Child groups slam Conroy’s ISP filtering plans

Children's rights groups have voiced concerns over the government's controversial plan to introduce mandatory ISP-level Internet filtering

Children’s rights groups have spoken out against the Federal Government’s plans to introduce mandatory ISP-level filtering, saying it will not effectively protect children.

International child rights group, Save the Children, said while it congratulates the government on its attempt to improve the safety of children online, an ISP-level filter is not the best way to offer protection.

Child rights specialist, and organisation spokesperson, Dr Annie Pettitt, said it would be more appropriate for the government to educate children and families about appropriate and safe Internet use.

“The filter could lull parents into a false sense of security, thinking that it is working, but we know hackers are always ahead of those filtering technologies,” Pettitt said. “We could be left in a situation where we think that the filter is sorting out stuff, when in fact it’s not.”

The government’s plan for content filtering will require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to offer a clean feed Internet service to all homes, schools and public Internet access points.

Under the scheme there will be one blacklist blocking access to illegal material like child pornography; and another blocking a list of material deemed unsuitable for children.

Pettitt said simply filtering material which displays child pornography, doesn’t effectively address the child protection issue, but rather authorities like the AFP need to continue to be supported to stop it from happening in the first place.

“Money is better spent on protecting children where it really counts and more effort should be put into supporting the authorities that are actually already doing a great job in this area.”

The same concerns were echoed by the National Children's and Youth Law Centre (NCYLC).

“One of the elements that still seems to be missing from the government’s policy is an understanding of the agency of the children, a recognition of their desire to be protected and also their desire to develop the skills to be able to use the Internet for their own personal development,” NCYLC director James McDougall said.

“The measures have been developed in response to anxieties of parents rather than focusing on evidence-based measures that are going to build capacity both in terms of children and parents and those who work with them.

“You can’t possibly develop a mechanism that’s going to protect children unless you understand how children are going to react and respond to a particular measure.”

Earlier this year, Save the Children and the NCYLC, issued a joint statement with other civil rights organisations, including Civil Liberties Australia, voicing concern over the government's plan.

Lobby group GetUp! also supported the statement and launched its popular television campaign in a bid to drum up public opposition to the filter.

The introduction of mandatory ISP-level filtering follows the release of the Enex TestLab report which trialed the viability of ISP-level filtering among nine Australian ISPs.

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Tags internet content filteringmandatory internet fiteringNational Children's and Youth Law Centre (NCYLC)Save the Children

More about Enex TestLab


Jahm Mitt


The great thing about all of this religious or "culty" guff, is that all the sheeple groveling in their steeple, they all have "opinions" about what their deity is "saying" and righteously so, but the deity in the last few thousands of years of "omnipotence", has never once put in a personal appearance.

You know like if "JC and the Space Cadets" were a rock band - the clueless would have caught on that while the promoters claim that they play in gigs all over the land, but they have never turned up; while the clueless and stupid keep rocking up and buying the tickets.


So the same overlording us with more holier than thou drivel, is projected into the area of computer games and internet sites.

Again while people get slaughtered for fun and profit in the movies and the real world, playing computer games doing the same stuff is just not on?


Am I surprised that the people thrusting their liturgical loins at the censors office for "standards and decency" are not trying to put the shackles on those who choose to have their own autonomous opinions, by declaring them to workers of the devil, sorcery and witches - starting with the jabbings for the devils mark.

Am I even further surprised that this is now extending into the Great Australian Firewall.

Perhaps those who cry loudest are those who look forlornly upon the promises of the bible, such as Ezekiel 23: 21 "whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose emission was like that of stallions."

I mean who wouldn't want that or to be getting that?

I mean thank god Conroy is standing up for real Christian family values.

Jesus said in Revelation 2:22-23 "And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works."

So Jesus wants to kill our kids - that's cool cause it is Jesus.

Timbo says I Timothy 2:11-14 "Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."

So all the women ought to keep their traps shut. I mean it's in the bible - so it must be true right.

And God digs killing pregnant chicks by knifing them and smashing their kids brains out on the ground; so the christians have got this family values stuff down pat: Hosea 13:16 "Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up."

So Conroy and his catholic buddies have got this right - we have to be protected against them out there on the internet and subjugate ourselves to the righteous christians showing us how their god loves us and how we ought to be kissing his ass, on the basis of their say so.

Oh did I mention that the old testament is a scammed copy of the Code of Hammurubi? The King of Babylons state laws - and the first 6 books of the bible are bare faced rip offs of this, just rebranded to a diety instead of the king?

Yep gotta remember them good old christian family values, the true word of god is the bible... except that getting nailed for copyright and plagarisim wasn't invented then.

Persona Non Grata


Children need to be protected more against the brainwashing they get from the religious than the internet. God knows (pun intended), they might find out from multiple sources, with their parents help and guidance, that there is a source of morality and ethics they can discover through philosophy. They might discover that morality and ethics preceded christianity and, to a large degree, judaism and should not be based on some invisible fairy in the sky that is so powerful that it cannot be seen. They might also discover that, according to the biblical mythology, god made the earth and heavens in days before the day, as a unit of measure was created.



Respect to Save the Children.

The one organisation who knows exactly what will and will not be effective for children is saying that this is a horrible idea.

Wake up Rudd and cancel this idiocy!

Stephen Crowe


To Jahm Mitt
WOW! you really

To Jahm Mitt

WOW! you really know your Bible. Unfortunately, when you quote scripture out of context, it can be twisted to suit the needs of just about anyone.

I'm not writing to condemn you in anyway. God is big enough to handle your questions. Just put down your anger for a moment.

And, just when you think you have it all figured out, I'd like to ask you to read Job 38:1-42:6.

So, even though I disagree with Censure, I must disagree you.



Yeah - those "liturgical loins" can be a real problem. They're trained to do it right (the thrusting) in theological college, under the guise of discovering themselves (and in the process they often discover young children).
Unfortunately, many apples that fall from the establishment tree (in Queensland anyway) either offend themselves (because they run everything - church and state) or give bribes for their silence, in return for land developing deals and the like.



But...will the extreme violence and graphic representation of gun related trauma (as commonly seen on TV and DVD's) also be filtered?

Or does this fit OK as viewing material for children... as regarded by the moralizing religious fanatics? And opportunistic Government.



the more i read about this filter and its inception the more the stink of the religious right asserts itself in my nostrils.

the whole project is being sposored and is designed to appease the voting sensibilities of this sector of the population.

religion is a long time enemy of free speech and should be treated as such.

Bill Symmonds


The bigger government Agenda is no more about protecting kids than settlement was about the convicts. [They were an ad hoc excuse to populate a landmass that France, Russia et al were salivating over.] Rather, this censorship - and that's what it is, not the newsspeak of "filtering" - is a power and control grab by the government. Scared @#$!less by how Obama used the internet, and scared even more by groups like Getup, they are doing what every bastard government has done in history. As a broad agenda, this is a tragedy for Australia. We could be embracing the knowledge and power of the net, with education even as basic as Firefox and user accounts. Instead, we go back hundreds of years to were monks had the knowledge and kept us ignorant for the church's power -benefit.



One religious group does not represent an entire religion. As Jahm Mitt has kindly shown us, little snippets from the Bible can be skewed and twisted to suit your needs.

Please don't fall into the trap of blaming an entire religion because of the actions of one man or group. If that was true, then all men of african american heritage are good basketball players.

John Simmons


The Christian right is primarily behind this filter. As usual this ignorant superstitious minority thinks they know best for everyone. It's very worrying that these people have gotten so much sway in Australian politics that they can actually start trying to enforce some of their brainless schemes. As sensible rational people we need to fight against this ignorance.



Uh...where's everyone pulling this religion stuff from?

As far as I can tell this just seems to be another misguided attempt by [insert random government here] to improve something with little or no practical experience in the matter at hand.

On a side note: Are people still selling internet filtering software? I don't recall having seen any on the shelves in a while.

Nathan Tjoa


It's my opinion that filtering policy will not help much, other than giving families a false sense of security. But I do support the intentions, that children should be protected from predators and dangers lurking in the Internet. Having a baby son, it would really break my heart to see any sexual harm come to him.
Regarding the Christian issue or not, how can we love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves? Oh, wait a minute, we don't love ourselves, so why should we care about other people's live?

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