Australia defends mandatory Internet filter

Mar 14, 2010
Australia Sunday defended its plan to block some Internet content, such as that featuring child sex abuse or advocating terrorism, after a media rights watchdog warned it may hurt free speech.

Australia Sunday defended its plan to block some Internet content, such as that featuring child sex abuse or advocating terrorism, after a media rights watchdog warned it may hurt free speech.

The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Friday listed , along with , Turkey and Russia, as countries "under surveillance" in its "Internet Enemies" report.

While Australia does not rank alongside Iran or in terms of , its proposal to place a mandatory filter on the web to remove illegal and extreme material has raised concerns, RSF said.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy wants Internet service providers (ISPs) to filter the web to bring the online world in line with censorship standards applied in Australia to material such as films, books and DVDs.

"The government does not support Refused Classification (RC) content being available on the Internet," a spokeswoman for the minister told AFP.

"This content includes child sexual abuse imagery, bestiality, sexual violence, detailed instruction in crime, violence or drug use and/or material that advocates the doing of a terrorist act."

Under Australia's existing classification rules, this material is not available in news publications or libraries, and cannot be viewed at the cinema or on television and is not available on Australian-hosted websites.

"The government's proposal will bring the treatment of overseas-hosted content into line by requiring ISPs to block overseas content that has been identified as being RC-rated," she said.

"There are no plans to block any other material that is not RC," she added.

But Geordie Guy, spokesman for the online rights group Electronic Frontiers Australia, said the filter was still a bad idea.

"In the construction of a censorship system like this, Australia will be building the framework for a broader censorship system if this government, or any future government, sees that that is what they wish to do," he told AFP.

Guy said despite concerns about whether the filter will be possible to implement for technical reasons, from a rights perspective it was still a worrying development in an open and democratic country.

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Sci_Fi_Si
3.3 / 5 (3) Mar 14, 2010
They're quite wrong to filter any traffic. I mean who's going to look at child porn? Only a pedo. Who's going to look up terrorism? A terrorist.

The premise here is that the government wants the right to sift through all information so it can filter what is and what isn't allowed to be seen by the public.

This premise is a slippery slope and every government will want to follow suit and maybe perhaps tighten up a little bit further... better snoop on emails, mobile phone conversations etc...
Birthmark
1.2 / 5 (5) Mar 14, 2010
I totally understand how this is wrong but it's better than filtering anything to do with a democracy or anything unapproved by the government (like China!!).

But internet censoring should be stopped however...the more animal abuse is shown the more animal abuse actually occurs (it was on the news a little while ago). Videos like women stepping on cats with high heels :( I think those would best be blocked if it caused others to do the same.

dtxx
Mar 14, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
CyberRat
3.8 / 5 (4) Mar 14, 2010
People make chooses and vote in democratic companies and they need open access to information. When government start to implement control about what people can see or not, they take away freedom to get that information, now its childporn, next time it's negative news about the government what they block.
pubwvj
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 14, 2010
Of course the dictators of morality defend their stance. Otherwise they wouldn't be booby-heads. Open access to information is dangerous for government.
Roj
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 14, 2010
requiring ISPs to block overseas content that has been identified as being RC-rated..
How do I get this for my house? Sign me up.
tkjtkj
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 14, 2010
"..detailed instruction in crime,"


and just who decides what is a 'crime'?? anything critical of the existing OZ gov???
this is a disaster for human rights!
NameIsNotNick
2 / 5 (4) Mar 14, 2010
now its childporn, next time it's negative news about the government

This and similar posts are just appeals to the weak 'slippery slope' argument. If you think they shouldn't block child porn, explain why you think they shouldn't do THAT. I'm not so sure it's a bad idea.
SDMike
3.9 / 5 (7) Mar 14, 2010
Here's a good example: The state of South Dakota blocked my website from all schools and libraries because it contained "witchcraft." My website actually contained the materials for an introductory college class in psychology! If the "state" doesn't understand introductory psychology and blocks a professor's website so students can't access it through the school internet connection how can one trust the state to rationally filter anything?
frajo
4 / 5 (5) Mar 15, 2010
If you think they shouldn't block child porn, explain why you think they shouldn't do THAT. I'm not so sure it's a bad idea.
How do you know they block only that what they admit to block?
fourthrocker
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 15, 2010
You people are absolutely right, child molestors, terrorists and other criminals who can't learn their trade from the library should be able to use the internet to learn how to commit more crimes more efficiently, learn new tricks etc. They can also hook-up with fellow criminals and meet new victims easier. Just goes to show if you repeat a stupid idea enough, censorship is bad, you can get most people to thoughtlessly agree.
PinkElephant
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 15, 2010
If you think they shouldn't block child porn, explain why you think they shouldn't do THAT. I'm not so sure it's a bad idea.
I have two arguments for this.

1) Blocking something only drives it deeper underground, and potentially makes it worse. For example, blocking porn might drive more sexually frustrated males to actual sex crimes, rather than getting their sexual release quietly and harmlessly at home. Ditto for pedophiles: I'd rather have them watching child porn, than actually molesting their nephews...

2) Instead of blocking access to such content, track those accessing it. If you do it in a smart way, you could potentially detect a budding terrorist before they actually commit any terrorism. Then you might intervene -- through counseling, or at worst through the criminal justice system. But if you don't see such communication out in the open, you've just made the job of public safety officials that much harder.
frajo
3 / 5 (2) Mar 15, 2010
Just goes to show if you repeat a stupid idea enough, censorship is bad, you can get most people to thoughtlessly agree.
Why don't you just answer my question above your comment?
denijane
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 16, 2010
Child pornography is a crime and sites which offer it should be prosecuted, not filtered. It's ridiculous to claim you're doing it for the right reasons, when this is not the right action! And any type of filtering is censure and should be stopped. After all according to China, sites on Tibet are terrorist. Terrorism can be pretty subjective in some cases. Not that I support any kind of murder, the question is that for me death penalty may be also a form of terrorism. But that doesn't mean I prefer such sites to be filtered! That's so utterly wrong!
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Mar 16, 2010
Child pornography is a crime
Is it a crime to look at a picture showing how an unarmed human being is killed?
If not, why not?
YSLGuru
3.2 / 5 (5) Mar 16, 2010
@ fourthrocker

We just wanted to thank you help in assisting your government with countering the propagandist trash circulating the internet by these most dangerous pro-liberty & pro-freedom radicals. With your on going help soon we will be able to rid the world of these fringe lunatics and get back to telling citizens what to do and when. After all we all know that no one wants to make decisions for themselves. Its not only safer to let their government do it but its also easier as it takes the pressure of the individual to have to decide and risk making the wrong decision.

P.S. – We’ve gotten reports from your neighbor that you have been reading on line copies of the US Constitution and Bill Of Rights. Please cease & desist this activity or we will be forced to designate your system for purging and you and your family for re-education. Hail O’Government?

Have a nice
Sincerely,
Your Friends at Federal Monitoring substation 267A
denijane
4 / 5 (2) Mar 16, 2010

1) Ditto for pedophiles: I'd rather have them watching child porn, than actually molesting their nephews...


This point is very very wrong. While normal porn is showing consenting adults, there is no such thing like a consenting child in porn (at least not legally). Every child filmed into porn is molested and thus, there is no thing like "harmless child pornography". That's why even watching it without reporting it should be a crime. Because even if the pedophile isn't molesting his nephew, a child is being molested to film the porn.

But as I said, you can't solve this problem by filtering, you can solve it only trough adequate police actions - tracing the owners of the site and putting in jail. Otherwise, you'll filter the site, but pedophile will continue having access to it trough direct url.
frajo
1.5 / 5 (2) Mar 16, 2010
Every child filmed into porn is molested and thus, there is no thing like "harmless child pornography". That's why even watching it without reporting it should be a crime. Because even if the pedophile isn't molesting his nephew, a child is being molested to film the porn.

You mean a painting or a computer generated picture can't be pornography? Even if it's depicting child pornography?
PinkElephant
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 16, 2010
@denijane,
Because even if the pedophile isn't molesting his nephew, a child is being molested to film the porn.
By the time pornographic images or videos are being distributed, the child in question already has been molested. Whether or not anyone is watching the record of that crime, doesn't change that fact: the crime has already long since occurred. Therefore, watching child porn is NOT equivalent to commission of child abuse: not any more so, than watching a film of murder is equivalent to actually committing the murder.

Now, you can argue that having an audience (and possibly a paying audience) incentivizes molesters toward repeat offenses. However, most child abusers aren't in it for the money: they'd be abusing children regardless, because that's what gets them off sexually.

But here's the main point: perhaps widely available recordings of past crimes, could help reduce the incidence of future crimes, by preventive fulfillment of pedophiles' sexual fantasies.
denijane
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 17, 2010
So you mean that if a site makes millions of dollars by showing child pornography, they won't make sure they have new content? You are ridiculous.

As for "preventive fulfillment of pedophiles' sexual fantasies", the only fulfillment they should have should be by their mates in prison.

Because this isn't a harmless fantasy, this is something that HARMS people, just like a fantasy of a murder can't be harmless. You don't kill people, YET. But there's no guarantee you won't do it, if you feel ok to imagine it with details.

And I don't know how would you feel if your daughter(or son) or husband/wife are being showed on this past crimes thing in order to satisfy the dreams of some crazy bastards. I have been a victim of such violence when I was 13. Even though I didn't get raped, I was so scared I couldn't get over the fear for years. And you propose I have to sacrifice my image, for hungry pedophiles? Are you crazy?! The only thing they deserve is a very hard-core beating!
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Mar 17, 2010
I have been a victim of such violence when I was 13. Even though I didn't get raped, I was so scared I couldn't get over the fear for years.
You are not the only one. In fact, what my father has done to me was worse. But I don't draw wrong conclusions as you do because I don't let my rational thinking be overwhelmed by my emotions.
It is remarkable that you are not able to answer my questions i posted before in this thread.
denijane
5 / 5 (1) Mar 17, 2010
Which question? About painted picture or about watching a crime that is not a crime? I don't mind hentais and I don't think watching them is a crime even if the animations look like children (in certain limits though - which I think should be teens). After all the average hentai lady is almost always child-like.
As for the other question - I answered it already.

I'm not overwhelmed by emotions, at all. But people who like child pornography, should be in a hospital, because they are mentally ill. Sorry if that's not ok with you, but that's the truth. I don't mind gays, group sex, alien sex - they are all fine for me, because (and when) they are between consenting adults. A child cannot consent. And if you dream of raping people, then you're ill and dangerous! Because you never know when you'll make the step from imagination to reality. You have to be in hospital for everyone's well-being.
And I can't believe I'm explaining this. Seriously!
P.S. I'm so sorry for what happened to you.
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2010
@denijane,
So you mean that if a site makes millions of dollars by showing child pornography, they won't make sure they have new content?
If they do, they'd be conspirators to a crime. Better to be in business, than in jail, no?
But there's no guarantee you won't do it, if you feel ok to imagine it with details.
So now we're getting into Thought Crime. Ever read 1984?
the only fulfillment they should have should be by their mates in prison.
Pedophiles are in the closet, analogous to how gays used to be. They keep it inside, and they keep it secret. How do you propose to offer them therapy, or put surveillance on them, when you don't know who they are? The sad reality is, you only discover them after they boil over and actually start committing crimes.
...how would you feel if your daughter(or son) or husband/wife are being showed on this past crimes thing
If it could prevent the same from happening to someone else, then maybe some good can come of it.
denijane
2.7 / 5 (3) Mar 17, 2010
What is WRONG wit you!!! You cannot compare this with gays! Gays WANT to have sex with each other, they are consenting adults, they have right to have sex with each other! While the only way for an adult to have sex with a child is to rape him/her. Is this so hard for you to get it?!

Pedophiles=rapist! There are no Lolitas in reality, this is fiction, the story of a sick man and a stupid girl. In reality Lolita cannot be under 14, at least legally, because the law doesn't accept children can have sexual desires. A child cannot seduce you, s/he can think s/he want to seduce you, but s/he cannot WANT you. A child is a child and s/he's not responsible for her/his actions. You're the adult, you're responsible and if you're idiot enough to touch a child, you must be in jail. Gays have nothing to do with it. Gosh, what's wrong with you! Do you think your own underage daughters or sons can seduce someone and be considered responsible? Why do you think minors are not sued as adults?
PinkElephant
3.3 / 5 (4) Mar 17, 2010
You cannot compare this with gays!
The only comparison I made, is that pedophiles are in the closet. Do you disagree with that basic fact of reality?
While the only way for an adult to have sex with a child is to rape him/her.
Which is why I'd rather have them masturbating to videos of naked children, instead.
...the law doesn't accept children can have sexual desires.
While that has nothing to do with my argument, it's just plain wrong. I don't know about you, but I (as a boy) had sexual desires (for girls my own age) starting in kindergarten. If children didn't have sexual desires, they won't be so prone to playing "doctor". Though again, this is entirely irrelevant to the discussion.

I don't know what makes a pedophile tick. Maybe they never outgrew their prepubescent urges. Whatever, but making child porn "illegal" won't erase them from existence. It only helps make them into ticking time bombs.
denijane
5 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2010
I had sexual desires when young, but if an adult decided to make me "happy", he would have to be put in jail for that. Because it's one thing to have desires, the other to have someone penetrating into you, especially when your body isn't grown enough to do this. It's painful, you know.

I don't know how would you feel when you were a young boy about a man making sex with you, but I know how I would feel about it, as a girl. I wouldn't like it AT ALL! The body needs time to grow and so thus the brain. What would happen if I had sex with someone at age 11 and got pregnant? How I'm supposed to make a decision, when I'm not old enough to know! You're thinking as a man and caring only about your needs. Sex isn't only about putting the one thing in the other. It's about pleasure and connection and bacterias and babies.
And finally - sure, nothing wrong about masturbating on anything. The problem is if it's a picture, it must be of someone. And a child cannot agree to that, nor the parents
PinkElephant
1 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2010
Let's make a couple of things clear. First, we aren't arguing about whether child-on-child sex is either healthy or appropriate. Second, we aren't arguing about whether adult-on-child sex is either healthy or appropriate. Third, we aren't discussing the dichotomy of sex vs. love. Fourth, we aren't discussing whether molestation in itself is a crime.

Here are the facts we should be concerned with:

1) Pedophiles exist, in secret, and in far greater numbers than most societies care to admit.

2) Most will never act out their obsessions, but some fraction will.

3) That fraction may be significantly reduced, if an alternative method of sexual release is readily available.

Do you dispute any of the above 3 points?
denijane
5 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2010
The only thing I dispute is 3). Pedophiles should be in hospitals, seeking the reason why they want to have sex with children. This is not exotic, it's unhealthy. They won't be happier if all of their lives they wish for something they know it's wrong and which they should never have (in the good case).

They have to be under treatment that will find the reasons for their unhealthy attraction and help them handle it for our common happiness. For example, by making sexual role-playing games with adults and so on.

I realise this sound like anti-gay stuff from the near past (or anti-women in the not so near past), but as I said there is no comparison between them.Key word - consent.

The other key-word is harm. Releasing nude pictures of children is doing them harm. Nobody has the right to harm another person. Thus - this is out of question. I think it's best this to be kept in their minds, because anything else will externalise their dreams and can be dangerous.
PinkElephant
1 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2010
Pedophiles should be in hospitals, seeking the reason why they want to have sex with children.
I have no fundamental objection to that IDEA. However, let's talk about putting this into PRACTICE. How do you propose getting pedophiles to, first, admit what they are to at least one other adult, and second, seek help for it? Do you think there's even a proven treatment, except for castration? Absent a reliable method to achieve this, what is to be done: nothing at all?

I'll call your attention to the pathology of prohibition in general. Banning alcohol, leads to organized crime in alcohol manufacturing and smuggling. Ditto for psychoactive drugs. Ditto for adult pornography, and prostitution. Ditto for child pornography. Banning something only makes it less available, and at the same time more valuable, profitable, and desirable.
PinkElephant
1 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2010
Releasing nude pictures of children is doing them harm.
As opposed to the actual acts being depicted? As opposed to the taking of said pictures?

The only additional harm, that releasing of such pictures can possibly do, is if these victims somehow come across the pictures and are reminded of their own abuse. However, how would they come across such images in the first place, unless they themselves go looking for child pornography?

Smart pedophiles would anyway digitally obscure or replace faces and identifying marks, so the images can't be traced back to the source...
I think it's best this to be kept in their minds, because anything else will externalise their dreams and can be dangerous.
I beg to differ. I think it is exactly dangerous when their fantasies and desires build up and remain pent up in their minds, with no physiological outlet. Pornography dissipates the impetus for actual physical sex; that's a clinically proven fact.
denijane
5 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2010
You know, there was one interesting article in NY Times about how a victim of child pornography sued everyone who viewed her picture to some very BIG sum.
I don't know what it means "how the victim would know". It doesn't matter if s/he knows. What matters is that the authorities would know and that it's wrong. You know, I think I'll end this conversation. Again, I urge you to imagine your own loved ones, in the place of those victims. And then to speak. Because it's very easy to sacrifice someone else's loved person and claim it righteous.

As for the practice part - the practice is quite easy - everyone who watch such things should be prosecuted, just like you do with murderers. A crime is a crime and sometimes the answer is only one (and not castration) - put them in jail, make sure they get proper treatment if they want and that's it. You don't show violent children murders to get them to empty their bloodlust or anger. You don't show children to pedophiles.
sysin3
3.5 / 5 (4) Mar 17, 2010
"When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives." -- Robert A. Heinlein
PinkElephant
1 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2010
Because it's very easy to sacrifice someone else's loved person and claim it righteous.
Yet that's exactly what you're doing. If child pornography could save even one additional child from rape, then by banning child porn you're condemning that child (and other children) to that rape. All in the name of a "loved person", and all in the name of "righteousness".
...everyone who watch such things should be prosecuted, just like you do with murderers.
We've been over this already; you're conflating post-fact spectatorship with accessory or commission. That's a patently false equivalence.
A crime is a crime and sometimes the answer is only one.
A crime is only a crime AFTER it has been committed. By then, it's a little too late for the perpetrator to seek "treatment", as any victim will attest.
make sure they get proper treatment if they want
And what would that be, again?
You don't show children to pedophiles.
Better to let them see for themselves?
denijane
5 / 5 (2) Mar 18, 2010
You don't understand, obviously, so I'll break it for you:
*No parent will ever show naked pictures of his/her child to pedophiles, never EVER.
*No authority can force him/her to do it.
*No authority has the right to show such pictures, because the victim has the right over those pictures.
*And filming children pornography is a major crime, so the pictures will be taken down from a site the minute the authorities see them.

Then how, on Earth, will you provide pictures for your sick but so compassionate plan to satisfy pedophiles?! Seriously, HOW?!

A child is a person and has rights. If you force a child to be a part of pornography, you're committing a crime! If you think a child doesn't have rights over his/her body or pictures of that body, then I'm sorry for you. And for your children. (I'm not sacrificing anyone, I just state human rights. The police is there to protect them.)
PinkElephant
2 / 5 (4) Mar 18, 2010
*No authority has the right to show such pictures, because the victim has the right over those pictures.
Only if the victim can be identified. If no identification can be made, then there's nobody to assign rights to.
*And filming children pornography is a major crime, so the pictures will be taken down from a site the minute the authorities see them.
Filming is one thing, copying and displaying is something else. The former does damage to the subject being filmed. The latter occurs independently of the subject, without the subject's knowledge, and requires no further interaction with the subject. And that's before even considering CG imagery.

Now, it's just a FACT that such pictures and movies are out there. And they will forever remain out there, circulating. No amount of policing will ever weed them out. The only point of contention is how accessible the material should be. Which does more harm: virtual molestation and rape, vs. actual molestation and rape?
PinkElephant
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 18, 2010
Seriously, HOW?!
Here's what I'd do. I'd let such material circulate unimpeded, with one stipulation: that it be allowed only on a limited range of domains (e.g. a sub-range of the proposed .xxx domain space.) This way, parental blocks can be easily enforced.

Furthermore, I would have police examining all newly posted material, for any means of identifying the victim or the perpetrator. In all cases where identification can be made, prosecution and treatment can occur.

Moreover, the IP addresses of clients posting such material can be tracked by ISPs and central intelligence agencies; if a pattern emerges of a particular client posting fresh (never before seen) material showing real (not computer-generated or hand-drawn/animated) child porn repeatedly over time, there's grounds for surveillance, search, and interrogation of the person(s) and/or computer(s) behind that IP. You might think no criminal is that stupid or careless, but you'd be quite wrong...
StevenLawler
5 / 5 (2) Mar 20, 2010
What this article doesn't mention is the talks that Steven Conroy was having with Google about filtering lots of other things, including youtube videos that the Australian Government didn't want its citizens seeing. Oh and the 'other' content that is being filtered is legal content that IS found in libraries, on TV and many other media. This 'other' content includes, but not limited to, abortion, euthenasia etc.

Thank god Google rejected his proposal.
AceLepage
5 / 5 (1) Mar 20, 2010
Many comments posted here are obviously from individuals that have yet to experience the need to protect the young and innocent. As a parent, I envision those that harm children as monsters. I tell my children that the monsters they see on TV are characatures of the real monsters. The real monsters are those that look like people, and pretend to act like people, but in reality do not accept society's rules and act like animals. They will harm, rape, kill children without remorse. If blocking their content on the internet drives them underground, then so be it. That activity is unacceptible at any level. It should be denied at all levels.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Mar 20, 2010
As a parent, I envision those that harm children as monsters.
Without any conceivable exception?
PinkElephant
not rated yet Mar 20, 2010
@AceLepage,
That activity is unacceptible at any level. It should be denied at all levels.
Prohibition breeds monsters. If your goal is to reduce the number of victims, prohibition and censorship would be the last thing on your mind.
hylozoic
1 / 5 (1) Mar 20, 2010
From a biological perspective, child pornography (IE sex-associated behaviour in the vicinity of or including homo sapiens under an as of yet 'objectively' determined age) is of no consequence. Ethical positions regarding said events seem to be arbitrary within the species, and appear to have little consequence outside of arbitrarily designated social models of organization.
From a bio-mimetic perspective, the act itself can (but not always be) pathic. Observation of the event itself does not seem to be a priori pathic. A reality model which desires to remove the possibility of removing any experience of sex associated with children therefore seems to be reifying memes, for the purpose of applying empirically-based value/ethical structures upon them.
Bias to be taken into account: As an individual member of the species who was forced into sexual events at a very young age, my angle on the subject must be taken into account, and therefore referred to.
Please discuss.
hylozoic
1 / 5 (1) Mar 20, 2010
...It should also noted -- regarding bias -- that I experienced print-media illustrations of sex acts while I was very young.
Also, I have no desire to engage in sexual events with young humans, nor have I ever felt 'aroused' by experiencing graphic/aural representations of said scenarios. I seem to exclusively appreciate individuals of the opposite sex, roughly my age. Aggression, dominance, restraint, and force only make me 'unaroused'.
In sum, it seems to me that these experiences have no determined causal relationship with potentially 'pathic' sexual behaviour -- pathic mind you, within an arbitrarily constructed value system.
I see no reason, therefore, to censor the above information -- be it print-media, moving-picture, audio, et cetera.
Please discuss.
HeloMenelo
1 / 5 (3) Mar 22, 2010

Here's the solution, very simple, it just needs to be done:

Incorporate in every single school in existence, a subject called
"dating" 30 minutes, say twice a week. Get a teacher who is experienced and
qualified in relationship psychology to lecture on the subject. Let the students discuss
what they feel and get guidance from the psychologist. Get male/female to sit next to each other in class and
let them learn together by discussing relationship matters with each other and with the lecturer.

Once the student leaves school, he/she is armed with good relationship skills and psychologically prepared
for good healthy relationships which in turn will make for a better society.