[LINK] Web porn software filter takes biggest hit

Marghanita da Cruz marghanita at ramin.com.au
Mon Feb 18 10:31:07 EST 2008

and on this top from the minister of dbcde's site:
> “I welcome the initiatives from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to use Safer Internet Day to help children across Australia to gain a broader understanding of the impact of their behaviours in the online environment.”
> Senator Conroy said the Government's plan to provide online safety, especially for children, has a number of elements.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> Web porn software filter takes biggest hit
> Heath Gilmore
> February 17, 2008
> Sun Herald
> http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/web-porn-software-filter-takes-biggest-hit/2008/02/16/1202760663247.html 
> The Rudd Government has branded as a failure the $85 million software 
> filter scheme to protect young Australians from online pornography and 
> will review its future.
> Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is assessing the NetAlert 
> program, which will come under scrutiny at the Senate estimates hearings 
> tomorrow.
> The filter scheme was a central feature of the Howard Government's $189 
> million NetAlert program launched last August to address the perceived 
> threat of online sexual predators and unsavoury content to young 
> internet users. A multimillion dollar advertising blitz followed, 
> including a booklet delivered to every household across the nation.
> It was expected 2.5 million households would take up the free 
> porn-blocking filters within 12 months but only 144,088 filter products 
> have been downloaded or ordered on CD-ROM since August last year.
> The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has 
> estimated about 29,000 of these accessed filter products were still 
> being used - less than 2 per cent of the set target.
> "The program has clearly failed, despite over $15 million being spent in 
> advertising to support it," Mr Conroy said.
> "Labor has always said that PC filtering is not a stand-alone solution 
> to protecting children from online dangers. The Government has a 
> comprehensive cyber-safety plan that includes the implementation of 
> mandatory ISP-based filtering to deliver a filtered feed to all homes, 
> schools and public internet points.
> "Education for parents and teachers as well as children is a priority."
> Mr Conroy said the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) 
> would examine all aspects of ISP-level filtering, with a laboratory 
> trial completed by the end of June 2008, followed by a pilot test in a 
> real world environment.
> Sixteen-year-old Tom Wood, aka "The Porn Cracker", who shot to national 
> prominence when he showed the new NetAlert filters could be bypassed by 
> any savvy teenager in a matter of minutes, said the scheme had been a 
> waste of time and money.
> "Although these are amongst the best PC-based filters available, it 
> didn't take long for teens to work out how to bypass them," said the 
> schoolboy with a passion for cyber-safety.
> Opposition communications spokesman Bruce Billson said the Rudd 
> Government was rushing to criticise the NetAlert program to set the 
> scene for a "harebrained, half-baked policy dreamt up in the lead-up to 
> an election".
> "NetAlert is a program which is relatively new, as is the minister in 
> his role, and I'm sure he would like a little more than six months or so 
> before the public decide if he has been a failure or not," he said.
> "Proper supervision should be front and centre of any efforts to protect 
> children from inappropriate material on the internet; supported by 
> additional tools such as content filters, not some mandatory and 
> ill-conceived 'clean feed' measure by a government that believes only it 
> has the authority to decide what's appropriate or inappropriate content 
> for computer users."
> hgilmore at sunherald.com.au

Marghanita da Cruz
Phone: (+61)0414 869202

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