of other patrons – including children – you are prohibited from accessing pornographic sites or you will be banned from using the pc’s but this almost never has to be enforced as people generally understand what is acceptable in a public place.

One good element of this plan (the only one actually) is that apparently $43 million of it is being used to double the size of the child sex exploitation division of the federal police (why not just spend the lot and make it ~5 times as big?) though less good is that part of that is to work out ways around privacy laws – these laws are there for a reason, if they weren’t then they should be removed or modified rather than searching for loop holes.

Muzza says:

Re: Looks like another pre-election publicity stun

Ditto Dom,
I’m with you mate.
So sick of this tired, sour-faced, US arse-licking, lying, racist, pig-headed, socially backward, enviromental ignoramis!
Bring on the elections – about time he stopped wasting our money on acts of political desparation.

God that feels better!

Muzza says:

Re: Looks like another pre-election publicity stun

Ditto Dom,
I’m with you mate.
So sick of this tired, sour-faced, US arse-licking, lying, racist, pig-headed, socially backward, enviromental ignoramis!
Bring on the elections – about time he stopped wasting our money on acts of political desparation.

God that feels better!

Anonymous Coward says:

I always read people saying “just teach your kids”. It’s not about just teaching your kids. While I agree that you can not remove porn from the internet, there is nothing wrong with offering a filter for families. For those who say this will lead to parents leaving their kids unsupervised due to a belief that their kids are protected are idiots. Having the filter software IS part of raising your kids properly. The filter is more like a lock. It keeps honest people honest. You idiots on the left with your “make my dope legal” “down with all religion” “give me my porn” are just complete idiots. You are as bad or WORSE than those on the far right trying to live by their religious beliefs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

And you morons on the right don’t seem to get the idea, that we don’t care if you block your internet, just don’t block mine.

I am an adult, I should be allowed to do as I please, so long as it is legal and does not harm others. I use filters, but I know well that they are only going to be valuable for a little bit longer. Once my son gets to the point that he is really searching I will have to have taught him about the internet. The gov’t has zero(0) place in that.

reed says:

Protection for a high price

“While I agree that you can not remove porn from the internet, there is nothing wrong with offering a filter for families.”

Your completely right, but there are many free options to do this already. Not sure about the 189 million dollar price tag.

“You idiots on the left with your “make my dope legal” “down with all religion” “give me my porn” are just complete idiots. You are as bad or WORSE than those on the far right trying to live by their religious beliefs.”

Since when do people on the right not smoke joints, watch porn and dog on religion? Strange world you imagine with all your left and right talk, last time I checked we are all just human beings.

Thomas Anglero (user link) says:

Protecting children on the internet with WiHood

Protecting children online is complex. Technology can assist but nothing replaces the role of the parent. Parents should use the internet as a new opportunity to discuss life’s difficult challenges with their children.

Technology like what we use at WiHood protects children from inappropriate web pages and is updated daily. It is astonishing that every day over 100,000 pedophile, sex, and gambling web sites are created. Parents don’t have the time to find and block all these sites but they do have the time to learn with their children what good habits to have while using the internet.

The internet is a wonderful development and children should be allowed to use it but in a safe and secure environment. We have done this but we also emphasize that the role of the parent is the most important role of a child’s life…today and tomorrow.

Thomas F. Anglero, Father and CEO
WiHood LLC
(http://www.WiHood.com)

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