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back to article Australia backs down from Internet filter plan

Australia will not proceed with its plan to filter the Internet on behalf of its citizens. Stephen Conroy, the nation's Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, has issued a statement saying that internet service providers will be required to block some content – child abuse sites listed by Interpol – but …

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Linux

"The filter became infamous around the world,..."

Actually the words 'Australia', 'laughing' and 'stock' come to mind here.

Who hit Conroy with a clue stick?

Penguin, 'cos they like their intertubes unfiltered.

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Anonymous Coward

They woke up and smelled the filter coffee.

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Anonymous Coward

There was a reason why So many were deported to Botany Bay.......

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Convicts

Of course, the minister concerned still has his job. That's the way it works "Down Under". They promote mediocrity and incompetence and then let it stay there.

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Childcatcher

Colour me confused

internet service providers will be required to block some content

How is this backing down from Net censorship? It looks like mandatory filtering to me.

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Mushroom

Re: Colour me confused

because rather than being a broad filter, set by government, it is a very very narrow set of known CP sites, and part of an international effort.

Yeah, technically it's kind of filtering but interpol has no reason or want to filter anything other than CP sites.

I am happy with this compromise

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FAIL

Re: Colour me confused

Yeah, technically it's kind of filtering

It's filtering. And anyway, the weirdos will just use other distribution channels.

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Anonymous Coward

"I am happy with this compromise"

That's one way to look at it. Even if it sounds like trying to convince yourself, desparately.

Another way to look at it is to realise that very few people are actually interested in child porn; the rest gets nauseous both because it's not their kink and because the must-protect-children reflex is usually rather strong in animals, including us. No, I don't say that disparagingly. So while wanting "bad stuff" to go away is a natural reflex, especially for politicians, in this case it's also the wrong thing to do.

Think about it. We have law enforcement to deal with that sort of stuff, so let them do their job properly. Shuffling things under a filter isn't helping anybody. But it does open the door to further filtering, as happened in the UK.

So this compromise is a demonstratably real risk, and it doesn't buy us much. Yes, there's probably some child porn floating around the 'web, just like there's shock sites full of things that can never be un-seen, and shock-porn (rule 34), and so on. No, I don't want to visit any of that either. But very few of us need a filter to help them steer clear of it, so a filter isn't needed here either. Especially since filters tend to break more than they fix, hello IWF.

And interpol? They'll happily let themselves be used to nab political dissidents, too. So much for being part of an international effort.

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Childcatcher

Re: Colour me confused

I am happy with this compromise

If you want to know why this measure won't be effective I'd suggest giving this podcast a listen. You may find it educational.

Warning: contains people with actual knowledge.

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toehold

Yes, the stated list includes only kiddie pr0n now, but the bureaucracy and technical structure will be in place, ready for quick additions to keep everyone safe from future bêtes noire du jour.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: toehold

That's exactly what happened in the UK, isn't it? With the pirate bay blocking.

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"Conroy now says that effort has been such a success that a full filter is not needed."

But he would say that, wouldn't he?

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All I want to know...

...is will I be able to vist the website of that Queensland Dentist now?

Ok, ok, I'm leaving...

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FAIL

Re: All I want to know...

The poor blokes site was back on line some time ago.

I suspect other reasons for dumping filter. How about the super-snoop rulez coming real soon now ? Do the pollies and cops want to find all the really good pr0n links too? Oh, and have "leverage" to get proof because lawyers sicking Joe Plod onto J&J Q Citizen does not know what DHCP is.

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