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Internet filter will not stop child porn peddlers

By lease25, Feb 1, 2010 | Updated: Feb 1, 2010 | | |
Rating:
4/5,
  1. lease25
    Internet filter will not stop child porn peddlers

    Senator Stephen Conroy's consultation paper on mandating the filtering of internet sites by Australian internet service providers suggests that our nation could soon have the most restrictive internet regime in the Western world.

    The incorporation of international lists of overseas-hosted child sexual abuse material would be sufficient to align mandatory Australian practices with the voluntary practices of most liberal democracies. Indeed, the implication is that it might total the sum of all other jurisdictions' voluntary filter lists. However, the commitment to add other content that is only prohibited in Australia will mean that the scope of the content to be captured will be much more extensively drawn than in equivalent nations. There appears to be a commitment to elevate the Refused Classification category to form the backbone of the new "RC content list". This will include material that deals with "sexual violence, detailed instruction in crime, violence or drug use and/or material that advocates the doing of a terrorist act", as well as other aspects of the RC regime, far beyond the relatively restricted prohibitions of "child sexual abuse imagery [and] bestiality".

    As UNSW's Professor Catharine Lumby, QUT's Professor John Hartley and myself have made clear in Untangling the Net: The Scope of Content Caught by Mandatory Internet Filtering, the Refused Classification list has evolved over many years to include a range of materials that require substantial reconsideration. For example, does it make sense to have practices that are legal between consenting adults (such as some non-violent fetish activities) that are refused classification when depicted?

    One of the options considered in the consultation paper includes the possibility of a content owner seeking a ruling by the Classification Board or (in an appeal against such a ruling) the Classification Review Board. However, there is no commitment to allow publication of the contents of the RC content list, and the Senator's reaction to the 2009 Wikileaks leaking of the near-current list of ACMA's blacklist websites indicates that such a public level of accountability is not canvassed.

    A significant concern is that in mandating a regulatory regime at odds with most of the Western world Australia will identify itself with, and give tacit encouragement to, a range of undemocratic political regimes dubbed "enemies of the internet" by Reporters Without Borders (RWB). The list of a dozen or so countries includes Burma, China, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. Indeed, in even considering the embracing of such a mandatory regime, RWB have placed Australia on a watch list as being "under surveillance" – company the nation keeps with Bahrain, Eritrea, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

    Meanwhile, the Open Net Initiative (ONI), an outcome of collaboration between Harvard, Toronto, Cambridge and Oxford universities already has concerns about Australia's internet freedoms and may well judge the country as selectively filtering across social and political domains if a mandatory regime is introduced on the basis of the Refused Classification guidelines. In the ONI classification scheme this may ally Australia with Azerbaijan, Jordan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Thailand, which selectively filter on political grounds; and Ethiopia, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, Uzbekistan and Vietnam, which selectively filter on social grounds.

    Australian research has consistently indicated that a majority of parents choose to negotiate with their children around their access to the internet; and do this in a nuanced and responsive way dependent upon the child's age, internet experience and gender. They trust their children's judgment to some extent and use the conversations as ways of communicating valuable information about rights, responsibilities and consequences. They also talk with their children about any content that is troubling to them, including everyday concerns such as bullying and online harassment, which will not be touched at all by these deliberations. Given the average Australian family's approach to regulating internet access in domestic contexts, it is likely that the typical citizen will be less than impressed with a government decision that dictates a range of prohibitions in excess of those enacted in equivalent democracies.

    It is ironic that at the very point where Australia seeks recognition as a world leader in its vision for a National Broadband Network it may also gain censure as legitimating a range of repressive policies pursued by some of the globe's least accountable governments. Further, given that the filter will categorise and block websites, but not other ways of communicating digitally, the highly illegal and abhorrent activities of those who peddle images of child sexual abuse are likely to continue with little additional inconvenience.

    Lelia Green is Professor of Communications at Edith Cowan University, Perth.

    LELIA GREEN
    December 17, 2009
    http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opi...t-stop-child-porn-peddlers-20091217-kzfy.html

    COMMENT:Swim is pretty concerned about the impact this could have on many Australians use of DF. Any Australian users of DF please take action, visit: http://www.internetblackout.com.au/ and sign the petition, write a letter etc.

Comments

  1. lease25
    Believe this is good to go now. Any other aussie df users concerned about the proposed filter?
  2. pinksox
    Only in the extent that it seems increasingly the governements of Western societies are ALL moving more and more towards taking away personal choices, rights, and freedoms and giving more and more powers to police--effectively making democracies/republics into police states.

    The Aussies last multi-million dollar attempt at a internet filter was cracked within 30 minutes of implementation by a teenager. She imagines others will fall in similar fashion.

    She wonders when the people's of "free" societies are finally going to get pissed off and offended enough to actually make a stand and overhaul their governments--and what, exactly, it would take to do so. She doesn't imagine those in power are too keen to lose it. The only thing in their favor is that people have been lulled into complacency and, as long as "they" erode these freedoms little by little, it seems that no one takes much notice.
  3. Pondlife
    Child porn is not the real reason behind Internet filtering and never has been. The filtering is all about control; child porn, terrorism etc. are just pretexts used to obtain control.
  4. Alias: V
    Quite right. And it's easy for the majority to accept that control when it's couched in those terms. You might not support the ban, but child porn, terrorism, ect. are "worse," so you accept it. It's too bad that western society has created such a dichotomy between freedom and safety.
  5. Terrapinzflyer
    reminds me of the poem credited to german pastor Martin Niemöller during the nazi germany days:

    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out.
  6. SullyGuy
    Who the hell peddles child porn? Doesn't peddling imply selling?
  7. lease25
    Seriously, wow? One of the trial versions in production? Can you point me in the direction of where you heard that, I'd be really interested in reading it.

    A draft of the blacklist was leaked in March last year of 2395 sites up to half of the sites are believed to be legal sites not related to child porn in any way with the majority being adult websites and gambling websites; neither of which is illegal.

    Statements from the Minister, Stephen Conroy say they will block sites that have instructions on drug creation including DF. It blows swims mind the thought of not being able to come here because its blocked.
  8. taher12112
    To bypass any type of filtering just rent a VPS and configure a VPN server with your desired protocols such as PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, iPig. Now setup a vpn connection on your own computer and tunnel to your vpn server. Now, You will never experience any black list ;) This is the way that we do here in Iran during these years :thumbsup:

    If you need help to setup a VPN server on VPS, I can help you. Don't worry :)
  9. Motorhead
    Lets keep the discussion to the topic at hand please. Specific technical information like this can be discussed in the computers & IT security forum-or elsewhere.
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