Colin from EFA has written an article about the Government’s filtering plan for the community that would be worth showing to any friends you have still unsure of what Stephen Conroy has in store for Australia.

It covers many of the problems that exist with the plan, but none more important than the fact mandatory ISP filtering will not protect children as touted:

‘Setting all these other objections aside, could this still be a good policy for the children? It’s hard to see how. Even the Government’s own research on online risks doesn’t support the idea of Internet filtering. Children do face real risks online, such as viruses, identity theft, cyber-bullying and even chat-room predators. A filter would do exactly nothing to mitigate these risks.’

‘So-called “content risks”, that is, accidental exposure to inappropriate content online, are much less significant than these other factors, and there is little in the way of hard evidence to suggest that kids are being bombarded with such material or that it is doing them any harm. In other words, the clean-feed filter is an expensive solution without a problem. There are better ways to spend a hundred million dollars if you want to safeguard the welfare of children.’

It would be interesting to see the Internet activity of an unaccompanied child monitored to record just how many inappropriate or adult sites they visit. Inappropriate is subjective (which is why it’s a problem) and I doubt they’d they come across too many adult sites. I browse the web for hours each day at work and rarely do I ‘stumble’ upon adult content.

I admit my browsing habits are hardly scientific, but no less than the (elusive) evidence provided to suggest kids are accidentally being exposed adult content. The linked Cyber Safety document says Government research found ’38 per cent of Australian children under the age of 13 have purposefully visited websites they think their parents would disapprove of them visiting.’

Don’t trust ‘Goverment research’ though! If you check out page one you’ll find that the ALP’s evidence of increased cyber-bullying, indenty theft and computer addiction is based on ‘recent media reports.’ The always reliable media — I guess there’s growth in Bigfoot activity too Mr Rudd?