Crikey reporter Sophie Black writes:

Experts have laid into Kim Beazley for “doing an Alston” with his proposal
to protect children from accessing inappropriate material online.
Beazley’s plan to force internet
service providers (ISPs) to block violent and pornographic material
before it
reaches home computers has been shouted down for being expensive,
ineffective and impractical while also slowing internet access down.

Labor’s plan would prevent access to material
blacklisted by media regulators, with the “clean feed” content sold as
the default service by ISPs.
Anyone interested in viewing “adult content” would have to opt out of the service. Under the current scheme ISPs provide
parents with low-cost filters to install on the family computer
themselves, but Beazley maintains that this doesn’t work.

Beazley’s proposal
is “absolutely ridiculous”, Irene Graham, Executive Director of Electronic Frontiers Australia, told Crikey.

Beazley is “pretty
much making the same claims that a bunch of fundamentalist Christian groups have
been claiming for the last six months…We’re back to trying to turn the
internet into a kindergarten.”

According to reports commissioned by the federal government, it would be incredibly costly to “install and maintain the system that
Beazley is proposing,” says Graham. It’s currently compulsory for ISPs to make
filter software affordable for parents, says Graham, which is a “much more sensible” option.

Electron Soup sheds some light on why filtering doesn’t work, and Spin Starts Here offers this sage advice: “If it’s ‘too hard’ to watch what the little b*stards are doing or to
purchase and install some net nanny software, you only have yourselves
to blame when little Jayden is downloading several gigabytes of
hardcore s*x every month…”

Peter Fray

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