by Sean Wright

Senator Conroy has again fired off another of the ‘no silver bullet’ lines in relation to ISP filtering – a phrase so prevalent that should a pack of werewolves cross over ‘a bridge too far’ and wander down a ‘fork in the road’ our kiddies will be well protected.

Then again maybe he should be shooting at Swallows following the … um ‘Swallowgate’ affair reported by Gemma Jones of the Daily Telegraph. Apparently a female Year 10 student researching the Swallow(feathered variety) through NSW Education Department filters was;

‘…. blocked access to a documentary on swallowing toothpaste but [given] access to a male site talking about inappropriate material.’ [read more]

In the interest of journalistic integrity I did my own research and found the inappropriate material as the number one search result for ‘Swallow’ – I know, taking one for the team.

Hardly surprising is the fact that this scenario is not unheard of in NSW schools nor to anyone who has followed the ISP Filtering debate for more than half an hour.

But then the Government’s ISP filter won’t be subject to this sort of problem will it? Everything went quite well according to the ‘early mail’ on the  tax payer funded report, which Senator Conroy has promised us he will let us see after it has been sanitised filtered drafted by bureaucrats.

So as it stands we have the empty Government rhetoric, examples of the technical problems that we fear will dog ISP level filtering and we await a report on a trial whose success is ill defined and delivered to us by bureaucrats that possibly don’t understand government censorship classifications (unlike ITwire).

So while it’s generally situation normal here in Australia, there has been a worrying development overseas. Worrying in the sense that Conroy/Labor might be keen to adopt, or emulate actions taken or proposed by another western democracy.

Slashdot informs us of scope creep occurring in Germany:

tikurion writes

“It’s only been a few weeks since the law dubbed Zugangserschwerungsgesetz (access impediment law) was passed in the German Parliament despite over 140,000 signatures of people opposed to it.The law will go into effect in mid-October 2009.

Now Minister for Family Affairs Ursula von der Leyen implied in an interview that she is planning on extending the reach of the law, claiming ‘…or else the great Internet is in danger of turning into a lawless range of chaos, where you’re allowed to bully, insult, and deceive limitlessly.’ More on via Google translate (here is the German original).”

Yes, it’s the bullies that should be our number one concern, not as Stilgherrian suggests, the skilled up international crime syndicates stealing our identities, through Malware runs.

Sean usually rants here at his own blog and has been following the ISP Filtering/Censorship debate since mid 2008. Kudos to geordieguy for the werewolf idea.