How is mandatory ISP level internet filtering a smart idea? Whether it causes a speed difference or not, which I believe it will, it makes me wonder how they can see this as viable at all.
What advice are they given? Do they not realise how rapidly content changes? How are they planning on maintaining the black list?
Will they ban IP’s or IP ranges? Will they just waste my tax money paying people to trawl the ever changing, constantly evolving, millions of websites out there and individually choose what they think is appropriate for me to see?
Will my blog be inappropriate because I’m voicing my opinion about KRudd’s failure to represent the people of Australia only a month into his leadership?
What a way to end 2007, but to announce a system that requires the citizens of Australia to opt out of a system that is not wanted in the first place.
I see the reason for it, there is the belief in some groups that the government should do their parenting for them but filtering content so that they don’t have to actively monitor the activities of their children.
Okay, so maybe I’m being overly cynical, and sure, I can understand the desire for content filters for children, as exposure to unsuitable material is increasing in virtually every media, from television and radio, through to the internet. The difference with the internet is that it doesn’t have a content rating on everything.
Really, in an unfiltered connection to the internet, a child could stumble upon virtually anything. A point in regards to this though is that the public school system already has filters in place for the internet connections through schools, or NSW does anyway, I am not 100% certain on other states. If NSW state education system can do it though, why couldn’t they use a similar system in other states and throughout the various private schooling systems?
Then there are the public libraries, why can’t they use this system as well? What other places can children access the internet? This just leaves the home. Who is responsible for the connection at home? Parents.
There are plenty of software filters available that can do this, but with the school kid that got around the system there’s all that kerfuffle, but really, a kid could get around the ISP level if they wanted to. There are plenty of proxy servers out there that are relatively simple to use, though they can be slow and annoying.
So, if parents aren’t taking the responsibility to actively educate their kids about what is suitable and what isn’t, such as they would (one would hope), teach them when it is suitable and safe to cross a road. If the government has to take responsibility for this, then is it not telling parents that it’s okay to not worry about what their children do on the internet, because there is a filter in place?
A filter cannot and will not block everything without effectively allowing only government approved websites and nothing else. So where does this leave us, well, for me, I see it as a waste of my taxes. Why on earth would I want to pay for something I don’t want, then be required to opt out of it if I don’t want it, then continue to pay for it anyway?
Should I choose to opt out, will that mark me as someone that should have my internet usage monitored? If i decide not to opt out, where is the line drawn on content filtering?
It is intended to be a porn filter, this is all well and good and I have to agree is a great idea, because even when actively monitoring a childs internet usage, there will no doubt still be some form of unwanted exposure. However, does it stop at that? Or once this method of control is in place, does it get taken further? Filtering out anything deemed inappropriate by those in power?
There are idea’s thrown around all over the web, but something the springs to my mind is, regardless of whatever pressure is on the government for this filter, from whatever source, can they not see that if they put a filter like this in place, when it fails, it will come back on them? They are offering a sense of security. If, and I believe when, something that should be filtered isn’t, who is to blame? The people maintaining the blacklist.
Notably Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was a former Australian Diplomat in China, and speaks fluent Mandarin; given Australia’s boom is fueled by mineral exports to China, it would seem that Australian Government policies are now by China in return.
An interesting thought, and is well and truly believable. Whether it is or not, who knows, regardless though, the day a filtering system such as this comes into effect is the day that the government is effectively given complete censorship control.
More information can be found on the Labor website.