[LINK] Good clean internet censorship

Kevin Emery (Lists) lists at westnet.net.au
Thu Jul 9 16:53:37 AEST 2009

ABC is reporting this

*Save the Children opposes internet filter*

Save the Children has urged the Federal Government to abandon its plans to
censor the internet, saying it will not be effective in protecting kids from
online dangers.

The child protection group is one of several organisations including Civil
Liberties Australia, and the National Children's and Youth Law Centre who
have today released a joint statement opposing the proposed mandatory
internet service provider (ISP) filter. 

The statement says the filter will neither work to shield children from
explicit material nor stop child pornography from being distributed on the

The organisations want the funds that would be spent implementing the scheme
to be funnelled to child protection authorities and police to help prevent
child abuse.  

The filter aims to block all material which has been refused classification
such as violent or pornographic sites.  

Save the Children's child rights spokeswoman Annie Pettitt says proposed
scheme is heavy handed and poorly targeted.

"We are a child rights based organisation and we maintain that it's
essential to keep a balance between what's in the best interests of children
and encouraging and supporting them to be active citizens and making
informed choices for themselves," she said.

Ms Pettitt also says the filter will not be able to block the distribution
of child pornography through other means such as email distribution lists,
chat rooms and file sharing networks.

She believes the Government should instead focus on educating children and
parents about safe internet usage.  

"We're concerned that the scheme really doesn't provide education for
children or families or equip them to be aware of how to use the internet
well," she said.

"We believe it's really better to teach children so that they have the
ability to recognise and steer clear of inappropriate online content for

The statement is also supported by lobby group GetUp! which has already been
campaigning against the filter.

It will begin airing ads on television tonight urging the public to say no
to the filter.  

The Government has been trialing the filter since late May and is due to
report this month on the outcomes of the trial.

It has faced fierce criticism that it will strangle free speech on the
internet, is open to potential government abuse and will ban sites that
should not be coming under scrutiny.  

In March an alleged list of sites already banned by the Australian
Communications and Media Authority was leaked online, revealing that
harmless sites had also been marked as unacceptable. 

Internet provider iiNet also pulled out of the trial in March, saying the
filter would not work.  

In May last year the Government said it would spend $125.8 million over four
years on several measures to strengthen cyber safety, including the filter.


Best Regards

Kevin Emery
West Australian Networks Pty Ltd,
Internet Service Providers

Checked for Virus & Spam by West Australian Networks Internet Service Providers see www.westnet.net.au

More information about the Link mailing list