by Mike Masnick
Fri, Aug 10th 2007 12:11pm
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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