Even if you support Senator Conroy’s plan to introduce mandatory ISP filtering in Australia, you have to admit it has little to do with ‘cyber-safety’. Actually, Conroy’s entire cyber-safety initiative may have little do with safety or protecting children.

Irene Graham writes:

The Federal Government’s ‘Cyber-safety Plan’ Budget 2008-2012, announced on 14 May 2008, allocates $25 million dollars (or more) to ISP ‘blocking’ of web sites unsuitable for children to see (in year 2009-10), while its ‘razor gang’ has shaved $2.8 million off the increased funding for the Australian Federal Police’s Online Child Sexual Exploitation Team (“OCSET”) that had been budgetted by the former Coalition Government (see figures in August 2007 budget paper, and media release of 14 May 2008 issued by The Hon Bruce Billson MP, Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy).

In addition, Labor’s Budget has delayed the former Coalition Government’s planned increase to 90 members of OCSET in 2009-10 until 2011. The Labor Government claims that its budget will result in 91 additional AFP members dedicated to online child protection by 2011. However, it is entirely unclear how that could be achieved with a budget of $2.8 million less than the Coalition Government had budgetted for 90 members by 2009-2010.

In late 2007/early 2008, allegations were made that the AFP’s OCSET refers matters for investigation to State/Territory police services because OCSET is inadequately resourced, and that the NSW child exploitation internet unit is also insufficiently funded and resourced to investigate all referrals received from OCSET.

Read Irene’s full article here.