Comments: "Are web filters just a waste of everyone's time and money?"

Isn't this more about the use and intention of web filters? I use two myself - one to stop all adverts and one to block spyware sites. Maybe that's a bit flippant, but the real lesson is that it's next to impossible to stop teenage kids from doing what they want. I expect this filter scandal is actually about legal liability. If the authorities can demonstrate that they are taking 'reasonable precautions' to prevent children accessing what adults consider inappropriate sites, then they will be safe from law suits.

Posted by Ian Delaney at August 30, 2007 08:00 AM

Sigh ...This is about censorware, not "filters", I knew I shouldn't have let that pass, you fell right into the confusion.

The authorities here are the government of Australia. It's not about lawsuits.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at August 30, 2007 09:22 AM

The failures as outlined have already to calls from some groups for mandatory "clean" feeds from isps.

To highlight the paranoid idiocy of the current (any?) australian government -

We Down under are being bombarded with ads from our friendly federal government about all the great things they do to help us and keep us safe. There is an election coming. Yes they are using taxpayers money to try and keep themselves voted in. Is nothing really compared to the pork barelling we will see.

From the transcript$file/Television_Script_1_transcript.DOC
"MALE: I know this person who has downloaded a lot of documents from suspicious websites…"$file/Television_Script_1.MPG

Mandating "clean" feeds from isps that also blocks suspicious websites - if it looks like a vote winner either side may do it.

So come the election I may no longer be able to reach cryptome, (because you are bagging the gov's and filter peddlers idiocy) and rest of a quite large list.

How much is an international call to NZ? To get an unfiltered feed. Pay for a co-located server somewhere and be my own unfiltered isp?

And I am sure terrorists and nasty porn peddlers have completely forgotten how the world got along without the internet and used direct dial BBS's.

Maybe the money would be better spent on getting parents to talk to their kids.

Posted by tqft at August 31, 2007 05:48 AM

In case anyone thought what I said was hyperbole:

From the government to be (if you believe the polls):
From today's Sunday paper -,22049,22346316-5006010,00.html

"KEVIN Rudd said a Labor government will ban Internet sites advocating anorexia after the Howard Government put the issue in the too-hard basket."

Posted by tqft at September 2, 2007 06:02 AM

tqft: Thanks, that's very interesting. I must confess I have a hard time parsing that last article , figuring out how it goes from "Kevin Rudd" to "Nicola Roxon".

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at September 3, 2007 09:13 PM