Internet Filter Blocked Educational Sites, But Left Open Porn

from the reverse-filters dept

The Australian gov't has been pushing for widespread internet filters for a while, but perhaps they should take a look at some of the smaller scale tests being done in the country. Someone who prefers to remain anonymous, alerted me to the news that filters installed for high school students by the NSW education department were found to block educational sites, while letting porn flow through. Of course, with any filter there's going to be some Type I and Type II errors, so this shouldn't be a surprise. But, for some reason, there are many people who seem to think that filters must work, when they really tend to just give a false sense of security - people think that if filters are in place, they no longer need to worry.

Filed Under: australia, filters


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  1. icon
    Spectere (profile), 4 Aug 2009 @ 6:40am

    Filter Fails

    You say this like it's something new.

    When I was in high school we had the (in)famous Bess filtering system and it had a nasty tendency of letting kids go to hardcore porn sites while blocking the rest of us from researching.

    After graduating I spent some time doing IT work for a different district and ran into the same problem. Doing any research was highly annoying because blogs (even ones from MSFT and the like) were blocked and we'd have to constantly authenticate ourselves to get to a benign web site.

    I haven't worked there for a few years now, but I've kept in touch with the system administrator from there. Guess what? Their response to their filters being inherently ineffective was to tighten them up even more. Way to go, guys. Way to go.

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