Internet filtering for Australia are we the new China?

I’m all for removing, reducing the risks faced by children on the internet. I have two little girls and the last thing I want them exposed to is child porn or predators on the internet.

As a parent it’s my job to see that they don’t have access to the computer alone or if they are on it that these sites aren’t accessible to them. The previous Howard government gave all parents, well anyone who wanted free filtering software for their home pc’s. The Rudd government stopped this and wants to filter the internet for everyone not just children.

The main issue is that for Australia the plan is to make this mandatory for all and the filtering list is anything that has been given a “Refused Classification”  status not just child pornography.

The RC classification is very broad in its coverage and can include anything the government wants it to. You want to find out about safe gay or even teenage sex then most likely your searches will be blocked.

The trial list also included items like the following showing how this secret list can be abused.

About half of the sites on the list were not related to child porn and included a slew of online poker sites, YouTube links, regular gay and straight porn sites, Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions such as satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, the website of a tour operator and even a Queensland dentist.

As Jessie is getting older I’ve started to look how I can stop her from being exposed to some of these things. So I’ve started by setting up a proxy server, which filters all our internet connections in the house. With this I can block images or sites I don’t want her to have access to and in the future this being a separate server she wont be able to change those settings to by pass it.

Not only does it filter what we don’t want getting in it also virus scans web sites before reaching our home machines, this has the added advantage of stopping a lot of viruses before it can get to us.

I think every adult has the right to find and search out whatever information that they want from the internet that is legal and not have their government decide this for them. If you agree with this, then please use the contact details of Senator Stephen Conroy below to voice your opinion.

Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy
Parliament Contact:
Phone: (02) 6277 7480
Fax: (02) 6273 4154

ps. You know that this site might also be blocked just for my use of words in this article.

Further Related Articles:

Letters 17/12: the net is tightening around your rights
At what point does internet filtering become censorship?
Internet filter laws need urgent public debate
Net censorship move a smokescreen: expert
Internet censorship plan gets the green light

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