[LINK] More save the children silliness

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Sat Mar 19 10:10:06 AEDT 2011

On 18/03/11 7:11 PM, Jan Whitaker wrote:
> "Parental locks are mandatory for all new TV gear sold in Australia,
> but they're ridiculously easy to bypass.
I would imagine that designing a lock that's easy to bypass causes less 
support calls than a functional lock.

> While we argue about mandatory internet filtering and an R18 rating
> for games, another government "think of the children" initiative has
> managed to fly in under the radar. It's now mandatory for all digital
> television equipment sold in Australia to feature a parental lock -
> letting parents block television shows according to their
> classification. As with other censorship efforts, the new parental
> lock is easily bypassed - lulling parents into a false sense of security.
> Supported by Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, and
> enforced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, the
> new regulation came into effect in February. The parental lock is now
> mandatory for all televisions, set-top boxes and recorders which
> offer access to digital television channels - including Pay TV boxes
> which also offer free-to-air channels. Adaptors designed to turn
> computers and games consoles into digital set-top boxes are exempt.
> It's mandatory for equipment to feature a parental lock, although
> it's not mandatory for parents to use it. Once set, the lock will
> automatically engage when viewers switch to a live broadcast which
> exceeds the permitted rating. A four-digit code is required to watch
> blocked programs. While it sounds like a great way to protect young
> eyes from inappropriate content, unfortunately the parental lock's
> Achilles' Heel is that it only applies to live broadcasts - after
> manufacturers told the ACMA that it was not technically feasible to
> block access to previously recorded programs.
> Most kids could figure out how to bypass the parental lock in a few
> minutes. Worse yet, young children could easily bypass it by mistake.
> It's important that parents understand the lock's limitations before
> they trust it.
> "
> http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/computers/blogs/gadgets-on-the-go/bypassing-tvs-parental-lock-is-childs-play/20110317-1byq0.html
>    more at the site
> Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
> jwhit at janwhitaker.com
> blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
> business: http://www.janwhitaker.com
> Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or
> sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
> ~Madeline L'Engle, writer
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