Hey guys. This popped up on the radar today: Associate Professor Bjorn Landfeldt will speak at a free University of Sydney seminar on the Government’s Internet filtering scheme next Friday, 3rd of April.

The lowdown:

The Australian government is currently planning to introduce mandatory Internet content filtering. The move would clearly set Australia aside from all other democratic nations in the world. The initial purpose of this scheme was to protect Australian children from accessing unsuitable material such as child pornography.

Even though there is widespread consensus in society that such material is undesirable and potentially harmful, the issue of filtering is extremely complicated and it is far from evident that the proposed scheme will achieve its goal. In addition, over the past few months evidence has been presented indicating that the side effects of such filtering could have severe negative impact on society.

Associate Professor Bjorn Landfeldt was part of a team that studied the feasibility of implementation of Internet filtering at the ISPs. The report was commissioned by the Howard government and handed to the current minister in charge of this issue, Senator Stephen Conroy.

In this talk, Professor Landfeldt will detail some of the major difficulties associated with ISP level content filtering, some of the possible side effects and discuss why such filtering may not be effective. He will also give examples of the many difficult moral questions such filtering inevitably raises and demonstrate the need for a comprehensive public debate an the issue before legislation and implementation takes place.Time: 4pm

Where and When: April 3 2009, 4PM.
USYD, Farrell Lecture Theatre, Peter Nicol Russell (PNR) Building, Darlington Campus (Campus map & how to get there)
Contact: Josephine Spongberg
Phone: 9351 3424
Email: josie@it.usyd.edu.au

More info: http://www.it.usyd.edu.au/research/news/landfeldt.shtml