Chris Harvey Blog
Chris Harvey

Chris Harvey


Filter Fiasco

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is determined to push on with his plans to force Internet Service Providers to censor the Internet for all Australians. This clean-feed will be mandatory in all homes and schools across the country.

The filter will supposedly censor material that is “harmful and inappropriate” for children according to the government. It seems to me that the child porn angle is a convenient means of testing the process of furthering state control. Those whom dare to oppose these moves will be labelled as against promoting child safety.  And if the proposed measures are enforced, the means is put in place for the government to limit dissemination of any information that it does not approve of.

The protection for children is minor at best, an illusion at worst. The clean-feed does nothing to protect children from real threats like cyber-bullying, online sexual predators, viruses, or the theft of personal information. It may provide a false sense of security to parents, reducing effective monitoring of their children’s online activities.

According to the goverments own reports these measures could slow Internet access down by up to 80%, and up to 10,000 sites a month could be wrongly blocked using even the most accurate software. If this filter happens it will be an incredibly ill-informed move on the part of the government and disastrous for Australians who value free speech.

It seems to me that the huge amounts of money about to be squandered on this would be better spent on educating children and families about the possible dangers online.

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