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Australian Labor Party Proposes ISP Level Filter 459

An anonymous reader writes "The Australian Labor Party (much the same as the Democrats in the US) are claiming they will force ISPs to block violent and pornographic content if elected. From the article: 'Mr Beazley said all households would be included in the policy unless there was a specific request for access to such material. It was "too hard" for many parents to install internet blockers on their computers to prevent offensive material being downloaded.'"
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Australian Labor Party Proposes ISP Level Filter

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  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guardian653 ( 784260 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:30AM (#14962891)
    Just who defines "violent" or "pornographic" material? What is "violent" or "pornographic" material? Frankly, people who are smart will eventually get around it anyway...
    • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jawdy ( 864553 )
      Precisely - its ludicrous to even do such a thing. And at what point does it become "too difficult" to install content blockers (so to speak). Some people should take a little more responsibility for their actions, rather than try and blame lifes simple pleasures
    • by sgant ( 178166 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:51AM (#14962990) Homepage Journal
      It seems just about every week we're hearing more and more censoring and blocking and "You can't do that here" talk from Australia. I always thought this was a free-wheeling, "come and say g'day" kinda place. But it sounds like it's more puritanical than the US, something I didn't think was possible.

      What is up with this country?
      • It's more of a "the government says this" and the public says "yeah try and enforce it" kind of thing really.
        The two major governments are reasonably conservative (although an analogy of the labor party to the democrats is just plain farsical) and so we get crap like this proposed.

        Also, puritanical implies religious, Australia is very secular, and this is more a case of "working class mums and dads don't want their kids looking up porn".

        That said, this is a completely ludicrious proposal by the labor party and needless to say they've lost my vote for the next federal election.
        • this is more a case of "working class mums and dads don't want their kids looking up porn".

          Not "working class mums don't want their husbands looking up porn?" Or, maybe, "working class mums don't want their husbands finding their photos while looking up porn?". Although I'm intrigued by the implication that middle-class parents do want their kids looking up porn.

          • rofl

            I probably should have pointed out that the labour party in Australia is traditionally trying to represent the "working-class" and that's why I used that instead of just "mums and dads"

            Personally, I'm from a working class family and like most Australian parents mine honestly couldn't give a f*%#!, it's just porn folks ;-)
          • Not "working class mums don't want their husbands looking up porn?" Or, maybe, "working class mums don't want their husbands finding their photos while looking up porn?". Although I'm intrigued by the implication that middle-class parents do want their kids looking up porn.

            I think working class still includes middle class, unless there are a lot of people in the middle class who, unlike me, are sitting on trust funds that allow them to party all day.

          • Even in a free world, without polit-bullshit, there are perfectly adequate solutions: don't make kids; don't marry.

            If anybody chooses to make kids, they should accept that those are free human beings, and should choose for themselves how to live. Oh, and there's still the concept of *talk*.
            • by spirality ( 188417 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @11:38AM (#14964252) Homepage
              Not sure how or why you got modded up. Seems like a troll to me, but I'll bite.

              Kids are not free human beings! Parents are the custodians of their kids until the children have been properly trained to become full-fleged members of society with all of the rights and responsibilities that implies. To put it another way, until you are under the law, liable for all of the consequences of your actions you are not truely free because freedom implies a certain amount of responsibility. You are infact subject to your parents' whims to a certain extent. The way they raise you is their responsibility/problem, but make no mistake you are not free. John Locke really does a much better job than me explaining this. You might look at his Second Treatise.
      • by troll -1 ( 956834 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:23AM (#14963121)
        Hosting porn sites in Australia has been banned since 2000 under the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Online Services) Act 1999,

        They have the same restrictions for web content providers as they do for broadcast television producers. More info here [efa.org.au].
    • Porn defined (Score:5, Insightful)

      by x2A ( 858210 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:05AM (#14963033)
      Porn is anything you lose interest in after you cum
    • Re:What? (Score:4, Funny)

      by troll -1 ( 956834 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:11AM (#14963055)
      Just who defines "violent" or "pornographic" material?

      Wise people in government. We would never understand, we're not smart enough.
    • Re:What? (Score:2, Interesting)

      Sounds like a challenge to me. :-)Shame the world seems to be turning into place where freedom of choice in what we say, watch and do is being overturned "for our own good"
    • Re:What? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Antifuse ( 651387 )
      Why don't ISPs just offer this as an additional, pay-for service? You can be sure that lots of dumbass parents would be willing to pay for it.
    • Just who defines "violent" or "pornographic" material? What is "violent" or "pornographic" material?

      The usual boards who rate material not suitable for children or people who do not wish to see such content.

      Frankly, people who are smart will eventually get around it anyway...

      As in, "smart enough to inform their ISP that they do want to view that material" and thus it is enabled for them? How smart do you have to be to do that, or read a story? Hell, how smart do you even have to be to just read the headline
    • by CustomDesigned ( 250089 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @11:22AM (#14964144) Homepage Journal
      (Sorry for the dupe, accidentally posted anonymously.)

      This was the legal basis for the old USSR to criminalize Bible smugglers. It is often helpful to remind Christians of this when debating ill conceived government censorship programs. I am a Christian, and I despise pornography. It destroys the viewers sex life, and in cases of violent addiction those of many others around him (it is usually a male). I have read heart wrenching letters from women, one of them I know personally, who have no sex life because their husband would rather do himself in front of a picture. Nevertheless, what words or images act as pornography varies with the culture and individual.

      Machines might be able to recognize images containing bare skin, but bare skin is not pornography. It might be possible to create a bayesian like filter that could be trained to block text and images offensive to an individual. Or an individual can hire a service that shares his/her values to do the filtering. The government (US or AU) does *not* share my values.

      For my own family, I check authentication and do bayesian content filtering using pymilter for email. I use squid with a "safesites" list for kids and a "bannedsites" list (obtained from the browsing habits of porn addicted employees of my clients who couldn't stop on their own during working hours) for adults. I use pine to screen my personal email (no images) and lynx to screen websites before adding to safesites.

      Some of the students in a beginning programming class I teach were unable to browse web pages on group theory, klein bottles, and other topics which I really doubt acted as porn for anyone alive now or throughout history. They were blocked by a porn filter installed by the parents. I guess those 3D projections of 4 dimensional surfaces do have a rather sensuous look to them. Third party filters are very frustrating. I sympathize with those advocate them in their desire to fight porn. However, they simply do not understand computer technology (and those I know personally invariably run Windows on their PC).

      • It destroys the viewers sex life

        Huh?

        I teach were unable to browse web pages on group theory, klein bottles, and other topics which I really doubt acted as porn for anyone alive now or throughout history.

        Don't knock it until you've tried it. Once you go Klein bottle, you never go back!

        And you've got to be kidding... Group theory not being related to pr0n?
      • "because their husband would rather do himself in front of a picture."

        The problem is the guy, not the entertainment. If he'd choose that over making love with his wife, he has other, more pressing mental issues.

        I think any slashdotter wouldn't hesitate to to mate with someone 1/10 the attractiveness of a pornstar if given the chance.
      • by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <pig DOT hogger AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @02:35PM (#14965738) Journal

        This was the legal basis for the old USSR to criminalize Bible smugglers. It is often helpful to remind Christians of this when debating ill conceived government censorship programs. I am a Christian, and I despise pornography.

        So, therefore, you see nothing wrong in shoving your views down every one else's throats. Just because you were too stupid to find naked pictures in order to facilitate your masturbation sessions as a kid doesn't mean that you should make life harder on those people who don't...

        For a change, let me shove my views down your throat. I believe that your addiction of bullshit stories (the bible) is very bad for society, because it promotes superstition, it let people be bullshitted by control-freaks so they lose their self-control of their lifes.

        So, you are not allowed to show a bible to children, and teach them religion, as this can adversely affect their minds, and render them into helpless psychologically-dependent people who cannot run their own life.

        It destroys the viewers sex life, and in cases of violent addiction those of many others around him (it is usually a male).

        I have read heart wrenching letters from women, one of them I know personally, who have no sex life because their husband would rather do himself in front of a picture.

        Has it occured to you that, perhaps, the bitch is a bit stuck-up, is a religious hag, or is a dog and is unable to sexually satisfy her husband who cannot therefore be blamed for using pornography to masturbate???

        Nevertheless, what words or images act as pornography varies with the culture and individual.

        Yeah, so you're perfectly free to despise pr0n, but just make sure you keep your social dictates off my face. Otherwise, it will be a pleasure for me to shove that fucking bible in your asshole page by page, without vaseline.

        Machines might be able to recognize images containing bare skin, but bare skin is not pornography. It might be possible to create a bayesian like filter that could be trained to block text and images offensive to an individual. Or an individual can hire a service that shares his/her values to do the filtering. The government (US or AU) does *not* share my values.

        How about keeping an open mind (of course, this is impossible for a religious type, because religion is first and foremost about closing minds)???

        For my own family, I check authentication and do bayesian content filtering using pymilter for email. I use squid with a "safesites" list for kids and a "bannedsites" list (obtained from the browsing habits of porn addicted employees of my clients who couldn't stop on their own during working hours) for adults. I use pine to screen my personal email (no images) and lynx to screen websites before adding to safesites.

        So, just because you're afraid of seeing the bodies of fellow human beings, you deprive yourself of technology... How about learning morse code? Your technological whereabouts would be even more painful this way... With smoke signals, you can also have tear in your eyes, and, if you're careful enough, burn your fingers for more pain.

        Tell me, by inflicting all that pain on yourself and on others, what is your ultimate goal? Do you seriously expect that there will be a "great suffering reckoning" some day which will bring you goodies just because you sufferred and made other people suffer?

        If so, this is the greatest testimonial to the terminally assinine stupidity of religious people (I lump together christians, jews and muslims, but feel free to include other assholes in there).

        Some of the students in a beginning programming class I teach were unable to browse web pages on group theory, klein bottles, and other topics which I really doubt acted as porn for anyone alive now or throughout history. They were

      • Christian women are NOT good at sex.
  • under suspicion (Score:4, Interesting)

    by joe545 ( 871599 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:32AM (#14962899)
    I wonder if anyone who "opts-out" of the ISP filter will be more likely to have their internet usage monitored and their home raided?
  • How? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ice Wewe ( 936718 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:33AM (#14962912)
    How would adults contact their ISPs to re-enable the content? Also, if adults did request to have the conent put through, they could be descriminated against. This sounds like a bad idea!
    • Re:How? (Score:3, Funny)

      by smchris ( 464899 )
      How would adults contact their ISPs to re-enable the content?

      Breathing heavily?

      Working the customer service line to get porn reconnected should probably come with a good wage per hour.

  • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:33AM (#14962914)
    Cry me a fucking river.

    Can't install filtering software? How about sitting down with your kids and keeping an eye on what they're doing instead? Move the PC out to a communal area - the front room or dining room, somewhere you can see it from. Hell, you could even end up taking an actual interest in what they're doing, discussing things with them and perhaps even taking a part in their education (dangerous, I know). You never know, they might even learn a few limits of their own.

    God forbid that parents should have to take some personal responsibility for what their children are exposed to. I know parenting isn't easy, but this trend of shoving responsibility and effort off to third parties is sickening.
    • by DrSkwid ( 118965 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:40AM (#14962939) Homepage Journal
      If I want a babysitter I have to pay $

      If I want an internet filter I could, you know, pay someone to provide me with one.

      Still, it is a land where the PM can get web sites closed down if he doesn't like them :

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/20/oz_satire_ site/ [theregister.co.uk]

      • It seems that half the parental population of the US wants the world to be their babysitters for them.

        If parents would take more interest in their children and watch over them like they expect the government, their neighbors, and Mrs. Fitzgerald down the block to, there would be no need for these silly ideas of "protecting" their kids from everything short of bottled water. If the parents could be bothered to spend even 5 more minutes of every day with their kids, that would completely eliminate this need
  • It's about time! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 3.5 stripes ( 578410 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:34AM (#14962917)
    Without something like this, parents would have to do things like be responsible, or supervise their children!!!
    • parents should be watching their children 24/7?

      so how about the same thing with TV? no broadcast regulations - any channel can broadcast hardcore porn at any time and if you're not there watching every second of your childrens' viewing then that's just your fault.
      • My sky box gives me the opportunity to block out channels I don't want my daughter seeing, on my computer, if I want, I can do the same thing, selective whitelisting.

        It's not the ISP's job to do this sort of thing, if you don't want your children seeing certain thing, it's up to you to decide what's appropriate and what isn't. Maybe the ISP could offer a filtering service, but it should be the parents who opt in, not vice versa.
      • Attempts to create analogies between the Internet and TV are not meaningful because the nature of the two media are completely different.

        TV is something you turn on and data starts flowing with no way to turn it off other than switching to another channel. The Internet is something where you have to ask others to recieve any data, and stopping it is as easy as hitting the 'stop' button on your browser.

        A better analogy is to compare the Internet and dead-tree-format mail. If you're going to let your ki
      • any channel can broadcast hardcore porn at any time

        I'm pretty certain if The Disney Channel started broadcasting "Mickey Does Minnie Pluto-style" in the middle of the day then it wouldn't be around for much longer. And anyway, just sticking your kids in front of the TV for hours on end, without at least checking up on what they're watching every now and then, isn't (in my view) good parenting anyway.

      • Part of the job of being a parent is to protect your child from the thigns you view as being a threat to them. If you believe that violence and porn are a threat, then yes, you should be monitoring them in any situation in which they may be exposed to them.

        If that means that you have to spend an hour or two a day sitting with them while they use the internet, or watch TV, or whatever, then so be it. You could also try explaining to them what it is you don't want them to be looking at, and why. Children tend
      • Fine, if you want a limited internet connection, so be it.
        I am not interested in a "internet light" edition. I just want a connection that transports packets for me. I don't have any kids, nor will I ever get any. I can't see why I should have "opt-out" of the nannyweb, If you must sell crippled lines then sell them as nannynet connections instead of internet connections.
  • It won't happen (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GrahamCox ( 741991 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:36AM (#14962926) Homepage
    The ALP is currently in unelectable self-destruct mode, and appears to show no real signs of getting that fixed before the next election. Which is unfortunate, as the incumbents are a bunch of equally obnoxious nazis, though for other reasons. I doubt that having such nanny-state type policies is likely to help them in any way. What I can't figure out is why they don't just hand over the leadership to Julia Gillard and start working towards making themselves actually attractive to voters. None of this stuff is relevant to that goal, or will help them in any way shape or form. And I speak as a parent.
    • Re:It won't happen (Score:2, Insightful)

      by edgr ( 781723 )
      It's quite true. The Labor party as it is today is just about electorally irrelevant. If they wind up getting elected, this won't happen, because the party will have changed quite a lot. This is just one in a line of publicity stunts by the labor party in Australia. Nothing to see, move along.
    • Kevin Rudd [wikipedia.org] is another potential leader who would make a better choice than Beazley. Until the ALP shapes up, there's always the Greens and Democrats, who are slowly playing a bigger role in Australian politics. Hell, even Family first is looking better than Labor!
    • ALP is currently in unelectable self-destruct mode

      So they *ARE* like the United States' Democrat party then!
  • I'm sure most people here will have a first reaction of bitching about the injustice, but this seems not only reasonable but good. he's right about it being too hard for client-side blocking (an article on a similar topic recently had about a kabillion "d'uh ubuntu CD!11" threads).

    it's like the issue of people bitching about ISPs not allowing all ports open by default. sure it helps againt spam and is a non-issue for 99.999999% of users, but what about the poor linux guy with his own mail server that has to
    • Except that if you have to call the ISP to get the porno unblocked, I'm taking bets on how long it will be before they're compelled to log all such requests and on how long after that the police or the local fundamentalists request access to said logs. (Slippery slope? Yeah - Originally, SocSec# was explicitly and legally NOT a national ID either)
    • Except that when there is an erotic movie (which would probably also fall under porn, even though it is not as hardcore) on a regular channel, the channel is not going black for the duration of the movie even if you did not rent the (also available from your provider) extra porn channel. That is because nothing is blocked, it is just divided into several stream of which not all have to be rented.

      A solution more akin to this would be e.g. a .xxx domain and automatically filtering that on ISP level.
  • by SysKoll ( 48967 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:39AM (#14962933)
    A study just released by the Labor Party shows that 99.9% of the other parties's web site are considered violent, pornographic or both. "So if we block them after we are elected, it won't be censorship, it will be because we need to protect those poor, hapless households", says Mr Weazley, head of the Internet Content Tagging Office at the Labor Party HQ.
  • Fine. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Osirius ( 962177 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:42AM (#14962952)
    I'll go set up my own ISP. With blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the ISP and the blackjack.
    • Re:Fine. (Score:2, Informative)

      by thogard ( 43403 )
      The license fees a gaming establishment are higher than the licenses for a brothel which is more expensive than getting a carrier license for an ISP. The ISP will be cheaper.

      Any of the three would require mountain of paperwork and I would hate to think how bad it would to combine all three.
  • Censoring can never stop someone who would like to watch porn. One or the other, there will be ways to access, and all of them might not be legal as well. What if someone posts porn in his orkut page or geocities. Who will keep track of that? Also, who defines what constitutes porn and what not, the govt, the church or social agencies?
  • Today, Porn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:46AM (#14962961) Homepage Journal
    Tomrrow, dissident speech and knowledge.
  • So Mr Beazley is proposing the world's biggest game of "whack a mole".

    Is he proposing to block all encrypted traffic? What about Rot 13? And every time a new protocol is created the network will have to be reprogrammed to detect whatever portion of the traffic Mr Beazley is objecting to? Will URLs be whitelisted or blacklisted? How long before Australian's leave Mr Beazley all alone in "his" corner of the Internet?

    I suspect the average 15 year old is far more Internet savvy than Mr Beazley and his clu

  • Seriously, (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iogan ( 943605 )
    what'dya expect? Australians are one of the very few countries actually rivalling the US when it comes to being hung up on sex issues. I mean, the wear swimsuits when they take showers.

    Thenagain, I come from the other extreme, so I guess I'm sort of biased here.. (the other being Scandinavia).. I remember once seeing a late night show in the US, the whole idea of which was to show commercials that could never have been aired in the US.. like that was the whole point of it.

    Blew my mind, that one..
    • I mean, the wear swimsuits when they take showers.

      Yes, that's true. We do that so we won't become inflamed with lust when we catch sight of our own genitals. Obviously a sensible precaution, just as our habit of covering the legs of our tables helps avoid licencious thoughts about other legs.

      You know it makes sense.

    • I mean, the wear swimsuits when they take showers.

      WTF? Where?

      • IIRC People in the sauna of the youth-hostel in Sidney in 2000 did, too.
        Swimsuits in the sauna, strange.

        I wouldn't have guessed since people down there seem to be quite relaxed and European in general.

        k2r
    • "I mean, the wear swimsuits when they take showers."

      uh, what? I'm Australian, never worn a swimsuit in the shower unless it was on the beach with no walls. Hell I've never even seen someone wear a swim.. damnit, TOGS in the shower at the public pool in the changerooms, and they generally don't have walls.

  • Seriously, if it is "too hard" for a parent to install and monitor internet filters for their children, then someone seriously needs to take their reproductive bits away.

    It is not that hard to install an internet filter, or if they are that inept, pay someone to assist them. So don't give me that crap about how kids today are smarter than their parents, that is just a copot. All it takes is the time most people invest in a few TV episodes, maybe a book or two, and some ironfisted discipline.

  • The democrats? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Aqua OS X ( 458522 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:52AM (#14962995)
    Since when did the democratic party want to censor internet access? I usually here proposals like this from the other side of the isle.
    • ince when did the democratic party want to censor internet access? I usually here proposals like this from the other side of the isle.

      The Liberals (the right wing party) have teamed up with the Family First (right wing religious) party. This is an attempt to draw either the votes in parliament of the sole Family First MP, or to attract votes from people who might vote for that party.

      • I'm well aware of that. However, there was a bit of confusion with the original post.

        "The Australian Labor Party (much the same as the Democrats in the US) are claiming they will force ISPs to block violent and pornographic content if elected."

        Not to sounds like a total grammar nerd, but that sentence reads oddly. "much the same as" can be read as a comparison of actions. It should say something like "a party similar to the US Democratic party."

        A sleepy idiot such as much self can read that sentence and thi
    • Re:The democrats? (Score:3, Informative)

      by InsaneGeek ( 175763 )
      Actually history says that the US Dems are very "regulation" friendly, here's examples just from recent history

      1) Tipper Gore & music
      2) CDA
      3) COPA (Son of CDA)
      4) Hillary Clinton's current violent gaming regulation proposals
  • Beazley is a loudmouth and has no idea what he's on about.

    I've traded a few emails with various members of the labor party and none of them actually think this will work (or is even remotely useful), it's a way to grab favour from the "Will somebody think of the children!" crowd.

    That said, just to make sure how I feel about it, I'll be regurgitating my previous emails to all appropriate party members, I'd suggest all Australians do the same, just in case.
  • Why their elected officials have such a hard-on for filtering the net? Every story on /. about .AU is related to this subject, in one way or another. Are your politicians as intrusive as this in other aspects of your life... can you buy dirty magazines from a store? you buy porno tapes right? I always thought you guys were a bit more liberal and easy-going than what the news makes you out to be..
    • Probably because AU has little in the way of a tech development industry, so this is the only kind of story we can get onto slashdot. Really, we are pretty easy-going. These comments should be taken with the context that the man proposing them (Kim Beazely) is absolutely unelectable.
    • Are your politicians as intrusive as this in other aspects of your life... can you buy dirty magazines from a store?

      Ironically, the dirtiest magazines are only (legally) available for sale in Australia's capital city.

      I always thought you guys were a bit more liberal and easy-going than what the news makes you out to be..

      *We* are. Idiotic politicians on the other hand...

  • by happyrabit ( 942015 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:13AM (#14963062)
    If I would run an ISP, I would offer 'adult content filtering' as a service, their is obviously a big market for this.

    Where I live, there are not that much differences between ISP's, I'am pretty sure a lot of parents would take such a service into account when choosing for an ISP.
  • Is that this now opens the door for the Libs to propose the same thing (an idea they've floated before) *and* get it implemented with nary a peep of dissention from politicians.
  • ... "We can basically choose between two parties: One is evil, and the other is incompetent".
    • "We can basically choose between two parties: One is evil, and the other is incompetent".

      No they're both evil and incompetent. The only real difference is that the Libs put the interests of big business ahead of their own. With Labour, it's the other way around.

  • Opt in is better (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NigelJohnstone ( 242811 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:16AM (#14963078)
    My 2 cents:

    Filtering is fine, if its *your* choice not to view, not someone else imposing their filtering on you. This is why the British model is not a good one.

    Opt-in would be better, it should be a regular purchased service like any other net service. Parents should also have the option of decided WHO defines their filter list. So that they could choose the filtering according to their own religious/Moral beliefs. If you're Islamic you might want to block Danish cartoons for example. If you're a Google fanboy, you should be able to order the Google safe filter. The *parent* should get to decide who they want to do the blocking, the ISP should simply offer the service of routing it.

    ISP should *sell* the service, then there is a commercial incentive to offer a market in good filtering choices, rather than a reluctant half assed service.

    Governments should be kept at barge pole length, because they have a tendency to censor views they disagree with.

    Parents should be able to change the preferences on a website with their login/password they get when they order net connections, so that as their children grow they can turn the filtering down, or when they want to supervise their kids internet usage they can turn it off.

    Finally, some filtering services should be whitelisted services rather than blacklisted, i.e. a whitelist of known good sites, for parents that are particularly sensitive to porn/violence issues.

    • Heh, from memory we already have this, any ISP has to provide a cheap isp based or pc based filtering system for the customer.
      from memory.

      It's just apparently some people are too lazy to do that, and the government has to hold their hand and protect their children for them.
  • Well if China has a Great Wall
  • What would be the cost comparison between implementing this filter vs. mailing each household (that requests it) a free copy of NetNanny (or other blocking) software?

    Blocking everything will just make people search harder for it.
  • by Goo.cc ( 687626 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:27AM (#14963142)
    Mark Twain once said that "Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it". Evidently, people have been using children as a means of taking things away from adults for a long time now.
  • If you cannot monitor your kids, don't allow them Internet access. No school can really force your student to use the Internet out of school hours. Sure, a computer is different, which can be used for typing up reports, but they cannot really force you to use the Internet for homework.

    There are worse problems than kids coming across pornography. Kids putting too much information out on the Net. Do you realize how easy it can be to find out information about a given individual?
  • I know AOL UK offers parental filters as part oftheir package. Surely AOL Australia, and various other ISPs offer the same. So if local filtering software is too much hassle, Change ISP, morons!
  • And again... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OverflowingBitBucket ( 464177 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:40AM (#14963217) Homepage Journal
    Welcome to Australian politics, everyone. *rolls eyes*

    For those not familiar with Australian politics, let me help out a little. In Australia, we have a healthy disrespect for our politicos. Your average Australian will happily diss both major parties, even if they actually voted them in. Occasionally, one of our politicos will say something that is so out there, so backwards, so poorly thought-out that it causes many of us to hang or heads in shame.

    And when it comes to IT, our politicos are famous for coming up with poorly thought-out schemes that can make people from even the most backwater of country towns sadly shake their heads, thinking "luddites". So please, don't judge us based on our "representatives". Please look at us as the designated driver who is ashamed of their drunken friend who is making a fool out of himself but still needs someone to drive them home at the end of the evening. This is a shameless attempt at grabbing support from the "think of the children" voter demographic by a party that has been getting spanked in the federal elections for many years by a party that isn't that much better. Hopefully this attempt (not the first) will die the death it deserves and we won't have to hear about it again. Fear not, there isn't any significant grassroots desire for this sort of censorship. Not that I know about anyway! I'd say that the bulk of informed people find the whole proposal to be ridiculous.
    • Re:And again... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by keyne9 ( 567528 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @10:00AM (#14963628)
      [...]please, don't judge us based on our "representatives".


      This sounds much like how any country would judge another country: based on who that country allows to stay in power. Regardless of whether or not you approve of your elected officials, they did get there with help from 'yer votes. If you don't like them or want them there, get someone competent to run and vote him/her in instead.
    • What excuse do we have for voting these people in, even if we know that they are bloody morons? There is more than two political parties in Australia. The Australian population is stupid for not researching the alternatives.

      (P.S. I am an Australian, and was proud to be one before September 11 hysteria)
  • by grand_it ( 949276 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @09:47AM (#14963532)
    ..Judges are requiring ISPs to restict certain websites by filtering their IP addresses. Child porn, of course, but also sites that aren't doing anything illegal in their place of activity, such as:

    - chinese Web-TVs that stream sport events whose broadcasting rights in Italy are owned by satellite operator SKY;
    - Gambling/sport betting/online casinos, that are required to pay a royalty/tax to operate in Italy;

    The worst part of the deal is that no formal trial is done before the order is given to ISPs, so websites don't have any chance to defend their rights. Oh, and citizens don't have the right to know the full list of restricted websites.

  • Like the democrats? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MattW ( 97290 ) <matt@ender.com> on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @11:48AM (#14964309) Homepage
    Maybe the Slashdot crowd thinks that just because Hillary Clinton crusades for enforcing her moral code with legislation despite the constitutional restraints on such a course, that it represents the policy or desire of all Democrats to do so. That is definitely not the case. Party members on both sides of the aisle are prone to moralistic crusading, especially when it suits them, but it seems that Republicans are more likely to do so because they are driven by their religious fervor or that of their constituents.

"But what we need to know is, do people want nasally-insertable computers?"

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