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Australia Demands ISPs Offer Filtered 'Net
Users who don't like it will have to opt-out...
by Karl Bode 12:18PM Monday Dec 31 2007 Tipped by Sunburn See Profile
Australian lawmakers are making it mandatory that ISPs provide filtered access or "clean feeds" to broadband consumers or institutions that demand it. Users who want an unfiltered connection to the Internet will need to opt-out of the "service". A $199 million effort in Australia to filter pornography was introduced over the summer, though it took one teenager all of half an hour to bypass the filters.

topics flat nest 

Res Firma Mitescere Nescit
Stepford, CA

And then Australia woke up

Yeah...that'll work.

Atlanta, GA


So ISPs will be liable for unfiltered content? Who will decide what is "acceptable" content? Censorship is a slippery slope, even if it is begun with the best of intentions.

Chicago, IL

Re: Ridiculous

I can appreciate the premise, I don't see the application being well thought out. There are small businesses as well as homes that don't want to be bothered with trying to monitor what people are doing. But I see this as more problematic in other areas than it's worth!
Let's pluck 'im and see if he's ripe!"
- Larry (MEN IN BLACK, 1934)
Bah Humbug

Abyss, PA
·Service Electric..

Re: Ridiculous

Then buy your own filtering setup. All the crap big brother pushes on the providers will make everyone pay more. Let those that want the service pickup the cost or run it themselves.

Easy solution: Big brother designs filtering s/w and you install it.

Colorado Springs, CO
And who's responsible when it's discovered that filters are blocking someone's business despite nothing indicating it should of been there in the first place.

The Australian legal system is going to be overwhelmed with lawsuits.

Chicago, IL

1 recommendation

Re: Ridiculous

Listen, I only said I understood why they did it, I didn't condone it. The way I see it is it gives non-tech parents and businesses, that can't afford or are to stupid to deploy a filter system themselves, the false sense of security that they won't have to monitor their kids or employees. Supposedly, the ISP will do it for them.

Thats where the problem is. It's not the job of the ISP to be a "parent". And just who draws the line in the grey areas that will arise from such a blatantly stupid regulation?

Like I said before, more problematic than it's worth!~
Let's pluck 'im and see if he's ripe!"
- Larry (MEN IN BLACK, 1934)

Worcester, MA

where are the parents?

it should be up to the parents to restrict access to the internet for their children, not the government or anyone else. if you are of legal age and want to look as porn (except for child porn and any other porn that may break laws), it is your choice. this appears to be another results of POOR PARENTING.

the 'service' should be an opt-in, not an opt-out. i bet anyone on the opt-out list will have their connection monitored. i'm also wondering if the idiot proposing this is typical for him, and if there is a following. think of jack thompson, we all know how he thinks and what he hates, so when he says something, the intelligent ones know he is full of it.


2 edits

Re: where are the parents?

Hey it's no different than the U.S. Look at Bush using the NSA to monitor our connections. To top that one off, Bush used an old child pornography law to force many isps to give up identifying search records. This law, of course was ruled unconstitutional, but Bush still used it. Moral of the story? Governments these days are simply getting more repressive and wishing to play morality cop and or the guise of to spy on its citizens. Yet we simply don't learn and allow these same idiots to be elected time and time again. Sadly, I guess Australia is no different.

Hazelwood, MO

Re: where are the parents?

The entire reason this country was founded was based on Christian principles and the desire of the people to freely express that without an oppressive government. We have bastardized morals and what the founding fathers intended to the point that is is practically unrecognizable.

Their intent wasnt for government to not assist in upholding those morals but to complement and fully uphold and enforcable them, but with the understanding that gov can attempt to supress again. Therefore they made Church separate from state.


Re: where are the parents?

Please do not proliferate the "country founded on Christian principles" myth.

La Luna
RIP Lisa
Warwick, NY
said by jc10098:

Hey it's no different than the U.S. Look at Bush using the NSA to monitor our connections.....
Seven posts....not bad.

Yeah, that's right, the NSA is "monitoring" little ole' you and YOUR "connection" (?), they have nothing better to do, LOL!!!

Geez....talk about FUD run amok.
Can't feel you anymore, don't need you anymore, don't believe you anymore, I don't need you anymore


2 edits

Re: where are the parents?

FUD? Can we say Mark Kline. O that's right, you've got a short term memory. We don't know WHO THEY are monitoring short of they are filtering EVERYONE'S traffic. Hence, the saying goes, assume the worst and hope for the best. IE figure your traffic is amongst that being mined, and hope it isn't. Why that view, well we all know millions of Americans have been victimized. Not to mention, Good OL Georgy Boy's use of an ILLEGAL Child Pornography law (struck down by Supreme Court) to demand and receive rows and rows of identifying search records of people, just for the hell of it. Therefore, put 2 and 2 together, and the evidence doesn't paint a pretty picture. SO back to the topic and my summation. A) Your pathetic excuse for irony failed. B) Your attempt to look intelligent was overshadowed by the first item. C) Let the big boys talk here, it might do you good to listen and read for once. Maybe you'll learn something.

AS per the guy above, Christianity or not founding this country, we definitely don't need religion dictating our governmental morals. As every religion is different, and if we try to go by that, we're never going to get anywhere. Hence, it's best to base society off necessity / Human law, rather than religion. IE stealing, murder, rape, etc are bad for the community as they harm others versus if its a sin, then it should be outlawed.


1 edit
As per your bigoted logo about Muslims, How many attacks have been perpetrated in history at the hands of TERRORISTIC Christians. Far more than any Muslim based group has ever done and far more deadly. 6 million alone in one "attack" by a man named Hitler and his following of "Christians".

1) Crusades

2) Holocaust. Go look at how Hitler was a Catholic and how he had the support of the Baptist, Methodist, and Catholic church in his crusade to exterminate 6 million Jews. He even went so far as to appoint church leaders who supported him to help run the Nazi Party.

3) Timothy Mcveigh. Good Old Christian boy blew up Oklahoma City in the WORST attack on this country prior to 9/11.

4) Bosnian War where the Christian Serbs MASSACRED 200,000 Muslims and DUMPED their bodies in mass graves. Many of which have never been discovered.

So back to your link, maybe instead of being a puppet without a brain, you label individuals for what they are instead of whole sects of people. After all, I can continue on and label Christianity a Terrorist based group if you want to make generalizations too.
Fairfield, CA


Hey, they can sign up for AOL!



I like the sound of it but .....

If they can filter all of it out they will always come up with new ways to break the filter and what if it filters out websites that are legitimate. Thats always going to be an issue.

netzero.net email address I had filtered out email that was legit and I even put it in my do not block list the sender and it still never made it to my inbox.

So even with the best intentions things screw up.

I am against porn but there are those who like it so at least I have a choice not to watch it.

Google does a good job blocking it out with there filters I have never had a problem as of yet.

Hopefully it stays that way.

I say kudos for those trying to give users and families the options but I do add caution that it can also bite you back and deny you to legit sites.

My avatar looks like me, if I was 2D.
Martinsburg, WV

What was the downside of

making all the porn sites have the same ".xxx" domain? Wouldn't that be more simple than filtering?
My loony bun is fine, Benny Lava.

Triptoe Through The Tulips
Manchester, CT

Re: .xxx Top Domain

Making porn sites use a .xxx domain was to be a U.S. law. Other countries (such as Australia) may see fit to implement their own laws and ignore the .xxx domain. Since the Internet is a worldwide entity, such efforts at censorship are doomed to failure.
HCN: Because you deserve a rest!

Proud member of the Free Omelas Liberation Front.

Saint Paul, MN

Re: .xxx Top Domain

said by pleekmo:

Since the Internet is a worldwide entity, such efforts at censorship are doomed to failure.
Here, here. When will law makers understand that unless they can get everyone on the planet to agree with them there isn't any point. Filtering will never work. Even if you filter ever site out there today, tomorrow there will be more. People who want the content will find the content, or a way to by pass the filters.

As others have pointed out this isn't going to be free and someone will have to pick up the cost. That someone will be anyone who has an Internet connection.
How hard does DRM have to bite before business abandon it?


Sanford, FL

Isnt this the same country..

.. where it's okay to show a woman topless on regular TV? If that's the case, can you say "gateway drug"?


Scandalous waste of taxmoney

When are those dumb Aussies going to wise up and stop letting their politicians waste their tax money?For the cost of this program they could be invading Iraq for about 15 hours.
Get Verizon FIOS,The Anti-DIOS


Ho! Ho! Ho!

It's so easy to get filtering software or even (Horror!) just pay attention to your kid. This is ridiculous. I'm glad my family doesn't live in that "scared of body parts" country. Jeebus.


once again

the goverment trying to help..


united state

Bad Move

It's up to the parents to filter their children not the government or the ISPs. If they can't be bothered to do it then they are the ones ultimately responsible. This filtering process is a massive step in the wrong direction.
What's obscene to one is normal to another so who's to decide what's filtered? It starts with pornography then the next thing they realize political opponents are getting filtered or opposing agendas. Or worse, they don't even realize they're being filtered. Chistrailia.

Milford, NH
·FirstLight Fiber
·Hollis Hosting
·G4 Communications

1 recommendation

How are ISPs to do this?

How exactly are ISPs supposed to accomplish this?

1) Has the Australian government created a succinct notion of what is pornographic that is amenable to automatic analysis?

2) Is there software available able to identify pornographic content on the fly? This is technically impossible not only does it have to "know" what is pornographic is needs to identify the context. If not Medical students will not have access to depictions of the human body and sites dealing with sexually transmitted diseases will be blocked. That happens often with current software.

3) ISP will need application level knowledge of all possible file and compression types so is is able to decode/decompress content. Any content encoding scheme not understood by the ISP will have to be blocked.

4) ISP will need massive computing power to sift through all traffic on the fly.

5) SSL/TLS/IPsec will have to be prohibited as any sort of encryption prevents ISP from evaluating content. Not sure how one will do Internet commerce or run a business in Australia.

6) Law is incompatible with controversial DRM protection schemes the media industry is trying to foist in the public. That is unless they somehow give ISPs backdoor keys to all protected content.

7) I'm sure there is a lot more but I find this tiresome.

What is it about naked bodies governments find so intolerable? Seems to me there are many social ills facing industrialized countries. I'd prefer legislatures focus on stuff that really matters instead on these silly things that are impossible to enforce and impose one person's morality on the culture as a while.

Why not bar war movies, or crime dramas. Why are pictures of naked human beings alone or engaged in sexual most of us will do sometime in our lives more repugnant then seeing one person kill another?

I just don't get it!


Support Your Independent ISP


Where's the parents?

Sheesh, if there is inappropriate material on the net, shouldn't PARENTAL GUIDANCE be the filter?

ron paul


not a good idea

Password protect your computer so that your children can not access the internet. Install software on your own computer to censor the internet for your own kids.

Don't take away my rights because you the parent can't do your job.

Any child who access porn because the parent neglected to secure the computer, should be arrested.

If the parent didn't lock up their guns, and a child used one, then I blame the parent, not the people who make or sell guns.


Northwood, OH


I can't believe that people are so dumb. NEVER, EVER pass laws that take personal freedom and choice away. A auto opt-in is BS. people need to open there tiny minds up to the fact that laws are never the answer.



How idiotic!

Why can't the government mandate that ISPs provide filtering software to their clients or make a public-private partnership with NetNanny or some other provide of filtering software and then place the ball in the court of parents? This V-Chip-style approach makes more sense than the approach being used in Australia.


Glenolden, PA


But what about the children?
who will save the children?