[LINK] 'Big Mother' watches over net
brd at iimetro.com.au
Tue Sep 4 14:39:09 EST 2007
'Big Mother' watches over net
September 04, 2007
A NEW government program protecting kids from internet nasties is not Big Brother but more like Big Mother, Olympic swimmer Kieren Perkins said. The 1500 gold medallist was with Federal Communications Minister Helen Coonan today to launch Net Alert - Protecting Australian Families Online - in Sydney.
It's the government's latest effort to reduce the risk brought into family homes through the window of the internet.
Perkins, a father of three, said when his kids became internet savvy it was the most daunting part of his parenting life.
"My first big hit was when my daughter at seven was downloading videos from YouTube. That was when I really realised she was being exposed to things I had no control or say over, and that, as a parent, is one of the hardest lessons you learn," he said.
"Net Alert does provide a succinct resource for parents to be able to go to for advice and get help to keep on top of the issue," he said.
"It's not negative, a Big Brother. More like Big Mother, protecting you and your kids from what's out there."
Senator Coonan said the $189 million multi-faceted initiative included a free national filter scheme.
More funding is going to the Australian Federal Police to crack down on online child sex exploitation.
And the Australian Communications Media Authority will receive money to investigate illegal or inappropriate online content, in particular foreign sites found to be offensive.
Schools, parents and community groups have been allocated funds for an education policy on internet safety.
"We're trying to empower parents, to help kids maybe finding some aspects threatening in their lives, and overall making the internet a benefit and not a negative," Senator Coonan said.
The Net Alert filter not only blocks pornography but can also block chat sites or inappropriate material including bullying and pro-anorexia sites.
"You have to be very careful that people don't end up living in a virtual world as opposed to the real world. It is important for this program to help parents re-engage with children who may have become a bit distant and just want to live on the computer," she said.
brd at iimetro.com.au
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