back to article Aussie gov anti-porn filter 'useless', says teen

The anti-pornography filtering software dished out by the Australian government at a cost of AUS$84m has been broken in minutes by a teenager, according to reports. "I downloaded it on Tuesday to see how good it was, because for 84 million dollars, I would have expected a pretty unbreakable filter," 16-year-old Melbourne …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Chad H.

    those calling for compulsary filtering

    Will be the first to call up and winge when the net slows down.

  2. Matt

    hmmm

    how they gonna filter https? ANon proxies? p2p exchange? im exchange? torrents? ddl? seriously, these technotards live in another universe.

    mmmmmmm more snake oil, they can give me all the cash they like, and I'll give them a 100mb file full of zeros and say "it's as good as anything else you're gonna get... I do a line in bulls--t too if you're interested - does wonders for your health and well being."

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title

    As an adult I don't see why some government authority or ISP should know better than I what I should and should not look at. Let them censor their own Net activity.

  4. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Take II: those calling for compulsary filtering...

    ...should be put on hormone replacement therapy.

  5. Nick Pettefar

    OK, So ...

    Can I whinge about winge?

    Will this filter keep the more stupid ones ignorant about sex and therefore more prone to accidentally procreate than the more intelligent ones? Just a thought...

  6. Michael Nielsen

    Amazing.

    Lets say for argument sake that 50% of kids are targets for these filters, because they surf porn, now you add a compulsorary filters, suddenly now the other 50% will be interested in surfing porn because it is now become something you are not allowed to do. So you will increase the usage of porn by kids.

    Another thing is, these filters are useless, because unless you use whitelist filters, you won't have an effective filter at all, all Blacklist filters can be circumvented in about 10 seconds, by anyone even moderately skilled with computers.

    I really really wish these ban-or-block-it-and-it-dissappears-types would grow half a brain, forbid something, and suddenly it become irresistable to those who weren't bothered with it before.

    The best option is.

    1 Do not forbid it.

    2. Do not block it.

    3. Talk to your kids about it.

    Use information, and discussion, and you might actually find the result vastly better.

    Bans, blocking, filtering, censorship has never achieved anything good - ever.

  7. JimC

    If all the requests for porn stop in AUS

    at the content system instead of going overseas then

    1) access to international sites will speed updramatically due to the dramatic increase in available bandwidth

    2) Half the ISPs in the country will go bust due to lack of customers...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    compulsory filtering

    Of course this allows an ISP to market itself as an "Adults only" ISP with no filtering where one condition of use is that kids are not allowed to use it!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    those calling for compulsory filtering

    ...should move to China where it has been already implemented.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    those calling for compulsory filtering...

    are just buying it from Amazon (Natalie Portman fans????)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Compulsary Filtering.. What happened to freedom?

    OK, like most people, I find the idea of the prolifferation of child porn dispicable, but come on.. Mandatory filtering?? If that's not one more step to Big Brother, I don't know what is..

    Anyway, the spokesman had a point.. If you deliberately set out to break something, then you'll break it more than likely.. The point here isn't that people can't get around the filter deliberately, it's that my kids aren't going to accidentally come accross a bit of knowledge about which bit goes in where before they're ready to find out.. If the Aussie government are happy to protect my 5 year old, then that's good enough for me.. If your 14 year old wants to deliberately go looking for pictures of naked women, that's pretty normal if you ask me.. It's only what I did when I was 14, sneaking into the worst newsagent in the town and getting the top shelf magazines and handing over the cash without making eye contact.. People have got to find out about the opposite sex at some point, just not accidentally, and certainly not at the age of 5 just because my computer has spyware..

    I don't agree with mandatory filtering, but I do think that free filters for all users if they want them is an excellent idea, so long as the adult in the household takes responsibility.. Google SafeSearch is easy enough to turn off, but my kids don't realise it's on and don't get porn when they're doing searches for wicked witches or fairies, and I'm happy about that!

  12. Morely Dotes

    Here's a better idea

    Compulsory parent-qualification testing. Those who fail won't be allowed to have children (or keep the ones they already have, if that's the case).

    Proper parenting prevents access to inappropriate material - it's not rocket science, and it doesn't require an $84million investment. Of course, it does require investing some time in your children. I suppose those of extremely low intelligence or next to no moral fibre won't be willing to do that. But if they can afford a computer and an Internet connection, they can certainly afford to spend some time raising their children, and teaching them right from wrong.

    Depending on the Government to raise your children leads to Nazi Germany, or Communist China. Is that what people really want?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amusing...

    ...watching all the people laughing at clueless Aussie politicians. You do realise that UK politicians are perhaps five years behind Aussie politicians yes? ie in five years you'll see the same clueless nonsense promulgated here. Doubt this? Where do you think the idea of detention centres for asylum seekers came from?

  14. Ru

    Clearly,

    What is required here is an additional law, which makes circumventing the filters a crime too. If only they'd had it before he popped up on TV, this sort of thing would never happen, and no-one would ever find out how easy the filters were to crack. I should be a political consultant or something.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aussie gov anti-porn filter

    What is anti-porn and how do you filter it?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    think of the children

    As this youngster showed, most kids are more techno-literate than they parents. They hacked the video while dad was still on page 1 of the manual. If anything this is simply going to teach kids that they have to go around the silly rules to get to the stuff they want, so in future, they will be more experienced, more skilled and more likely to look to circumvention as a solution.

    "child safety campaigners are using the news to insist that ISPs do compulsory content filtering" - surely there is laws against anything illegal already so where does free speech and freedom of expression come into this?

    I'm sick of far-right religious nuts telling what i can and cannot do, ok so i am in the UK not AUS, but still enough is enough, these people need to get laid!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Nick Pettefar

    Nick, I was unaware that a filter was a prerequisite for this to happen. If so, that filter was put up long, long ago. Said filter is apparently also responsible for the rise to power of certain elements with certain ideas in certain countries. As expected, one might add - one stupid thing rarely comes alone.

  18. Hooo

    Is it anything like Vodafone's 'content control'?

    If so, it'll have to get bypassed pretty quick as it makes the net unusable. I have to go through my office VPN to browse on the move, because Vodafone have taken it on themselves to block loads of perfectly innocuous sites as it thinks they contain 'Adult content'....

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The elephant in the room

    Imagine that you could buy a USB crack pipe from ebay and get free hits from it whenever you wanted simply by surfing the web. That's pretty much where we are with teenage boys and internet porn at the moment.

    Whilst I hate censorship, the problem of ease of porn access is an issue that the authorities and the pro-freedom web folk have been deliberately ignoring for years. I'm not saying that a government censorship system is desirable, or that porn should be banned outright (that's a different argument) - but we do need to do something.

    The alternative is a generation of sexually messed up men.

  20. John A Blackley

    @Chad H.

    "those calling for compulsary filtering.......Will be the first to call up and winge when the net slows down."

    Actually, Chad, I don't think they will - as I assume those people never actually use the internet.

    By the way, El Reg, was it $84m or $189m?

  21. Simon Ward

    Damn you, Australia, damn you!

    Hmmph.

    Not content with whipping our sorry arses on the cricket pitch, it looks like the Aussies are trying to beat us at another game we invented, that of 'throwing millions of dollars/pounds/whatever of taxpayers money into useless IT projects'.

    On the other hand, if it's anything like the filtering system that was in place at one of my former places of work, it could easily be defeated by not using Internet Explorer for browsing ...

  22. Stephen Hurd

    Re: The elephant in the room

    You obviously mean ANOTHER generation of sexually messed up men.

    I assume, of course, that you can define "sexually messed up" and explain how having the ability to view porn causes that.

  23. Marco

    Re: The elephant in the room

    "Imagine that you could buy a USB crack pipe from ebay and get free hits from it whenever you wanted simply by surfing the web. That's pretty much where we are with teenage boys and internet porn at the moment."

    You are American, aren't you? Who compares sexuality to hard drugs must be. At least mentally. Which would also be a nice name for a movie: "The Mental American".

    "The alternative is a generation of sexually messed up men."

    Actually that would be you. The US is probably the strictest country in the western world when it comes to depiction of sexuality and yet has the highest consumership of pornography worldwide.

  24. Greg

    Re: The elephant in the room

    "The alternative is a generation of sexually messed up men."

    What a load of utter bollocks. Porn existed before the net, and it will exist long after this incarnation of the net is dead and buried. Did the porn mags the previous generation found by the railway tracks or under bushes in the park turn them into "sexually messed up men?" Is it really worth throwing away our right to decide what is and isn't appropriate, our rights to free speech and free movement of data, so that some over-horny teenager will turn off his computer and go find his porn somewhere else? Come back when you've bought a clue.

  25. Graham Marsden

    Amusing??

    @John Naismith

    "You do realise that UK politicians are perhaps five years behind Aussie politicians yes? ie in five years you'll see the same clueless nonsense promulgated here."

    I think you're the one behind the times! The clueless nonsense already here...

    In the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill 2007 the Government wants to make it illegal (punishable by three years in jail!) to possess pornographic images it doesn't like.

    See http://www.backlash-uk.org.uk/ for details.

  26. Paul Banacks

    B*shit law

    "By JimC

    at the content system instead of going overseas then

    1) access to international sites will speed up dramatically due to the dramatic increase in available bandwidth

    2) Half the ISPs in the country will go bust due to lack of customers...

    "

    3) The wholesale price of internet bandwidth increases with inverse square laws (Pauls B*shit law 2041) so the remaining ISP's give up the excess...

    4) Speeds overall stay the same!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Graham Marsden

    Ah fucking hell more laws to learn. I can still remember preaching anti-RIPA to people a decade ago. We don't learn do we? Anyone who has a law degree should be barred from becoming a politician for all they do is behave like they are billing clients - what is it now? 3200 new/amended laws in 123 months?

    Ta for the heads up - will go and have a look at the gibberish when I can stomach it.

  28. galbak

    porn filter

    is there a website that reverse filters the web, ie only allows the porn etc?

  29. Neil Robertson

    I'd welcome some free filtering

    Especially if it works.

    However carefully I parent my 8 year old, he's still likely to type www.pussycat.com when he wants to know about pussy cats although he really wouldn't know where to start with getting round content filters etc if he was honestly looking for porn. I know I'll have to keep one step ahead if I'm going to keep porn off his screen, but for now something simple would suffice.

    If only the Australian Government had managed to find something pea-shooter proof (since bullet-proof is obviously way beyond them!), or one of the commercial vendors could sell a product that did what it said on the box.

    Contrary to popular opinion, not all men think that ogling pictures of women in compromising postions is a valid component of a free society, especially when most of the photos will only be there as a result of oppression of the women involved.

  30. Da Andersson

    Filter - and for a "PC"?!

    As this is a Govt sponsored hack, I'll bet a Cent or two that we are talking about a Windows based program...

    So, we all have to start using Windows so we can be controlled by the Govt?

    And of course, if You are using Linux, You have to be a smut watching pervert and most likely a terrorist... Why would you use Linux for if not that? Besides, reasoning as a Govt organisation, using Linux and not paying sales tax and customs duty on the software must surely be defined as close to treason anyway... I bet they'd like to ban Linux in Aussie land by now.

    Duh!

    //Dan

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Neil Robertson (sort of - I go off rambling a lot)

    "I know I'll have to keep one step ahead if I'm going to keep porn off his screen"

    Why? Seriously let him look at it when he wishes and just log it for review later. Surely it is more important that you have an idea (roughly - not specifically) what he's up to rather than thinking you are blocking it when he's already got around the content filter without you knowing. Leave the connection open but logged and DISCUSS it with him. Otherwise you'll just be fighting a battle. Our kids know that every connection (but not necessarily the content) is logged but not actively monitored. I find that the NOD32 alerts (emailed to me) give me a fair idea when I need to sit down and discuss things with them. NOD32 is set to alert me on adware so it is fairly obvious where they've been without looking at the machine.

    It's only bodies after all and we all have one - albeit I wouldn't call mine "desireable" ;-)

    What I'd really like is a fairly robust method of giving the kids an online "identity" that can't be tracked to them until they choose/are adults.

    Morely Dotes & I don't get on (AAISP Morely) but we both have fairly brutal methods of "policing" email which is the VERY first place to start. You can block amazing amounts of crap with DNSBLs, ACLs, filtering etc when you run your own server. It also means you can archive all your kids emails trivially - whether you look at them or not is up to you, I don't but I do leave them archived/encrypted on the home network.

    Even then you have IM clients (which I can block/monitor) and lets not even start on games. It simply is NOT possible (and nor should it be) to monitor everything your child does.

    What should be possible is to give a child an online "identity" which allows them to make the mistakes that are natural when you are growing up WITHOUT those mistakes being used against you later. I look at Facebook/Youtube etc and think "you've no idea how much you've fucked your life up by posting that video because it'll be cached/stored somewhere forever". I'm glad all I had to deal with was dejanews - and I was older :-D

    Seriously - it can't be beyond the wit of man to build an open-source (would you trust the govt with a list of nyms<->children?) method of providing your child with an identity they feel is "theirs" and is also safe. Really - believe me most year 6 kids have had their machine reformatted at least once due to virus or more likely adware crap.

    If we can't do this then frankly none of us should ever post unless we do it via a proxy (preferably a chain). Amusingly I do this to my local version of the Daily Mail (DM runs all the www.thisis<shire>.co.uk domains) but I don't see why I should run a rotating proxy list to protect them as it doesn't really do that long term.

    We need someone with a VERY good idea how to provide basic anonymity for kids SOON.

    Gods - long rambling post. Apologies to you all :-)

  32. IDK

    @Jeremy

    <quote>

    "child safety campaigners are using the news to insist that ISPs do compulsory content filtering" - surely there is laws against anything illegal already so where does free speech and freedom of expression come into this?

    </quote>

    Hate to point it out, but that's not entirely the case; as it stands at the moment, freedom of expression and free speech are being cracked down on rather hard. As we don't have anything explicitly in place in our constitution relating to free speech, it's a moot point (there's already outcry about that coupled with the filtering).

    Unfortunately here (Aus) it's the same issue as everywhere else; the 'me' generation only looking out for themselves and not prepared to take the responsibility of their actions however many years ago and expect the govt. to protect them (and their offspring) from the dangers of the rest of the world, as well as protect them from their own stupidity.

  33. Aubry Thonon

    @Anon

    "People have got to find out about the opposite sex at some point, just not accidentally, and certainly not at the age of 5 just because my computer has spyware"

    Dear Anonymous,

    It might not have been your intention, but you realise that what you have just said is akin to "the government must control what people do because I can't keep my house in order". Tell you what - I don't want to have to check that I've locked my house in the morning, so I want the government to have people followed just in case they decide to rob my house. Same concept.

    If you can't stop your kids from getting on the computer when you are not supervising (a decent password will do it in most OS) and if you can't keep your firewall/AV software up to date (which can be done automatically these days) then may I suggest you seriously reconsider having a computer in your house? Not only are *you* putting your child at risk of seeing porn, but you are putting *yourself* at risk of ID theft, bank fraud, etc...

    If I don't want my godkids to watch certain types of movies or play certain types of games, I keep those movies/games away from them; I do NOT expect the Govt to do it for me.

  34. Matt

    no kids

    man No kids on the internet would be brilliant.

    Online games may become bearable again.

    Anyway kids have no place online unless superviised, you wouldn't let your kid wonder around a city on their own you shouldn't let them on the internet unsupervised. If a person cares that much (lol what c--p) they'd go out of their way to ensure a safe environment for their kid.

    You're the one who chose to bring a pc into the house you should be responsible for using it responsibly and ensuring others do so too. If you don't then that's your own fault, not the ISP's, not the internet site, not the government, yours.

    People need to grow up, start taking responsibilty and stop passing the buck. A kids safety is the parents responsibility, live with it or don't have kids. Real simple. Sadly it seems most parents are just too thick, irresponsible and think it's the TV's job to be a nanny, the internets job to be a teacher and societies job to protects their vile offspring.

    ISP based filtering is a waste of money, it's like pissing into a sea of piss. But hey that's what most government IT projects are, or doesn't anyone notice that?

    O well, at least it isn't just us in Britain that like to piss money up the wall on bull schemes that'll never float. Enjoy your ever escalating bill and eventually abandoned project.

  35. David Shea

    @ Filter - and for a "PC"?!

    Well, most of the schools over here (Australia) use Macs. Maybe they assume that Mac users either

    1. Don't get the hang of the internet so can't work out how to surf for porn.

    2. Use Safari, so most of the sites crash before you get to see anything naughty.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aussie living in China

    Hi everyone. I am interested in your feedback on this, as I am an Aussie living in China. I have been here for the past year and am returning back to Oz in about a month.

    A few points to note:

    * The Great Firewall of China does NOT filter porn, at least not the stuff that I have (accidentally!) come across with the usual mistyped addresses, etc. From my experiences here it only filters out "politically sensitive" sites, and it does NOT do that very well at all

    * The GFWoC is amazingly easy to get around with TOR and anon proxy sites (SafeLizard comes to mind)

    * So can people who have no experience of it, please stop making these blanket draconian statements about the GFWoC? I am behind it, and am experiencing it daily and it is not stopping me doing anything that I would ordinarily do

    * The proposed (by the political parties, not by the lobby groups) Aussie porn filtering system is OPT-IN!

    * So please stop making the statements that everyone will be subjected to it

    * For good filtering at the router level (as opposed to the PC level which is ridiculously easy to get around), you can use OpenDNS. Create an account and then have it filter DNS requests for you, by using their DNS system. This works very well for me, even on a dynamic IP. Put a decent password on the router and, even tech-savvy kids, won't be able to get around it

    * One poster said "...certainly not at the age of 5 just because my computer has spyware.." You need to have up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware products and work out a regular maintenance plan with a professional, or just use Linux (I am posting this using Ubuntu 7.04. I am a computer professional, consulting in China)

    * As someone who is discussing having kids in about a years time, I will not be relying on any sort of technology to "protect" them. I am firmly of the belief that proper parenting is the only way of doing this, coupled with appropriate education and the appropriate times of the lives. I remember getting "sex-ed" aged about 16 (Catholic School) and it as WAYYYYY too late

    * And then there's the old adage, that you need a licence to own a cat or dog, why not to have a kid?!

    H

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I remember

    if somone told me when I was fifteen that all

    I had to do to get porn was get around a windows

    internet filter that filter would have been dead in twenty

    seconds as long as they keep putting nuts on them they

    will keep getting the pron people who don't know anything

    must get together to try and make rules for the internet

    hell it's nearly impossible to keep them out of your credit

    card data what chance does porn have. When is the message

    going to get out this can't be done period no matter how much

    money you throw at it.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    .xxx domain

    Come on already! The sooner there is a .xxx domain for porn the better, all this will become much easier (both for those who want to find porn and for those who want to avoid it).

    Why oh why are domains for the WORLD WIDE web still controlled by one small country???

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some simple facts

    Not wanting to put to finer point on it, but religious power comes from maintaining a monopoly on human reproduction; implemented by teaching people that their natural sexual impulses are sinful and as sinners they must beg the church for forgiveness. Like all groups who have managed to attain power, they not only misuse such power but also believe they are entitled to perpetual continuation of their own privilege.

    A teenager growing up comfortable with their own sexuality and who can easily associate with like minded individuals is thus resistant to religious mind control, and must be considered a threat. Such a person would be demonized, branded "sexually mixed up" which translates to "insufficiently obedient and too tolerant of other people's differences".

    Make no bones about it. Freedom is the enemy here and free thinking is what our governments are setting out to destroy. Once they have the filters in place, pictures from the torture camps in the Middle East (the ones that our tax dollars pay for) will be considered too dangerous. Amnesty International's careful documentation covering worldwide abuse of power will no doubt need to be removed -- lest our innocent children ask innocent questions about the meaning of justice. Then they will crack down on gays and lesbians, and finally any criticism will be logged and traced and both children and adults will be protected from their own ability to make decisions.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Aubry Thonon

    "It might not have been your intention, but you realise that what you have just said is akin to "the government must control what people do because I can't keep my house in order". Tell you what - I don't want to have to check that I've locked my house in the morning, so I want the government to have people followed just in case they decide to rob my house"

    AKA The Police???? I'm sure their role in society is basically to keep people sticking to an agreed set of rules.

    What you're describing is an ideal anarchic state.. And like Communism, good in theory, but in practice it descends into a Darwinian chaos where the strongest dominate the weakest and mob rules. Just go to many ex-communist states and you'll see what I mean.

    In practice, I'm not going to sit watching my child 24 hours a day 7 days a week while they play.. I haven't got time because I work, and I'm entitled to a life, and secondly, I think wrapping them up in cotton wool and checking everything before they do it is smothering and I think that's bad parenting. I want my child to grow up as a well rounded human being that has grown beyond being a replica of me.

    I certainly don't know what a google search is likely to bring up when I turn the filter off, and I certainly wouldn't let my little one do a google search for their homework (Yes, in the country I live, 5 year olds get homework!) with the filter turned off.. It's not that I'm a bad parent, it's just common sense, as an adult, you know how many pages it takes for your average search to bring up nudity.. We were looking for a bike the other day, googling for the word "Bike" which I thought was innocent enough and on page 7 lo and behold.. the first naked person.. With safe search ON.. God knows what result we would have had with it off, luckily it was only a nudist! (Or is the unlucky, I can't decide!) So the same goes for general usage of the internet.. I have a filter on my kids computer because it's sensible, but if the government want to provide me with one for free, so long as as an adult I can choose to switch it of, I'll be delighted.

    We have a 30 km an hour speed limit outside our school, we have policemen in our streets, we have age limits on buying alcohol and tobacco, we have safesearch on google, all for a good reason.. It means we can let our kids play in reasonable safety without having to smother them.. A voluntary filter is a good idea because it allows our kids to surf the internet in relative safety without them feeling like we don't trust them.

    So Aubry, anarchy for me? No thanks.. Smother my children and look over their shoulders all of the time and make them paranoid.. Nah.. Voluntary web filters, so I can invisibly protect my kids.. Yes please.

    Cheers

    Anonymous

  41. Andy Worth

    Michael Nielsen

    I just wanted to say that Michaels comment was probably the most sensible thing I have read in a while. Why are people so afraid to talk to their kids about the truth behind sex and all the other things that go with it? As soon as you try to hide it, kids just get more curious and no-one can really deny that.

    The truth is that if kids were given the cold hard facts by parents and teachers more openly that they would be better prepared. Lets face it, the facts behind sex are hardly......sexy are they?

    It was always something openly discussed in my house when I was growing up and as such I never felt the need to rush into anything. Although granted I am a dirty little degenerate now ;)

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Aussie living in China

    Adimittedly, yes, I did say "Certainly not because my computer has spyware" but I was making a point.. I work in IT, and have come accros MANY MANY MANY instances where end users complain because their browser pops up or redirects their browsers to sites that contain pornographic images.

    As a technically savvy person, I've pretty much done what I can to protect my child from accidental exposure to pornography. But many of my collegues and neighbours are not so able, and whilst I try to help out sometimes, I do have a life away from this infernal machine where I don't wish to be continually fixing other people's problems.

    My point is simple.. Offer parents a safe, free alternative to the expensive rubbish that you can get from your local store, one that somebody who (apparently) knows what they're doing manages, one that you DON'T have to use if you don't want, and as a parent I'll opt in. I'm well aware of the dangers of leaving kids too much freedom on the internet, just as I am aware of the dangers of roads, but there are speed bumps and limits outside my school and I'm much happier.. That doesn't mean I let go of my son's hand when I cross the road, it means that when I'm talking to a teacher about how well my child is doing, and take my eyes off him for 2 mins, if he forgets about everything I've taught him about road safety and runs accros the road to talk to his friend (Which happens outside every school at the start and the end of the day very regularly, ask any teacher), then I can be reasonably confident that anyone driving through the area will be going at a slow enough speed to stop before they hit him..

    So all I'm asking in respect of a government managed filter, is at least the opportunity to make switching on your PC as safe as going outside.. I'll parent my kids, no worries, but if you can make my job as a parent easier, so much the better.

    Cheers

    Anonymous

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Elephant in the room

    "The US is probably the strictest country in the western world"

    Actually I think that award probably goes to Iran or Pakistan or some other sharia law country. You shouldn't assume they're american just because they're being dumbasses. In fact stereotyping the US makes you just as narrow-minded.

    BTW Before you start on me, I'm from europe. :P

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Censored

    Frankly, I would be much more worried about my kids (if I had any) watching uncensored violence. But it's the old slippery slope - I wouldn't want them exposed to televangelists or George W. Bush either, at least not until they're adults.

    Don't censor your children, talk to them.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Will this filter keep the more stupid ones ignorant about sex

    I'd have to question the educational value of some of the stuff online, it's hardly going to give insights into the reproductive process...

    In some videos the people seem to be very confused about how to reproduce.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A simple statement of human behavior

    If internet pornography is banned, there will be an increase in rape and child abuse.

    If you don't believe me then look at any islamic state which offers holiday locations and no porn, the instances of rape amongst holiday go-ers is dramatically higher than places where pornography is accessible.

    I know of two people who have suffered at this, and there will be many more.

    Vive la Internet Porn!

  47. Rich Bryant

    Old fashioned values

    I agree with banning porn over browsers. Kids should get their porn in the new version of the way we used to get it. Our was was shoplifting. Theirs must obviously be torrents.

  48. Dax Farrer

    @John Naismith

    I think you will find we invented detention camps (aka concentration camps) in South Africa during the Boer War. Hardly a claim to fame, but shows we are a hundred years or so in front of you. Not 5 years behind as claimed.

    Its just a rush to the lowest common denominator

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oi... Lefties... STFU!

    Here we go again... The usual bunch of left wing, touchy feely muppets - whining about a bit of spank... Oohh... Get over it!!... We all agree (one would hope) that certain types of material are clearly inapporopriate and their proliferation should not be endorsed. However, good wholesome adult material should suffer no such censorship! Parents should carry the burden of responsibility for ensuring that best practice measures are taken where required to prevent kids from accessing "un-suitable" material. It's not f* rocket science!!

  50. A J Stiles

    Better Solution

    There is material on the Internet that is unsuitable for children. That is a fact. Instead of trying to restrict access to this sort of material, why not simply BAN ALL MINORS from using the Internet? Then it doesn't matter about material which is unsuitable for children being there, because children won't be allowed near it anyway!

    Childhood is merely a transitory phase, and the rights of adults must prevail over the rights of children.

  51. Smallbrainfield

    I thought anti-porn...

    ...was thinking about Anne Widdecombe at Anne Summers.

  52. Ted Treen

    @John Naismith

    "Anyone with a law degree should not be allowed to be a politician"

    Nice idea John, but it doesn't go far enough - we could end up with a house full of Prescotts.(6 or 7 would fill any house!)

    Really, anyone whose burning ambition is to be a politician is the very kind who should not be allowed to stand for office: They're invariably conceited & smug, have a nanny and/or messiah complex and are too damned dangerous to be allowed to be in charge.

    I have no desire to be ruled by arrogant ignorant incompetents whose only ambition is to rule everyone else. And feather the nest whilst doing so.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Internet is for porn

    www dot youtube dot com/watch?v=9AZUnFeuUQ4

  54. Spike Ravenscroft

    Er....?

    I get really confused by this issue because it seems so simple to stop that i feel i must be missing something.

    Step 1: Have all porn sites have .xxx at the end of their addresses, so that legitimate porn / sex sites can trade fairly and be used by those who want to use them.

    Step 2: If a site has porn on it and it doesnt have a .xxx ending, then ISPs etc can take it down without question because its not a legit site and more likely to be something dodgy.

    Step 3: Have all browsers come with a little option to block all .xxx rated sites, for parents who want to go down the prohibition over information option. Leaving everyone else who wants to view the internet unrestricted, free to do so.

    Am I missing something?

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "What is anti-porn and how do you filter it?"

    Margaret Thatcher and John Prescott going at it with abandon would be anti-porn. If such a horror ever passed before my eyes - it'd put me off sex for the rest of my life!

  56. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    @John A Blackley

    Hi John,

    The $89m is what they're spending on the blocking software. The $189m is the cost of the broader NetAlert programme, which includes education and campaigns among other things. Apologies if the piece didn't make that clear.

    Chris Williams

    El Reg

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "What is anti-porn......"

    If you take the same quantity of porn and anti-porn and then bring them together, do you get Total Perversion?

    TeeCee

  58. Rich Woods

    response to John Naismith

    "Why? Seriously let him look at it when he wishes and just log it for review later. "

    My god man, that means parents would have to take some responsibility for the actions of their offspring. Its much better to just put some fences around them and just leave them to do their own thing. Out of sight, out of mind and all that.

  59. Dave Murray

    Re: Re: Elephant In The Room

    ""The US is probably the strictest country in the western world"

    Actually I think that award probably goes to Iran or Pakistan or some other sharia law country."

    Neither Iran nor Pakistan is part of the western world. And, I don't think you'll find any country in the western world that follows sharia law either.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Dax Farrer

    Despite the fact I think mainstream Aussie politics are more right-wing than Atilla the Hun I wouldn't accuse them of running concentration camps - for that is what we (the UK) invented for families of combatants in SA.

    All the Aussies invented was the concept of automatically locking up ALL asylum seekers even when it's bloody obvious they are genuine - we obviously followed that as much of their press and ours are owned by the same scumbag and he doesn't like immigrants much, which is rather amusing considering where he is domiciled :-)

  61. Ian Bremner

    To quote the great Doctor Cox

    If we took all the porn off the internet, we'd be left with one website. And it would be called "Bring back the Porn!!"

  62. Graham Marsden

    @Spike Ravenscroft

    > Step 1: Have all porn sites have .xxx at the end of their addresses,

    > Step 2: If a site has porn on it and it doesnt have a .xxx ending, then ISPs etc can take it down without question because its not a legit site and more likely to be something dodgy.

    > Step 3: Have all browsers come with a little option to block all .xxx rated sites,

    > Am I missing something?

    Yes, you're missing all the sites in the grey areas between "not porn" and "porn".

    For a start *who* is going to get to define what "porn" is? You? Me? The Mary Whitehouse/ Religious Wrong Brigade?

    How are you going to ensure that all "porn" sites in the world adopt the .xxx domain? Just because a bunch of prudish Yanks want (or is it they don't want?) this domain, why should the rest of the world be forced to use it?

    And what about FHM/ Maxim/ all the other Lads Mags sites? Are they "porn"? Should they be lumped in with hardcore sites? If not, are they "dodgy"?

    And are people going to be forced to implement these filters? How are you going to stop tech savvy kids from bypassing them?

    And what about my business site? I sell BDSM gear. I don't sell porn. Why should I be forced to adopt an .xxx domain?

    Yes, you're missing a lot of somethings!

  63. Law

    this sucks

    So... they censor porn (or at least try).... but my guess is that the people for this type of censorship don't realise that the xbox 360 they stuck in their kids room, with the headset and a couple of 18rated games exposes them to alot more damage than an image of a naked woman playing with ping-pong balls!!

    Im 26, and I have such a hard time playing Gears of War online, mainly because I have 12 year old kids telling me they f**ked my mum last night, and that I'm a dirty n*gger, or a noob... At first, it was funny (sorta)... but the longer I spend online, the more kids there are doing this - and the more I realise that they are actually being serious. Parents who buy these games for their kids, then claim that the internet is corrupting their kids need to seriously look at whether they should be bringing anybody into the world when they obviously can't be trusted to protect them themselves! Whats worse is, one kid freaks out and kills somebody or attacks somebody and then the games industry is under-fire.... nobody questions where the kids got the games from in the first place.

    Censorship sucks... and it's a slippery slope... and usually it's the thick people who push the rest of us down that slope!

  64. Dave

    Thatcher v Prescott - eeuuuuggghhhh :-(((((

    Reminds me of the old saw about Dad makes son smoke an entire King Edward cigar to put him off smoking cigarettes - no idea if this worked for any child

    So not sure if forcing spotty-faced adolescents to watch Thatch and Prezzer going at it would work either...

    Did Thatch & Prezzer volunteer for this? or were they paid? Am I getting confused??

  65. Spike Ravenscroft

    @ Graham Marsden

    Apparently, what i'm missing is that you see think there should be some stigma attached to having an .xxx domain.

    Why?

    Thats the problem. Its not kids looking at porn, its adults trying to vilify sex instead of explaining and educating.

    A .xxx domain shouldn't be any different from a .org for charities etc.

    A little less prudery and a little more common sense should decide this easily.

    And i'm sure if Firefox can stop pop-ups it can stop .xxx domains from parents who chose. Certainly it seems to have an add-on for everything else.

    And perhaps a little more parental responsibility would stop the kids circumventing it.

    Computers Are Not Babysitters, y'all!

  66. Andy Bright

    Thank You Australia

    I for one am all for this - it's truly an excellent piece of technology.

    If I could get an anti-porn filter on my computer, keeping me safe from anything that stops the steady of flow of porn to my desktop, I'd be a happy person.

    As for people thinking that their ISPs and governments have no right to monitor their internet activity, you're having a laugh right?

    There is no such thing as privacy on the the internet. Almost every western country is on the verge of, or has already enacted, laws that stipulate ISPs store everything from chat room data to emails to the url histories associated with anyone with any sort of connection. Regardless of the huge burden of cost and impracticality of it all.

    If you've suddenly woken up to the fact that your government wants to peek at your 'net activity, you're a little behind the times.

    "Terrorism", "Red Alert", "Terrorism".. shit if that can get bozos around the world elected as presidents and prime ministers, then throwing in the odd "Child Porn" and "Paedophile" catch phrase can get just about any bill passed into law.

    Look spying on you is necessary to stop terrorists from setting off nuclear weapons in your capital and paedophiles from attacking children. I know you maybe a little offended by the implication, but that's the reasoning behind every one of these laws. Everyone is a potential terrorist and paedophile, and we have the right to listen, watch and read your every move until you prove us correct.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Step up, and take responsibility!

    As a parent of three kids, I think it's imperative that parents monitor, but also allow our children to make decisions regarding the internet. Granted, some things are quite disturbing, and I don't think I'd subject myself to the abuse, much less my kids. Thus, the reason for being able to lock certain sites, and have a firewall, and passwords, and access restrictions.

    However, this doesn't mean that I'm going to take everything away from them, and only feed them what I think they should see. There are two reasons for this:

    1) Spoonfeeding kids is WRONG! Let them think and grow for themselves! Don't make mini-robots of your children!

    2) Taking away choice eventually leads children to rebel in a serious way. The more you keep something away from your kids, the more focused they become in finding out what it is, and usually they tend to become obsessed with it.

    So unless you really want to drive your kids to be obsessive compulsive porn viewers, take the bull by the horns, and don't blow a gasket when the odd porn site or two comes on their email accounts.

    When this occurs, TALK TO YOUR KIDS! Discussion about the right and wrong way to view a person, how to communicate your needs and desires, and related topics should be the key, not the fact that there's an object on your screen that is vulgar and should be shunned. It's the human body, after all, and some of the most masterful artwork ever created showed the anatomy that we're so desperately trying to hide from our kids these days!

    Let your kids do the work. But don't force them to play by a specific set of rules. Because if you do, they'll end up playing against you every time!

  68. fon

    holland, france, etc are now just 'bored' by it...

    the only solution to 'stopping young minds being badly affected' by it, is to teach it at a young age, as part of school work!!

    5-year-olds in holland have seen all this, so when they accidentally find a porn page, will just say 'grrr! where was that game site!!<yawn> - also the amount of illegitamacy and other sex crimes are very low...

    It is the fault of the adults who cannot let go of thier prudery, and *still* are afraid to tell the poor girls *why* they get pregnant...

  69. Jason

    @Bert Ragnarok

    "at least not until they're adults."

    They won't become adults unless they can see these things, and learn from other peoples mistakes as well as their own.

  70. Graham Marsden

    @Spike Ravenscroft

    > what i'm missing is that you see think there should be some stigma attached to having an .xxx domain.

    Err, no, now you're missing my point entirely, because I don't think there "should" be some stigma, I'm telling you there *will* be some stigma!

    > Its not kids looking at porn, its adults trying to vilify sex instead of explaining and educating. [...]

    > A little less prudery and a little more common sense should decide this easily.

    I agree entirely, but the .xxx domain will have entirely the opposite effect because it *will* allow adults to "vilify sex instead of explaining and educating".

    All blocking it or anything else will do is to put off that "dreadful" moment when kids start asking awkward questions.

    Far better to explain to them *before* they find it out for themselves, but that's hardly likely to happen now and even less likely if anything vaguely salacious has a .xxx domain slapped on it.

  71. Graham Marsden

    @Andy Bright

    > spying on you is necessary to stop terrorists from setting off nuclear weapons in your capital and paedophiles from attacking children. I know you maybe a little offended by the implication, but that's the reasoning behind every one of these laws. Everyone is a potential terrorist and paedophile, and we have the right to listen, watch and read your every move until you prove us correct.

    *Please* tell me that this is, in fact, some subtle, satirical, irony you're using and that you don't actually *believe* this tosh!

  72. Scott

    Software ... tsk, tsk, tsk

    First of all, politicians are doing "their" best to stop "filth" from reaching kids.

    Once they wake up from "their clearly altered" perception of "reality", they will realize that software can be broken.

    Think about it. How many software products do you know have ways to circumvent their operation or security features?

    The only way this will stop is at the ISP end I can't see that happening anytime soon. But even then, it won't stop. Where there's a will, there's away.

    Congrats on the guy that broke it. Hopefully, this will send a clear message to the Gov't that this is a bad idea.

    But knowing the Aus Gov't, probably not. :(

    (Disclosure: Yes, I am from Australia.)

  73. fon

    in order: innocent >> uneducated >> foolish >> ignorant >> stupid >> politicians...

    Until they learn like a few countries have (germany, holland) that it **cannot** be stopped, but can be 'put in a special, legal area' (where full health care and employee law can keep conditions/rights very healthy and welcoming) then this totall stupidity will continue...

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019