Australia: keeping the Internet clean for kids

Australia is censoring the Internet so that kids won’t have to see objectionable material. Sounds good, right?

I’m just surprised that the Bush administration hasn’t tried something like this here before Australia got a chance to do it.

Sigh.

The librarians have some questions.

Our rights are under attack, but gotta protect the children, right?

I have two children and I’d rather raise them with freedom of speech than some government deciding what they can and can’t see, thank you very much.

144 thoughts on “Australia: keeping the Internet clean for kids

  1. Well the commmos have landed in australia ,the unions ,greedy greens and labor ,what a mix ! its unfortunate that dumb young people dont know the difference between commos and non commo but they will find out soon eneough ,ruddy is up to his neck in his comrades even his family has chinese and he speaks it ,gillard from the stalin era ,and miss wong a chinese lesbian (they sure didnt mention that in the election ,) what kind of a threat is china? well read this if you want an idea of reality http://en.epochtimes.com/news/5-8-8/31055.html .the media is very far left ,the bbc ,age ,chanell ten /9 .all part of the far left controlled bylabor. worry ? we sure should .

  2. Well the commmos have landed in australia ,the unions ,greedy greens and labor ,what a mix ! its unfortunate that dumb young people dont know the difference between commos and non commo but they will find out soon eneough ,ruddy is up to his neck in his comrades even his family has chinese and he speaks it ,gillard from the stalin era ,and miss wong a chinese lesbian (they sure didnt mention that in the election ,) what kind of a threat is china? well read this if you want an idea of reality http://en.epochtimes.com/news/5-8-8/31055.html .the media is very far left ,the bbc ,age ,chanell ten /9 .all part of the far left controlled bylabor. worry ? we sure should .

  3. I am aussie who has been following this in the press and its very unlikely it will happen with performance drops of between 17-70% as tested by the many Australian ISP’s who are very against this plan. Also the plan isn’t for mandatory sensor ship it will allow people to opt out of the filtering with their ISP. Overall the plan isn’t so bad because it does help the computer ileterate protect their children form undesirable material. The cons are it will increase the already high internet costs and reduce the speed of our already slow broadband.

  4. I am aussie who has been following this in the press and its very unlikely it will happen with performance drops of between 17-70% as tested by the many Australian ISP’s who are very against this plan. Also the plan isn’t for mandatory sensor ship it will allow people to opt out of the filtering with their ISP. Overall the plan isn’t so bad because it does help the computer ileterate protect their children form undesirable material. The cons are it will increase the already high internet costs and reduce the speed of our already slow broadband.

  5. “I have two children and I’d rather raise them with freedom of speech than some government deciding what they can and can’t see, thank you very much”

    tis why your son is an asshat.

  6. “I have two children and I’d rather raise them with freedom of speech than some government deciding what they can and can’t see, thank you very much”

    tis why your son is an asshat.

  7. @72 “Can someone who keeps saying it’s the parents’ responsibility, explain how the parents can fulful that responsibility at times when they’re not with their kids?”

    The same way as parents have taken responsibility through the ages, by instilling discipline and respect. My parents didn’t follow me around 24/7, I did some bad stuff, I avoided some bad stuff.

    My parents didn’t ask the government to prevent me from being able to look at porn mags around my friends house!

  8. @72 “Can someone who keeps saying it’s the parents’ responsibility, explain how the parents can fulful that responsibility at times when they’re not with their kids?”

    The same way as parents have taken responsibility through the ages, by instilling discipline and respect. My parents didn’t follow me around 24/7, I did some bad stuff, I avoided some bad stuff.

    My parents didn’t ask the government to prevent me from being able to look at porn mags around my friends house!

  9. @34, from 1948~1978, Britain’s National Health Service was the envy of the world. In 1979, Margaret Thatcher came in and decided not to fund it as highly. So, it fell to near bottom of the EU. Still, it’s better than the US system. Blair upped spending, but not by enough to restore it to its former greatness.

  10. @34, from 1948~1978, Britain’s National Health Service was the envy of the world. In 1979, Margaret Thatcher came in and decided not to fund it as highly. So, it fell to near bottom of the EU. Still, it’s better than the US system. Blair upped spending, but not by enough to restore it to its former greatness.

  11. Robert, I thought I’d linked to your response here, but I didn’t. As an Australian and a parent I’m bugged by this announcement. My 10yo daughter fully understands there are sites with inappropriate material on the ‘Net. We have a set of usage rules in the house that she follows and occasionally questions. We explain to her the reasons for the rules. I’ve gone into this more deeply in my post on the issue – http://www.acidlabs.org/2008/01/01/dumb-decision-by-our-new-government-over-net-filtering/ – it’s getting a few Diggs.

  12. Robert, I thought I’d linked to your response here, but I didn’t. As an Australian and a parent I’m bugged by this announcement. My 10yo daughter fully understands there are sites with inappropriate material on the ‘Net. We have a set of usage rules in the house that she follows and occasionally questions. We explain to her the reasons for the rules. I’ve gone into this more deeply in my post on the issue – http://www.acidlabs.org/2008/01/01/dumb-decision-by-our-new-government-over-net-filtering/ – it’s getting a few Diggs.

  13. Can someone who keeps saying it’s the parents’ responsibility, explain how the parents can fulful that responsibility at times when they’re not with their kids? Are they to follow them around 24 hours a day?

    Robert, how are you going to stop Patrick or Milan trawling for porn at friends’ houses where the parents don’t want to, or know how to, filter content?

    How would you feel if you found out Patrick was inviting his friends over to look at porn on the internet? And how would you deal with his friends’ parents who might want to lynch you?

    Kids are going to try to find this stuff, but we don’t have to make it any easier for them than it needs to be.

  14. Can someone who keeps saying it’s the parents’ responsibility, explain how the parents can fulful that responsibility at times when they’re not with their kids? Are they to follow them around 24 hours a day?

    Robert, how are you going to stop Patrick or Milan trawling for porn at friends’ houses where the parents don’t want to, or know how to, filter content?

    How would you feel if you found out Patrick was inviting his friends over to look at porn on the internet? And how would you deal with his friends’ parents who might want to lynch you?

    Kids are going to try to find this stuff, but we don’t have to make it any easier for them than it needs to be.

  15. I think you have it wrong on which type of administration would do this in the US. It is typically the liberals/dems that use the excuse “save the children” as an excuse to chip away at one our rights.

  16. I think you have it wrong on which type of administration would do this in the US. It is typically the liberals/dems that use the excuse “save the children” as an excuse to chip away at one our rights.

  17. I applaude the Australian Government for this initiative ! I’m Australian and like most parents would not consider leaving a PC in my childs room. I think it’s a great concept and support it fully. Happy New Year.

  18. I applaude the Australian Government for this initiative ! I’m Australian and like most parents would not consider leaving a PC in my childs room. I think it’s a great concept and support it fully. Happy New Year.

  19. @61. Scoble, if you knew anything about politics you would know that the Catholic vote, for the longest time, traditionally went more towards Democrats. That pretty much lasted up until 1972, when the Democratic Party bascially alienated their base due to their activities in the late ’60′s. But the Catholic vote shifted back towards the Dem’s in 2006, with Catholics holding the war in Iraq, poverty and socialized healthcare as top priorities.

  20. @61. Scoble, if you knew anything about politics you would know that the Catholic vote, for the longest time, traditionally went more towards Democrats. That pretty much lasted up until 1972, when the Democratic Party bascially alienated their base due to their activities in the late ’60′s. But the Catholic vote shifted back towards the Dem’s in 2006, with Catholics holding the war in Iraq, poverty and socialized healthcare as top priorities.

  21. I think locked doors are an attack on freedom. I say we outlaw locks and alarm systems on our homes and businesses.

    And clothes, too. As Mr. Naked Time, Sexy Time says, there’s nothing more freedom-suppressing than clothing.

  22. I think locked doors are an attack on freedom. I say we outlaw locks and alarm systems on our homes and businesses.

    And clothes, too. As Mr. Naked Time, Sexy Time says, there’s nothing more freedom-suppressing than clothing.

  23. Remember the $84m web filter hacked by a 16 year old? Doesn’t seem fair to shift the responsibility to the ISP. Parents are responsible for what their kids watch.

    And yes, this is an attack on freedom.

  24. Remember the $84m web filter hacked by a 16 year old? Doesn’t seem fair to shift the responsibility to the ISP. Parents are responsible for what their kids watch.

    And yes, this is an attack on freedom.

  25. Robert, I’m surprised you would know that! :)
    My kids always went to Catholic schools, too, but I never polled the other parents regarding their political party. I can’t even remember it ever coming up, except for people I knew very well. I’m just going by national statistics.

    I just think it’s best not to stereotype groups of people, including political groups. I’m conservative and Christian, but I’m not a part of what people call “the religious right,” because I’m not evangelical or fundamentalist, I believe in civil unions for homosexuals, I want major changes in health care in this country, etc. etc.

    I think the world is much too complex nowdays to make assumptions and judgments based on whether or not you believe in God, or like George Bush, or believe that abortion is morally equivalent to slavery, and so on.

    To my mind, being totally black and white about free speech are no better than any other radical position. It’s just common sense that we don’t let anybody and everybody have full digital access to vulnerable children, any more than we allow them to have full physical access.

  26. Robert, I’m surprised you would know that! :)
    My kids always went to Catholic schools, too, but I never polled the other parents regarding their political party. I can’t even remember it ever coming up, except for people I knew very well. I’m just going by national statistics.

    I just think it’s best not to stereotype groups of people, including political groups. I’m conservative and Christian, but I’m not a part of what people call “the religious right,” because I’m not evangelical or fundamentalist, I believe in civil unions for homosexuals, I want major changes in health care in this country, etc. etc.

    I think the world is much too complex nowdays to make assumptions and judgments based on whether or not you believe in God, or like George Bush, or believe that abortion is morally equivalent to slavery, and so on.

    To my mind, being totally black and white about free speech are no better than any other radical position. It’s just common sense that we don’t let anybody and everybody have full digital access to vulnerable children, any more than we allow them to have full physical access.

  27. @54. Interesting…but irrelevant to your argument. Looking for specific examples of “right wingers” proposing Internet specific censorship bills and the list being longer than those proposed and/or signed into law by “left wingers”

  28. @54. Interesting…but irrelevant to your argument. Looking for specific examples of “right wingers” proposing Internet specific censorship bills and the list being longer than those proposed and/or signed into law by “left wingers”

  29. What is the problem with trying to reduce kids’ access to porn on the internet?

    The argument against seems to be based solely on paranoia. Paranoia about it somehow being intrinsically linked with freedom of speech. As others have asked, how is freedom to distribute porn connected with freedom of speech?

    Has censorship of movies, TV, print etc meant we’ve ended up with police-state like suppression of freedom of speech through those mediums?

    And why do we accept censorship in those mediums but expect the internet to be open slather? And the “too hard” argument is just a cop out.

    We have mechanisms in these other mediums to support parents (for example, adult magazines in plastic covers, adult shows later at night, children not admitted to adult-rated movies etc). As a parent I know that there’s these mechanisms to help me ensure it is harder for my children to be exposed to things I don’t think they should.

    But when it comes to the internet, you want it to be 100% my responsibility. In my house that is working really well, but how do I exercise that 100% responsibility when my child is not in my house? As I say, the mechanisms are there in other mediums to help me, but you don’t want it on the ‘net.

    I worked in IT for 20 years and we had to implement filtering at work to protect ADULTS from themselves. If adults can’t even use the internet appropriately, why do we think children will? Even our own who we’ve educated not to. So why shouldn’t we be trying to protect children too?

    One other STUPID argument against filtering is it won’t be foolproof or be 100% guaranteed. So what? Nothing is. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least reduce the risk. Isn’t it better that our children have access to only 10% of the crap than 90%?

    Access to porn on the internet should be a choice as it has always been in other mediums, not a given.

  30. What is the problem with trying to reduce kids’ access to porn on the internet?

    The argument against seems to be based solely on paranoia. Paranoia about it somehow being intrinsically linked with freedom of speech. As others have asked, how is freedom to distribute porn connected with freedom of speech?

    Has censorship of movies, TV, print etc meant we’ve ended up with police-state like suppression of freedom of speech through those mediums?

    And why do we accept censorship in those mediums but expect the internet to be open slather? And the “too hard” argument is just a cop out.

    We have mechanisms in these other mediums to support parents (for example, adult magazines in plastic covers, adult shows later at night, children not admitted to adult-rated movies etc). As a parent I know that there’s these mechanisms to help me ensure it is harder for my children to be exposed to things I don’t think they should.

    But when it comes to the internet, you want it to be 100% my responsibility. In my house that is working really well, but how do I exercise that 100% responsibility when my child is not in my house? As I say, the mechanisms are there in other mediums to help me, but you don’t want it on the ‘net.

    I worked in IT for 20 years and we had to implement filtering at work to protect ADULTS from themselves. If adults can’t even use the internet appropriately, why do we think children will? Even our own who we’ve educated not to. So why shouldn’t we be trying to protect children too?

    One other STUPID argument against filtering is it won’t be foolproof or be 100% guaranteed. So what? Nothing is. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least reduce the risk. Isn’t it better that our children have access to only 10% of the crap than 90%?

    Access to porn on the internet should be a choice as it has always been in other mediums, not a given.

  31. As others have said, Robert, the Australian Labor government who are implementing this – in just their first month in government – are ideologically equivalent to the US Democrats.

    It was in fact the previous right wing government who where very, very much aligned with George Bush and your Republican government’s ideologies, who resisted internet filtering.

    I would expect that, if the Democrats win the 2008 election, this is much more likely to appear on their agenda than the Republican’s.

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