Australia's Conroy Announces Mandatory Internet Filters

Telecommunications Minister Stephen Conroy says new measures are being put in place to provide greater protection to children from online pornography and violent websites. Senator Conroy says it will be mandatory for all internet service providers to provide clean feeds, or ISP filtering, to houses and schools that are free of pornography and inappropriate material. Online civil libertarians have warned the freedom of the internet is at stake, but Senator Conroy says that is nonsense. He says the scheme will better protect children from pornography and violent websites.

"Labor makes no apologies to those that argue that any regulation of the internet is like going down the Chinese road," he said. "If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd-Labor Government is going to disagree."

Senator Conroy says anyone wanting uncensored access to the internet will have to opt out of the service. He says the Government will work with the industry to ensure the filters do not affect the speed of the internet. "There are people who are going to make all sorts of statements about the impact on the [internet] speed," he said. "The internet hasn't ground to a halt in the UK, it hasn't ground to a halt in Scandinavian countries and it's not grinding the internet to a halt in Europe. But that is why we are engaged constructively with the sector, engaging in trials to find a way to implement this in the best possible way and to work with the sector."

News source: ABC News Australia

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34 Comments

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If its to ban Child Pornography understood, but if its regular legal porn then omg many will go insane! LOL

IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

think for just 1 second, this works by simply blocking websites that are known to have pornography or violent material on them. if somehow it knows a specific site has child pornography it should be REPORTING it to the authorities and gettign the site shut down and the owner of the site thrown in jail. not simply blocking it.

then you have the fact that if it somhow managed to know someone was looking at kiddie porn then that person shoudl be also arrested and shot(if your laws do not allow this then they shoudl be sent to a counntry that does allow shooting of them) not just block it, and really you think they wouldnt just "OPT OUT"

whocares78 said,
IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

think for just 1 second, this works by simply blocking websites that are known to have pornography or violent material on them. if somehow it knows a specific site has child pornography it should be REPORTING it to the authorities and gettign the site shut down and the owner of the site thrown in jail. not simply blocking it.

then you have the fact that if it somhow managed to know someone was looking at kiddie porn then that person shoudl be also arrested and shot(if your laws do not allow this then they shoudl be sent to a counntry that does allow shooting of them) not just block it, and really you think they wouldnt just "OPT OUT"


"If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd-Labor Government is going to disagree."

all that does is prove how vey little he actually understands about the internet and how filters acutally work !!!!

if you dont understand what i wrote above or have some amazing insight into how in any way shape or form this could do anythign at all to stop child porn then please let me know.... remebering that all the peadophiles will simply opt out of this service....

CheeseFart said,
...
"If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd-Labor Government is going to disagree."

Either the guy got confused, or he's using that to silence dissent.

I'm hoping he only got confused, first time he mentioned child pornography was when he was talking about free speech (before that it was to stop kids watching pornography)

I heard about .xxx website before - that would make things SO much easier.

I don't have a clue why half of the high ranking people in companies get their jobs - they don't know a thing about how things work in fields relevant to that particular business.

Back in 1992 there was a petition running around that was "presented to the internet standards committee" that would have addressed this issue. However they declined it.

The petition would not have overstepped the bounds of free speech while still protecting the youth.

I signed it because at the time I was a network administrator.

Adult content sites would either be in one of these two formats

XXX.whatever adult site.com

or the more popular

www.whatever adult site.XXX

This would have stopped the misspelling and landing on an adult site.

It would have been real easy for Parents as well as Companies to block certain sites while still allowing the Adult Sites their right to be.

Had they have setup this with the internet then it would have been easy for blocking on the ISP level ... They have their task cut out for them. Since there is now 100,000's or more adult sites online with different names.

it's just pornography...

it's ridiculous, parents can get their own filters... and our schools already have them...

what gives?!

On the brightside...my immediate family is just my parents and myself, and I'm 23. So the filter is useless in our household.

Some people don't read.

You can OPT out of this service. You can tell the ISP you don't want it. I think it will be on by default for the common families. If you sign up and have no kids around, then you could opt out.

I can see this useful in my sister's family who have 2 little daughters. It will not 100% prevent but should help much to lift load off the parents having to manually blacklist any websites that is unsuitable for kids.

Please READ the article carefully before jumping to assumations.

ozgeek said,
You can OPT out of this service. You can tell the ISP you don't want it. I think it will be on by default for the common families. If you sign up and have no kids around, then you could opt out.

This should more be an OPT IN service. Why should we have to inconvenience our selves when changing ISP to turn this crap off?

XY GT said,

This should more be an OPT IN service. Why should we have to inconvenience our selves when changing ISP to turn this crap off?

Particularly when its optus and we'll be waiting on the phone for half an hour.

XY GT said,

This should more be an OPT IN service. Why should we have to inconvenience our selves when changing ISP to turn this crap off?


+1

XY GT said,

This should more be an OPT IN service. Why should we have to inconvenience our selves when changing ISP to turn this crap off?

+1

ozgeek said,
Some people don't read.
I can see this useful in my sister's family who have 2 little daughters. It will not 100% prevent but should help much to lift load off the parents having to manually blacklist any websites that is unsuitable for kids.

Please READ the article carefully before jumping to assumations.

Again, this is giving parents plausible deniability. What the **** is wrong with people today? Sorry, I'm just sick of parents expecting everyone else to do their job for them. Store attendents asking children to stop banging a table while the parents are off on the other side of the shop. Kids running up and down the isles of a restaurant screaming while the place is packed and the wait-staff are trying to serve customers. Kids screaming and hollering in the mall, banging things, breaking things, and in the end they think it's funny, and the parents don't really do anything, except maybe threaten, which is useless anyhow.

I just think it's appauling that this is the second time in recent memory where the government is doing things to take away the rights of the many to protect idiot parents who don't want to watch their children. Anyone in the NT remember the pool-fencing incident?

Bloody parents, I say ban children... at least until people grow a brain. The internet is full of all sorts of dangerous things, not just porn and violent websites. Monitor your children, be parents, or stop pro-creating!

This is a good idea gone bad!

The previous filter was pierced before it was released (if memory serves). Me thinks maybe the government got a bit pouty and decided to (foolishly, no less) blast porn and violence off of all the australian internet.

If it affects my internet usage, I'm going to be very upset. At least the freedom to choose whether to be a part of the filter or not is there!

how does "...will better protect children from pornography and violent websites." equate to child pornography?

those are 2 diffrent things. block out child porn, yea go for it. block porn from schools, also a good thing. but filter out all porn going to all homes? that's a big no no

Conroy's just doing this for conservative votes and donation dollars, because he knows the actual "law" is unworkable, useless, and won't hold up in AU courts. Educate your children.

Man, a politician is a politician where ever they're from. This is an end user problem. Parents, get some software, learn to use it and then monitor your children at intervals while they are on the computer. I hear you saying, "but, solardog, they'll just find a way around it, they'll uninstall it, they are smarter than me when it comes to tech." F that! Learn the software! Make sure its in its original configuration EVERY DAY. Change the password EVERY DAY! These things take seconds to do. These are your kids! Catch them in the act and punish their snotnosed behinds! Make em pay for disobeying you, stop being their friend, you are the parent, you are the LAW! Otherwise you don't get to complain about this nanny state crap that will rears its head every time.

Software never helps protect the children. Doesnt matter if it is running at the ISP or on you own computer. What helps protect the children is their parents. You dont have to know anything about computers to protect your children from all the "horrors" on the internet. Just learn them right from wrong, critical thinking. If you as a parent do your job right they will protect themself.
Children are not stupid. If you try to ban them from doing something they will do it anyway. Only if you tell them they cant, they will do it behind your back. Better to let them explore with you present and have a discussion about what they find and why it might be wrong.
And also remember, just because you thing something is wrong doesnt mean it it. Be open to discussion and to learn. Like I said children are not stupid...

p1p3 said,
Software never helps protect the children. Doesnt matter if it is running at the ISP or on you own computer. What helps protect the children is their parents. You dont have to know anything about computers to protect your children from all the "horrors" on the internet. Just learn them right from wrong, critical thinking. If you as a parent do your job right they will protect themself.
Children are not stupid. If you try to ban them from doing something they will do it anyway. Only if you tell them they cant, they will do it behind your back. Better to let them explore with you present and have a discussion about what they find and why it might be wrong.
And also remember, just because you thing something is wrong doesnt mean it it. Be open to discussion and to learn. Like I said children are not stupid...

Sorry, a lot of children are stupid/naive and sneaky as hell as are a lot of humans in general. What I suggested was the extreme scenario and your comments are very nice and will work for some, but to blanket this with either of our suggestions would be, well, stupid.

similar to the cleanfeed technology BT uses in the UK then?

no problem with that really...if it blocks what is actually illegal stuff anyway then i don't really see who loses out except the paedophiles or other such people.

necrosis said,
And who is to say it stops here? Once the tech is in place its not to hard to make changes.

Mate it's Australia. We invented the secret ballot, we were second to to give woman proper voting rights, we fight in any war where we think freedom is under attack (accept africa because there is apparently no oil/gas there) and we are now a country run by unions and ****pots. This isn't a communist/dictatorship nation. No need to worry about your porn.

ok the whole pedophile thing is stupid, this will not stop them, hell if you know where those sites are, take down the sites and go ARREST some people for F&*(s sake, it is ILLEGAL. these censorships are only to stop kids from looking at porn, and 'violent' websites so what was all that money they spent already on the software to block it all. why are they spending even more maney to do the same thing.

basically you can only filter what you know, the best way for parents to protect their kids online is to keep an eye on them when they are online. and even then they are just goin to take their memory stick to their mates house who isnt blocked

this should NOT be an opt out thing, it shoudl be opt IN.

all in all, a complete waste of my taxes.