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Google, Yahoo and Others Fight the Aussie Filter 166

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the quit-trying-to-legislate-this-crap dept.
TheFrunj writes "In the wake of an attack on Australian Government websites comes a statement from a joint group of companies banding together to oppose Senator Conroy's infamous Internet Filter. AtomicMPC has posted the statement up on their site: 'We, the Australian Library and Information Association, Google, Inspire Foundation and Yahoo! agree that Australia needs to take effective action to ensure that internet users, and particularly children, have a safe experience online.' Backed by the weight of the Inspire Foundation, Google and Yahoo, this is a good sign for the local and international community that will hopefully spark some positive reaction."
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Google, Yahoo and Others Fight the Aussie Filter

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  • What about china? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:31PM (#31147414)
    So Australia can't filter but China can?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Australia = elected government.
      China = military dictatorship.

      • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:45PM (#31147596) Homepage Journal

        Australia = elected government.
        China = military dictatorship.

        That's probably about right. Since Australia prides itself as a democracy it is open to opposing opinion and the will of the people. There is always a problem when a democracy is hindered by extremist agendas, whether its is religious, political or of some other form. China has one party who pretty much do as they wish, and in going into the country companies know that it is the case and therefore have to accept the law of the land. It is up to the people of the nation who should decide the future of their own country, not foreign nationals or corporations - I realise this is not realistic in all cases.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ChoboMog (917656)
          Australia = elected government.
          China = military dictatorship. Single-Party State

          I fixed that for you... Whether you agree with the policies of the P.R.C. its political structure certainly doesn't fit the label of "military dictatorship", military government/junta or even "dictatorship". Ultimate control over the country rests neither with the military, nor with a single person (ie. dictator).
        • by Dan541 (1032000)

          The Western World has never been happy with China's repressing it's people but there is little that can be done about it (doesn't mean we shouldn't try). Australia on the other hand is "One of us" so the western nations are seeing one of their own going bad.

          • The Western World has never been happy with China's repressing it's people but there is little that can be done about it (doesn't mean we shouldn't try). Australia on the other hand is "One of us" so the western nations are seeing one of their own going bad.

            It also makes it harder for us to push our point of view when we are caught doing the same. It also makes it harder for us to prove we are somehow 'better' with social liberties.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        I was thinking more along the lines of:

        Australia = Speaks English and are mostly white people
        China = Speaks Chinese (with English subtitles where available) and mostly not white people

        But I'd say your way of putting it is probably more acceptable. But in reality, aren't we somewhat accustomed to non-white nations being bad for human rights and having some form of unfair or uncivilized government?

    • by Dynedain (141758)

      Australia is trying to force the ISPs, content providers, and website operators to perform the censorship.

      China does the censorship at a country-wide firewall level operated by the government. Iran does it this way as well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by c6gunner (950153)

      So Australia can't filter but China can?

      So the Saudis can treat women as inferiors or slaves, but the western world can't?

      You're comparing a regressive action to the status-quo. Obviously neither situation is acceptable, but it's only natural that people will protest more strongly against a progressive nation slipping into tyranny than they will against a regressive nation maintaining policies which are hundreds or thousands of years old.

  • How about people actually started parenting their children? I'm sure as hell not going to let the kids go online alone until they are old enough to do so responsibly. Just like I don't let them watch TV programs and movies out of their age group. Or how I actually spend time with them and talk to them about stuff. (Even a three-year-old can have a proper conversation if you actually listen and support with asking questions.)

    So when will people get off their collective asses and stop trying to find ways to escape responsibility and offload it to whatever solution happens to be popular at the time?

    I man can dream, can't he?

    (And no, I can't control what they do at their friends etc. etc. But there are risks with crossing the street too.)

    • by migla (1099771) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:42PM (#31147566)

      And even though you can't control or watch the kids at friends or the teenagers out on the town, the best way to have responsible kids is to respect them, not to be too harsh, take interest in them and talking to them about everything.

      They will grow up respecting you and they will want to tell you things and they will (statistically, though I'm not gonna pull out any link, so trust me or not) avoid doing stuff that they wouldn't want to tell you.

    • by martas (1439879) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:51PM (#31147658)
      or you could just let them do whatever the fuck they want. even porn gets old eventually. at least for a while. maybe a few hours. or minutes... sorry, gotta go!
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by flibuste (523578)
      Let me throw a piece of reality at you:

      When you have 4 kids, 2 of whom have learning disabilities and cannot hold a conversation to talk about "stuff" at 12 years old, as a parent you tend to focus on those 2 kids, leaving the 2 others a bit more alone. Sure as hell you cannot be on their back 24h a day.

      But thank you for your /.otter advice on parenting. I'm sure that you have an extensive experience on that matter, and you're at the right place to discuss such things.

      • by Duradin (1261418) on Monday February 15, 2010 @04:03PM (#31147794)
        Congratulations on spawning. Here's your cookie.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        See, but now you're saying that because of the 2 you don't have ANY time. Is that true? The OP did NOT say anything about how much time would need devoted, simply mentioned that some time. Yes you have two children with additional needs but it sounds almost like you are trying to make an excuse for why the other two might not have proper parenting. Would such work if say one of those children injured themselves in the home and if questioned you said "I'm sorry but I was taking care of the other two chil
        • by GaryPatterson (852699) on Monday February 15, 2010 @05:36PM (#31148918)

          Ah, the new Slashdot debating style.

          The other poster said he had less time to spend with two of his children, focusing more time on the two with learning difficulties.

          You heard that he spent no time on two of his children, and then used your failure to understand what was said to construct a fantasy world in which filibuste was responsible for serious injuries.

          I love this style of debate. It's used by politicians, bad businesses and lawyers. It's only good for bolstering weak points and for polarising opinion - that is, it's everything we hate in politics. And now we see it in Slashdot, where it puts another nail into the coffin of the 'community.'

          On top of all that, the accepted meme at Slashdot is that parents should watch their kids more frequently, and that people just don't take responsibility. Bad laws are attempted because of parental failure. When that's challenged, posters like filibuste are drowned in a deluge of invective from posters who just don't seem to like other points of view.

          Lastly, most of the responses to filibuste's post have the assumption that the first two children had obvious learning difficulties. Even if it was the first two, I'm pretty sure such issues are impossible to spot for a while, and maybe, just maybe, they had some more kids because they love children and even if they did realise, thought they were fine to work through this. As indeed they seem to be based on the very short post - the kids who need more attention get it.

          Shatteredstar, your post is not insightful. The mods got this very wrong. Moreover, you have no shred of understanding or compassion. You should think more before you post.

          • by Eskarel (565631)

            What imaginary world?

            I have a kid, not 4 admitedly, but I do have a kid, I've got some idea of the kind of time and energy this takes.

            Let me lay it out for you. If you're not parenting your kids, you're a shitty parent. I don't care what your excuse is, kids with disabilities, your own disability, if you can't parent your kids, you're a shitty parent.

            That's not to say that all laws designed to assist parents are bad laws, but no law is going to replace you as a parent, and if you can't give your kids the at

            • Another one who reacts before reading.

              Filibuste said he spent more time with the kids who needed it, not all his time. There's a huge difference, but people are falling over each other to castigate him for their perception of his post.

              Like the others, you failed to understand a simple post.

              The imaginary world was the one in which one of the other kids gets some serious injury due purely to a lack of parenting. As if kids are under the watchful eyes of their parents every second of every day. No parent can d

              • by Eskarel (565631)

                Actually I don't coddle my kid, nor do I suggest people do that.

                The original criticism wasn't saying that you should spy on your kids 24 hours a day(that's daft), but that you should take responsibility for what they watch on tv and view on the internet. That's basic supervision, not coddling. Then Filbuste said that he couldn't provide that basic level of supervision for his two non disabled kids due to the time it takes to focus on the disabled ones. There is no excuse for being a shitty parent. When you

                • by Eskarel (565631)

                  I feel the need to respond to this again, as I have inadvertently let this become a personal attack which wasn't my intention.

                  It's possible that Filbuste wasn't responding to the original post in the way I believe he was. It's possible he interpreted the original post as 24 hour monitoring which isn't possible. I meant my post to be more general and I apologize.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Umm, those are your babies. It's your job to raise them and yours alone. You are not a victim here so start parenting and stop sounding like one.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @04:16PM (#31147938)

        Let me throw a piece of reality back at you -

        You either chose to have four children or you're an idiot. I'm going to assume that you're not an idiot for the sake of this discussion and assume that it was your choice.

        If you chose to bring four lives into this world without the ability to deal with it, that is, to be blunt, your own fucking problem. You are the irresponsible one, and I don't see why any of the rest of us need to be forced by our government to live with censorship laws to "protect the children" just because you're an irresponsible nitwit who wanted to have four kids. Frankly you should probably be apologizing to the rest of the world for having four kids when you by your own admission seem to only have the ability to properly raise two.

        I've got one of my own and I know kids can be a handful. That's why we have one. Uno. One kid. One kid that we can focus on and make damn sure we can handle it. We did not rush out to have four kids. We might have a second one once we know whether we can handle one or not. But to think that you might arrogantly go out and have four kids without bothering to figure out if you're going to be able to handle it just stuns me. Unless you're an idiot. In which case I apologize for the rant.

        • by Belial6 (794905) on Monday February 15, 2010 @04:49PM (#31148334)
          I would go one step farther and say that if the poster is not an idiot, then they have committed premeditated child abuse.
          • by Velex (120469)

            I would go one step farther and say that if the poster is not an idiot, then they have committed premeditated child abuse.

            +1, Insightful. Oh crap, I've run out of mod points. That's odd, hasn't happened in months. Anyone else care to do the honors?

        • You either chose to have four children or you're an idiot.

          I got the statistically improbable option: I have double twins. :D

          But like most hardship you can make if work if you are serious about pulling through.

          • by c6gunner (950153)

            Heh, that's exactly what I was thinking while reading his comment. I wholeheartedly agree with his sentiment, but he's created a false dichotomy - it's quite possible that the individual whom he's addressing gave birth to quadruplets.

        • Ouch. Mega burn. As a father of one who will wait several years to figure out what that one means before having another (which will also probably be the last), I wholeheartedly agree.
      • by jockeys (753885) on Monday February 15, 2010 @04:18PM (#31147974) Journal
        Parent poster's point still stands:
        raise your fucking kids. If you don't wanna raise 'em and be responsible for 'em then don't fucking have 'em.
      • But thank you for your /.otter advice on parenting.

        I believe you are mistaken, sir. It's only on topics relating to the appropriate naming of atheist organizations, and the proper way to consume mollusks, that the /. Otters give advice.

      • by daver00 (1336845)

        Is that any reason to go looking to the state to enforce censorship on an entire country? So that you can have the freedom to not install an internet filter on your own computer?

      • by Rennt (582550)

        "won't somebody think of the parents!"

        Here is another hard bit of reality for you: No number of disabled kids or overworked parents makes compulsory internet filtering a good idea.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How about people actually started parenting their children? I'm sure as hell not going to let the kids go online alone until they are old enough to do so responsibly. Just like I don't let them watch TV programs and movies out of their age group. Or how I actually spend time with them and talk to them about stuff. (Even a three-year-old can have a proper conversation if you actually listen and support with asking questions.)

      So when will people get off their collective asses and stop trying to find ways to escape responsibility and offload it to whatever solution happens to be popular at the time?

      I man can dream, can't he?

      (And no, I can't control what they do at their friends etc. etc. But there are risks with crossing the street too.)

      The issue isn't one of parenting (or the lack thereof), but that the democratically-elected Australian Government has made the decision to filter Internet content without the mandate of the people. That is, the Government is going to filter content "for the people's own good - despite what they people may actually want". The "it's for your own good" argument has been used many times before, but in the end, it's all censorship and usually flawed.

      Of course, the major flaw here is that the filter (if imposed)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MightyMartian (840721)

        The real problem is that the filter will not prevent the technically savvy (including child pornographers, terrorists and other criminals) from using the Internet do distribute and exchange whatever they like. Even the Great Firewall of China doesn't prevent those with the know-how from circumventing it. So it will inconvenience the average user with its rather questionable goals of keeping Australians safe from bad stuff, but will not in fact cause great problems for a lot of the very people it claims to

        • So it will inconvenience the average user with its rather questionable goals of keeping Australians safe from bad stuff, but will not in fact cause great problems for a lot of the very people it claims to be aimed at.

          That's not the only hang up, nor is it the primary one - the issue at the heart of this is that the ACMA blacklist, which would be at the core of the filtering, isn't available for review - a site can be put on the blacklist without notification, and removing sites from the list is an arduous process. There is no independent oversight of this list, and contrary to claims by Conroy it does not only contain sites which are clearly illegal - Wikileaks ended up on the list when it posted a leaked version of the [wikipedia.org]

          • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday February 15, 2010 @07:45PM (#31150418) Journal

            I think once a government, ostensibly from a liberal democracy or otherwise, decides that it is going to take an active role in censoring a medium, it's rather irrelevant whether they show people the black list or not. Whether your chains are visible or invisible, they are chains nonetheless, and by all appearances, the Australian people seem little concerned. What's the point of a list of blocked sites, when the populace doesn't seem to care that government has formulated a list of sites that the populace shall not see?

            To some extent I do blame the media, which, intentionally or unintentionally, has primed a lot of citizens of supposedly free and liberal democracies with the underlying notion that the Internet is an inherently dangerous place, where molesters and terrorists lurk on every page waiting to pervert the young and where gangsters hide illicit transactions within innocent-seeming communications. To be sure, these do happen, but all these "news magazine" programs (largely hysteria-driven frothing-at-the-mouth sessions designed to produce ratings by invoking paranoid schizophrenic-like reactions in the viewers) are not interested in actually reporting the rates of Internet crime versus, say, mail crime or hell, Main Street crime. To listen to the 20/20-style programs the world over, you'd think pedophilia, terrorism and sophisticated crime in general didn't exist until the age of modern communication.

            It isn't just the Internet, either. These irresponsible pseudo-journalists literally have most of the Western world terrified that every time they're children leave the front door there are a near-infinite supply of perverts and maniacs waiting to rape, murder or twist children. Every time some child is abducted anywhere in a 3,000 mile radius (and sometimes, if the circumstances are sufficiently lurid, much further afield than that) the 6 o'clock news is dominated by it, as breathless on-the-scene reporters recount every vile detail, followed by child safety experts explaining how children must be programmed to believe that every adult is out to touch their woo-woos or slit their throats, and probably both. The fact that most molestations are committed by people known to the child rarely, if ever gets mention, because, of course, telling parents that it's more likely Daddy or Uncle Billy are perpetrating a sexual crime against the kiddies won't sell a lot of advertising.

            The Internet gets picked on because it's relatively new, still very poorly understood and much easier to whip parents and voters into frenzies. You can sell five minutes on the 6 o'clock news pretty easily and cheaply by throwing up a child-abuse expert whose qualifications in Internet crimes probably amounts to checking their email five times a day, along with some faded-out images of child porn sites, along with Sheriff Brown/Jones/Rogers/whatever, who is quite happy to get his mug on the news telling us how the Internet kills. Of course, it's just as cheap to do one of the "news magazine" programs where they lure a few pathetic sex freaks to a house to meet teenangel5 or whatever, only to find out its some failed would-be anchorman and some cops ready to lead him off to jail.

            They say we get the government we deserve, and well, Australia, you must be a right stupid sheepish bunch to have deserved Rudd and his band of Super-christian liberty-hating political hooligans. Don't bitch now, just wait twenty years until the government has to clear newspaper articles. You'll wish you were living in Beijing by that point.

            • +10,000 Insightful

              Seriously, that was one of the best speeches I've heard in a while. and it came in the form of a /. comment. nice job. if you ever run for public office in the USA look me up on your fans list and i'll campaign for you.

  • But the problem is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nightfire-unique (253895) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:38PM (#31147524)

    The problem is that we all have a different definition of "safe."

    When I was growing up, my parents had a definition that included things like: good nutrition, outdoor exercise, avoiding physical violence, good hygene, "look both ways before crossing the street," etc.

    Today's parents seem to be almost monomaniacally focused on sex and terror.

    I don't know what that means long-term, but I don't think the Australian government, Yahoo, or Google should be helping us find out..

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Thats what always confuses the heck out of me. It was "be careful, don't talk to strangers. Don't take anything from strangers, look both ways before crossing the street, be home by dinner, and clean your room." were the rules of the land. During the school year it might include "Do your homework." And at times for some "Stop teasing your brother/sister!" normally yelled. Now its not so much a "go out and learn the world, but be careful!" sort of thing but "Don't do anything we don't specifically say y
    • by Jeng (926980) on Monday February 15, 2010 @04:18PM (#31147958)

      Definition of safe while I was growing up was making sure none of the scrapes and cuts got infected.

      Definition of safe now days is to not get any cuts or scrapes.

      • I think that is the best, most concise explanation for the problem in this whole thread.

      • by jockeys (753885)
        very, VERY well said.
      • Parent is right (pun intended). We should be telling our kids to look at goatse and 4chan twenty-four-sev! .....as long as they aren't infected.

        ....with what??

        WAGE!
        • by Jeng (926980)

          If your kid looks at goatse for longer than it takes to close the window then you may want to explain a few things to him.

          The birds, the bees, the large distended anus.

          Seriously though it is a good idea to sit with your children and explain some things to them before you allow them to use the internet on their own.

          Not just goatse type things, but also about punch the monkey ads and all the other things about the internet that are bullshit.

          I have no kids though, so take this advice with a grain of salt.

      • My Parents definition of safe was don't shoot yourself, but kill as many for those bloody Aussie tree bears as you can (Possums). Don't roll the tractor, we can't afford a new one, and I won't take you to the hospital if you burn yourself when using petrol to light a fire. I was 13, the oldest of 5. We all turned out just fine. Had a lot of fun with the dirt bikes. Breaks and injuries heal (mostly). Fun memories last forever ;)
  • by syousef (465911) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:42PM (#31147568) Journal

    ...and will not listen to reason, as he has repeatedly demonstrated. I'm not entirely clear what that agenda is, beyond being a douche. Perhaps he's in bed with the media organisations, and the filter censoring kiddie porn is only a side issue, while the real game is filtering music/tv/movie downloads. Perhaps he was teased as a child and this is his revenge on society. Either way he is an irresponsible man and I hope he's now infamous enough that people will vote him out at the next election (though I suspect I hope for too much).

    • I'm not optimistic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by zblack_eagle (971870) on Monday February 15, 2010 @06:20PM (#31149500)

      A number of factors are likely to keep Stephen Conroy in after the election this year.

      In Australian election ballots for the senate we select one box above the line or number all the boxes below the line. To elaborate: below the line we number all of the possible candidates in order of preference (and we have to number all of them in order for that vote to be valid. Above the line we choose one political party who will be choosing the below the line preferences for those voters. Such preferences are selected based on the principles of the political party, on a reciprocal basis or for attempted political gain. This was how we ended up with Steve Fielding [wikipedia.org].

      Due to the extreme number of senate candidates in Australian state and federal elections (last time I voted in the South Australian state election I think there was 46) most people elect to have their favoured political party choose their preferences for them. Based on the traditionalist attitudes of voters that revolve around biases, prejudices and/or traditionalism (my family has always voted for party X) the parties with the most senators tend to be Labor and Liberal, Conroy being a Labor senator who was elected even during the years that the Liberal/National Coalition had a majority in both houses of government.

      As I now live in Victoria I'll certainly be voting in favour of candidates that are not him in the election some time this year. However I don't trust the preferences of other parties, nor do I want to re-elect members of the party of fear and xenophobia, so I'll be voting below the line.

      But you can count on the majority voting above the line.

      • Actually, upon investigation it's even more unfortunate than that. Because senators are elected for two terms (effectively six years) at a time, Stephen Conroy isn't up for re-election this election unless the government pulls a double-dissolution election [wikipedia.org].

      • by Philip_the_physicist (1536015) on Monday February 15, 2010 @09:32PM (#31151164)

        This is why I would like to see above-the-line voting abolished, but at the same time add a "no further preferences" option to the ballot (as the first option, to kill a few donkey votes), which, if your vote goes that far down the list, means that your paper is then ignored for the rest of the redistribution. This is better than allowing an incomplete list without a terminator, because the coutners are supposed to try to figure out how you were trying to vote if your paper seems invalid.

        Although counting would be slower and more expensive, senate vote results aren't usually needed for some time anyway, and this would go some way towards improving the quality of election results.

    • by Techman83 (949264)
      Something tells me he may just be in bed -> Stephen Conroy Cold on Kerry Stokes talk [theaustralian.com.au]
    • by dbIII (701233)

      Perhaps he's in bed with the media organisations

      There has been millions in taxpayers money heading their way in the last few weeks which makes that very likely. Meanwhile the other party is too busy trying to stir up trouble over industrial accidents to hear about it in the portions of the media that didn't get the money.

    • by ekhben (628371)

      Most voters are unaware of this issue. For most of that majority, awareness of this issue takes a very distant back seat stacked against working conditions, taxation, health care, infrastructure, education, and a whole long list of other matters. For most of that majority of that majority, all issues take a very distant back seat to which party your father voted for.

      For the few people who care about this issue enough for it to affect their vote, they have two choices: Liberal or Labour. Neither party i

  • by stimpleton (732392) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:47PM (#31147622)
    "'We, the Australian Library and Information Association, Google, Inspire Foundation and Yahoo! agree that Australia needs to take effective action to ensure that internet users, and particularly children, have a safe experience online.'

    So? I read that as they support measures to filter the internet. For the children?
    • by mahsah (1340539) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:50PM (#31147654)

      If you take it out of context it would seem that way, but RTFA. Still, this is a very poor summary for that reason.

      • I agree. However the context is not what media report on.

        And when lines such as "The following statement" and 'We, the Australian Library and Information Association, Google, Inspire Foundation and Yahoo! agree that Australia needs to take effective action to ensure that internet users, and particularly children, have a safe experience online." appear first up like that you are in trouble. So yeah, I did RTFA and quoted the entire first paragraph from their statement. An opening paragraph that reads like
    • by captaindomon (870655) on Monday February 15, 2010 @04:05PM (#31147812)
      You have to understand the politics. If they started their letter with "We think your idea is stupid and won't work and we won't support it" they would look like trouble causers and they would be dismissed from the discussion immediately. If they start the letter with "We understand why you are concerned, it's good to care about kids, we care about them too, let's work together to figure out the best way to do this correctly without trying to block the internet at the national level" they are going to get a lot more support and understanding. You can tell the letter was written by PR type folks, who spent a lot of time on it. It's a good sign, because it means Yahoo and Google are actually concerned at the corporate level, and are thinking seriously about the best way to address this filtering problem, and they're preparing for a long involved process.
    • You've never dealt with people on a serious issue before, have you?

      Here's a tip - starting a message by outright denying the validity of the issue will result in anything you say being summarily dismissed. If you're comfortable with being ignored completely, then go nuts.

      There is a good case to make that some support for online child safety is important. How that support is delivered is another matter, and the Australian government is going about this in the wrong way. That the authors of this letter agree

    • It's just the first paragraph of the statement, essentially leading up to a "BUT".

      The summary quote is just misleadingly picked.

  • by Duradin (1261418) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:50PM (#31147646)

    All this thinking about children these people do just doesn't seem healthy. They're probably using all this as a cover so they can think about children like ...that. To be safe we better lock them all up as pedos for thinking about children so much.

    • I can hack the aussie gov http://www.cpiu.us/contact-us [www.cpiu.us] I am Director of Software Engineering.Fake Name. you will never stop me. want me to wiki leaks every person in the Australian gov and the entire protocol, Every cover up including ports? I have ports listed. There will be no stopping me. EOF
    • Just need to make them have a seat over there....
    • by Asic Eng (193332)
      They should start thinking about their children. For example about the part where they grow up and become adults some day. I have a little daughter and as she grows up I want her to be able to enjoy the same kind of freedom I was able to enjoy. I don't want her to have to live in a censorship state.
  • Actual statement (Score:5, Informative)

    by mwsw (1011777) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:56PM (#31147712) Homepage
  • long winded rant> Long story short, you can't really convert the world into a safe environment for kids, without trying to and making the world safe for all human beings. That would be a real government job. Other than that, you can put in all the filters, censors, and spies you want, and achieve only partial success at best, creating a vibrant information-black-market in the meantime. Just look at drugs, alcohol, piracy, MP3, and porn. Desired by many, but filled with silly, ineffective rules, prohi
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @04:18PM (#31147960)

    Here in Canada, we have a very simple system of keeping children safe in the real world. We make their parents legally responsible for watching their children.

    Why can't we (Canada, Australia and everywhere else) make the parents legally responsible for watching their children online? This way the government wouldn't need to do internet censorship.

    • Here in Canada, we have a very simple system of keeping children safe in the real world. We make their parents legally responsible for watching their children.

      Why can't we (Canada, Australia and everywhere else) make the parents legally responsible for watching their children online? This way the government wouldn't need to do internet censorship.

      Because then the government wouldn't be able to use that excuse to control what their subjects are allowed to view. (Whenever a government acts as Australia is in this case it is clear that it views its population as subjects, not as citizens).

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tangentc (1637287)

      Because many bad parents would rather have a scapegoat to blame all of their troubles on than hear that they should have been parenting while little Billy was searching for filthy porn online.

      Seriously, it may not be easy to raise kids, but don't blame the medium whenever your kid uses it to find questionable material. I like that the article mentioned an education program, which would probably be more effective and less costly than a massive filter anyway. It's just too bad that the knee-jerk reaction is a

    • by kheldan (1460303)
      Because that would be a monumental display of common sense -- which is a misnomer anymore, because nobody seems to have any anymore.
  • Let parents worry about what their children are exposed to. If they're not already doing that, it's neglect, and perhaps something else should be done about the parents' carelessness. If the government don't want to be attacked, let them filter their internet connections however they want. Censorship of the general populace's internet connection isn't necessary for either of these cases, and should not even enter into the equation.
  • Yay /b/!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nitrowing (887519)
    First off, yay to the /b/tards - I had been watching this a few days before it started and am proud of them. Second, this is from a long time ago and a view I whole-heartedly agree with. Written by the Rotten.com Staff, The definition of obscenity, according to the Supreme Court and known informally as the Miller test, is: * must appeal to the prurient interest of the average person * must describe sexual conduct in a way that is "patently offensive" to community standards, and
    • by Jeng (926980)

      Wow, that is actually a very good write up of the issue, and I hate rotten.com

      As true today as it was thirteen years ago, surprised I never saw this write up before now.

  • We, the Australian Library and Information Association, Google, Inspire Foundation and Yahoo! agree that Australia needs to take effective action to ensure that internet users, and particularly children, have a safe experience online. The statement i would sign would be that internet users deserve, freedom and privacy, and protection against Quango's Megacorps and goverments, at all times.

    ---

    Censorship [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

  • Did the submitter READ that quote?

    We, the Australian Library and Information Association, Google, Inspire Foundation and Yahoo! agree that Australia needs to take effective action to ensure that internet users, and particularly children, have a safe experience online.'

    That's not opposing the legislation, it's commending it!

    • by Tynin (634655)

      Did the submitter READ that quote?

      We, the Australian Library and Information Association, Google, Inspire Foundation and Yahoo! agree that Australia needs to take effective action to ensure that internet users, and particularly children, have a safe experience online.'

      That's not opposing the legislation, it's commending it!

      Did you even READ the article? (Yeah, I must be new here...) The summery just took a poor paragraph to use as it can be taken out of context, however they are not commending it. They are simply agreeing that the internet could be a nicer place for kids, but censorship isn't the right path. Really, just go read the article. Here is a clip of some of it if you still don't have the time:

      As a large proportion of child sexual abuse content is not found on public websites, but in chat-rooms or peer-to-peer net

    • They're opposed to the filter on practical grounds, but those grounds cover basically anything at the ISP level. It isn't as good as philosophical objections, but it's better than nothing.

  • by daver00 (1336845) on Monday February 15, 2010 @09:23PM (#31151112)

    The government is not running on the assumption that a filter will save all the children, although it certainly is in their PR arsenal. What the government is doing, in their own eyes, is simply closing a loophole in the law. Australia has tough censorship laws *already*, the internet is just not filtered at this point. The government is simply seeking to apply its existing legal framework to the internet.

    But this raises the far more important issue: Australia has a draconian censorship framework which needs to be brought into the modern age. The mere fact that the government applying their ratings rules is immediately seen as great wall of China style censorship is indicative of how out of touch the local censorship laws are with contemporary society. This sums up the far bigger problem that critics face: Conroy see this whole issue as applying the law in its intent, the way it is meant to be applied (closing a loophole), in order to get the government to view it any other way would require the government to be convinced it censorship framework needs to be loosened up, R18+ for games would be a nice start!!

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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