Once Again, Politicians Want Aussie ISPs To Block Porn

from the i'd-like-to-opt-in-to-the-porn,-please dept

An Australian political party has floated a proposal that would require ISPs to block R-rated content at their level, and prevent users from accessing it, unless they've decided to opt in to receive the full, big, bad internet. Sounds like a wonderful idea, apart from the ridiculousness of the task, as well as the misplacement of responsibility on ISPs to "protect" children. This sounds pretty similar to previous efforts in the country that assert the ISPs have a responsibility to censor the information their users request online. Filters have been historically shown to not be particularly accurate, and forcing their use on a network-wide basis (rather than allowing individual users to install them locally, should they desire) is a tremendous waste of resources. This and other attempts to legislate morality a pretty pointless exercises that cause more problems than they solve. Merging politics and technology often leads to trouble; adding morality to the mix makes it almost certain.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 10:29am

    Don't have kids if you cannot afford their respons

    I believe that it *IS* the responsibility of ISPs to "protect" children... or at least treat all children equally. Children should not be allowed to be on the internet unless accompanied by a teacher, parent or legal guardian. And that Teacher/Parent/Legal Guardian must at all times be plugged into the internet by use of an "ID READER", whether it be a Card or USB or even finger-print system that they need to have plugged in every time they sit at a computer (port 80/http) or need to be reset every 5 minutes.

    If you have kids, you need to register them with your ISP and pay out the additional $$$ required for this new piece of hardware.

    If the politicians want to play $$$-Hardball, the ISP should play right back - but charge the parents instead. Heck, being a parent isn't cheap... and this is just one more "cost" of being a parent. Why burden those people who decide to NOT have children, with your poor choices of having a kid that you cannot afford?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Adam, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 10:59am

    politicians suck

    the internet should be laissez faire

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Old Bear, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 11:27am

    Re: Don't have kids if you cannot afford their res

    I don't have kids either - but you seem a wee-bit bitter. Did your dad beat you? Did you see your parents having sex? Do you need a hug?
    I agree - it should be the responiblity of the parents to "parent" their kids - that is their job. But, Anonymous Coward, lighten up - life is too short to be that angry.
    Now, wipe the spittle off your monitor, take a deep breath, and relax before you have a heart attack.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Jaf, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 11:34am

    Hey, how did you conceive children? Probably by watching pr0n just before inseminetting your significant other!! Help kids find more pr0n!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Destructo, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 11:45am

    Of course it is...

    The parents responsibility, there are only two immediate problems I see with that: 1. Too many parents are kid's and 2. Most of the ones that are not kids themselves are too immature to be having kids to begin with.
    So to fix the root of the problem, there should be a law that makes it so you cant have kids till your not one anymore.
    Raising kid's is and never has been easy, this is one more thing that the parents should take responsibility for. I have two kids myself, and while I just as much as the next person love to surf the web and look at porn and such I can guarendamntee that my kid's are not and have not had any access to any of that.
    So Buck up parents and start being just that a Parent to your children.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Ron, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 11:46am

    Aussies/Anyone Legislating Morality

    Why must any of us be subject to someone else's morality? My opinions on what is "right" and not do not necessarily coincide with others (most times they don't). When I was raising my now 24yo daughter, I always felt I would rather she watch people having sex than people killing other people (for the record: I did not have her watch people having sex). Many would likely not agree. But, the real point is I paid attention to where she was going, what she was doing, who she was with, etc. both on the computer and in the world. I do not feel it is the government's responsibility or even its right to tell me how to raise my child (save for not letting her kill things and the like).
    As to the point of having to register to see the big, bad, Internet: once you register, they know where to look when it comes time to crack down on some other issue.
    The ISP's and the PEOPLE should push back and tell the government to mind the business for which it was elected; which has never included keeping me safe from myself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 12:16pm

    Isnt this the same government that is still trying to shut-down NAPSTER?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    omfg stfu, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 1:11pm

    your all idiots

    babying a kid till hes 18 isnt going to solve the problem, its the dumbest thing to try to do. its not the governments responsibility to raise children, nor is it an isp's responsibility, they both also have no right to say who is mature enough to have kids and who isnt (replying to a post from above). sex isnt something new, its been around for thousands of years, and isnt going to stop, GET OVER IT. whats wrong with watching sex, OMG I SAW SOME NUDITY OMG I HAVE TO GO FU** SOME PIGS OR SOME FARM ANIMALS. thats not how kids think at all. watching porno is not a big deal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 3:23pm

    Re: your all idiots

    It is not "the kid is watching porno." that is such a big problem with legal-guardians, it is the "the kid has just watched some porno, now what will he/she do?" that is a big problem for the legal-guardians of those kids.

    Being a grandmother at age 35 is neat... being a great-grandmother at age 45 means that there is a problem that needs to be dealt with here. And how many people have great-great-grandmothers who are younger than 75 years old??? Hmmm

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Mr Rat, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 4:42pm

    Bad idea

    I think this idea from the Australian opposition party is simply ridiculous - and I'm one of the people that vote of them - why should everyone suffer a 18-78% degradence of network performace when all that is needed is more education on PC based filters? Why should ISPs have to foot the implementation costs of around $45 million and ongoing costs of more than $33 million per annum when we already have a system that works but just needs a little tweeking? and who's going to keep the signed form that says "I want access to porn" - huge privacy implications if that is ever leaked? And what out the free speech implications - there are numerous studies on how these things tend to filter out legal content - particularly health care information - kids are entitled to access that stuff.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Nick, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 7:33pm

    Internet is like Las Vegas

    You have to have since enough to know that you can't just let your kids run around in dangerous places, even if it's easy to find harm on a computer. You're in charge!

    Funny thing is that people that are so concerned about internet safety and blocking it on such a high level seem to be the same people that don't seem to have any control over their personal lives or the children that they raise. They seem to be saying, "I'm not a very good parent, my kids are out of control, they don't respect me as it is, I can't handle this any longer, they should just ban the net, shut down the casinos, and put an end to late night cinemax, and the world would be a better place for me and my kids". Yeah right! That'll work won't it.

    Its not my responsibility to raise your kids, because I raise my kids to a different standard than you.

    Life's tuff - you can't filter it. You can however filter your own life, and hey feel free to fill it with all of your personal likes and your own standard of living. That's what life is all about.

    "CHOICES" ~ There your damn kids, yo raise'em, and while your at tell them to stay out of the streets.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 8:02pm

    because you will run them over?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Dale Albiston, Mar 22nd, 2006 @ 3:15am


    build a browser that implements bayesian filtering, allow only *certain* users on that machine to 'teach it'. thus it learns whats good and whats not by reading the pages. yes a page with just a picture could get round it, but at least the poor little kiddie won't be seeing to many ads at the same time.

    it works pretty well for deciding what emails etc i'd like to see, i'd not mind a browser that poped up a page saying that based on *my* viewing habits and pages where *i've* clicked 'do not show me this again' i get a polite warning before seeing the page (with an option to view anyway).

    hell you could pre load links, and flag them as 'good/not good' based on this too.

    the problem is when someone else decides whats 'good/not good' and ensures their choice is mandatory.

    as for protecting kids, having three myself i could have sworn that was my job, you know to be aware of what they are doing and take action if i think there is a problem.

    as for problems in the land of oz.. i blame the ozone hold (joke)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    steve, Mar 22nd, 2006 @ 5:47am

    simple solution

    Use browser content filters.

    The last time I checked, IE will block all pages that do not contain the selected content rating.

    So if a page has no ratings, it's blocked.

    You can also block all but whit listed pages.

    Why is it so hard for people to use them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Mr Rat, Mar 23rd, 2006 @ 5:02pm

    filter everything

    someone just told me a funny story about using a filter at home - it blocked the Sydney Morning Herald - major Australian newspaper - perhaps that the ultimate plan - keep the voters in the dark altogether so they dont know what policies they're voting for....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
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  17. identicon
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    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
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    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Carol, May 29th, 2009 @ 3:16pm

    put some filters

    I think every parent is responsable for the children!...Parents are supposed to take care of them and prevent them of making a bad use of the internet tool.
    There are several software in the market to prevent this kind of situation.
    camper trailers

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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