With the iPad and My School website dominating tech headlines, I wonder if the federal Government’s proposed internet filter is flying under the radar.
But what is it, and how will it affect us?
The filter is based on a blacklist of (undisclosed) sites, with no plans to increase transparency of the project. It’s expected to be a technical nightmare, and — despite suggestions only Gen Y is in protest — most Australians are in opposition.
So in the privacy of your home, you may log on to an adult URL, or research content flagged ‘inappropriate’ (sites on euthanasia and abortion included), and while kids everywhere are secretly ogling busty broads in bubbles on late night telly, before you know it, computer says no.
Will our monitors start flashing? Will we trigger silent alarms? Will men in white coats be thumping down our doors to drug us and whisk us off to the Filter Farm?
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy claims it’ll protect children from inappropriate content. Critics beg to differ. The filter will only sift unencrypted web (HTTP) traffic, would be easily circumvented, and won’t stop distribution of illegal material on encrypted networks, where most of this stuff is apparently exchanged.
The Government’s own studies acknowledge ‘harmless’ sites will be inadvertently blocked, and agree education is more effective for protecting kids. Most security programs already offer sufficient parental controls, so wouldn’t taxpayers’ dollars be better spent funding police ops to infiltrate the furtive sickos who peddle kiddie porn?
Mandatory censorship isn’t the answer. I don’t like the idea of a third party playing moral compass for the rest of us.
And hello — but did I miss public debate on this?
If you really want to stop this, write a letter to your local member — the kind sent in the post. More info at www.nocleanfeed.com
So act now, before you end up on the filter farm with the men in white coats and their happy drugs.

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