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Australian Government Calls Porn Filters A Failure

$85 million spent on filters

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The Australian government is calling its $85 million plan to filter online pornography a failure.

The filtering project was part of the governments $189 million NetAlert program launched in August 2007 to protect minors from online sexual predators and to block adult content.

It was projected that 2.5 million households would use the free porn blocking filters within 12 months but only 144,088 have been downloaded or ordered on CD-ROM since August of last year. The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy estimated 29,000 filters were being used, less than 2 percent of the set goal.

 Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said," The program has clearly failed, despite over $15 million being spent in advertising to support it. Labor has always said that PC filtering is not a stand-alone solution to protecting children from online dangers."

"The Government has a comprehensive cyber-safety plan that includes the
implementation of mandatory ISP-based filtering to deliver a filtered feed to all homes, schools and public Internet points. Education for parents and teachers as well as children is a priority."

Opposition communications spokesman, Bruce Billson said the government was too quick to criticize  the NetAlert program ." NetAlert is a program which is relatively new, as is the minister in his role, and I’m sure he would like a little more than six months or so before the public decide if he has been a failure or not," he said.

"Proper supervision should be front and centre of any efforts to protect children from inappropriate material on the Internet; supported by additional tools such as content filters, not some mandatory and ill-conceived ‘clean feed’ measure by a government that believes only it has the authority to decide what’s appropriate or inappropriate content for computer users," Billson told the Sun-Herald.

 

Australian Government Calls Porn Filters A Failure
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  • http://bbmedia.com.au Garth Penglase

    Even though I’m strongly opposed to the use and free availability of pornograpy, this suggestion is the wrong one.

    Another hasty decision by the ALP. Don’t they realise that if you take the route of enorcing filtering at the ISPs end and rgulating it (as governments love to do) it’ll just cost us all more for Internet usage. Don’t support duch a Draconian policy.

    And that’s apart from the censorship issue. There are better ways to deal with this important issue.

    Let’s educate people, particularly young people, about the exploitation of people that pornography represents, particularly women and often minors purely for the financial gain of people who care little about the devastation it does to a person’s self-worth. Let’s educate people on how pornography does serious damage to relationships, encouraging the sexual objectification of people, the desensitising of emotions, and discourages healthy attitudes toward sex.

    Let’s keep on encouraging adults to take control of their children’s Internet usage and help protect their chlidren. I think that free installation centres sponsored by the government and community groups would be a great help since many adults are just overwhelmed by the computers and the Internet.

    • http://www.body-rockin.com James

      I’m just curious where you are getting your confirmed case studies of fact that porn does all the things that you are echoing or are you just copy kopy kating statements by those that just think sex should be locked behind closed doors?

      I’m not challenging what you as a person has a right to have a view or opinion on, just the hard facts that back up your views.

      Kinda like the "guns don’t kill people, people do" mindset.

      Yes, we need to have a effective system to shield young minds from content they are to young to take in properly, course then that would include a high percentage of adults as well..lol

      But I also do not feel comfortable with government dictating what people view that are of age, or making judgments on folks morality if it is their choice as individuals to live life and take enjoyment how ever they feel is right for their lives.

      In my experience you can filter all you want in places children use publicly (good deal) but most are more astute computer users than most adults and know how to defeat the most advance systems that are supposed to keep them from viewing things on the net they aren’t supposed to.

      Folks not interested in porn should not be exposed to it if not by their own choice I agree, but then again these same folks will have to turn off TV or make sure their "filters" are tuned to max if with all the near porn content now on TV every day, and TV is sponsored by the major corporations and businesses that pay to get these shows, commercials to the average Joe blows every day, are you upset and judging these entities as well for their leading society down the path of ruin?

      Pornography is the least of our worries now days…when you compare that to the real major social ills and acts committed against people by people  in all countries

      And to nip this is the bud, yes I own what is considered a adult content site, but like Yahoo, Google I do NOT produce that content, I just make it easy for for folks looking for it to find it…kinda a mini search engine type thing of sorts..and they both earn a hella lot more money than I do..:)

  • Jason

    The sad fact is that the media backers support the kind of ideals that lead to ‘Bring back the biff’ as seen on TCN9 for a well known Government Funded sport that self markets into grog and betting amusments.  Other networks like 7 promote commercial content as news with stories from ‘sony x-games’ to ‘second lifers’.  Longer commercial content is framed over time to generate the political ideals for best commercial dividends.

    The election has seen Australian IT sold for 2cents, and a DRM solution to filter porn and other commercial media is now being planned by the ALP who will attempt to retain control for political ideals (and if you do get porn, just like the whale news stories they will be removed after commercial gain)

    The last Government simply bagged out FSF to GNU while they at least attempted to provide a working solution to end user consumners who wanted protection (no child labor old media script kiddies were used)

    With over 1 billion real world pages of junk mail delivered every year in just the capital for the likes of Disney to Warner (who cant advertise this way because its illegal in their own country) every child could of had a free IT solution to view the ads they will be shown anyway (but fox had other plans!)

    Telstra = Dialup is still over $20…. 2008…. no free phone over the internet (never mind the fact one computer takes the place of an entire exchange)

    List of links includes Football, sports, kids, grog, betting…

    Kind of says everything..

    Mean while the whole issue of the Government being the Adult who will screen the screams of its children for the protection of who?  Its not the children getting the protection!

    Like keyoto, the ideal that removes responsibility and is a great excuse to make people with less pay more.  Kinda like $15 million being spent in advertising while the very same people in power now, with their own media backers who discredited Australian Government Policy for commercial gain can only manage press releases 3 months after election.. now thats protection.. an ALP hot air bag?

    Loved the article, 100 points.  (I also agree with Garth) 

  • Guest

    Enforced ISP level filtering gives the government the opportunity to control what we see.

    Like all governments they introduce such measures as "necessary to protect xyz" but in the end they find its best used to protect their own interests. That may be from simple opposing views to complete alternative lifestyles.

    This is just foot in the door stuff, "oh yes we agree" laments the government "the cost will be high but we must do it to protect our children!"

    The  Australian Labour Party loves using children to push their agenda.

    Just look at the recent federal election campaign.

    It is the role of parents not governments to educate and protect our children. The slow take up of netalert may not so much indicate that parents are neglecting in their duty but that perhaps we TRUST our children and believe we must display that trust. Then deal with specific problems at the appropriate time rather than throw a blanket over their heads and pray they suddenly learn how to cope once they leave the family nest.

    I teach my children so that when they venture forth on their own, they will be equipped to handle whatever life throws at them.

    Whats next? mandatory drug tests each evening. More kids suffer daily because of drug abuse then will ever suffer from surfing the net.

     

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