Australian Government Ruling Draws Fire
By Staff
In Australia, the Vice-President for the New South Wales Council For Civil Liberties has claimed that the nation’s new proposed Internet censorship laws would not stop computer-savvy children from looking at banned sites, including online casinos and pornography.

Due to come into affect January 20, the new rules are designed to restrict access to age restricted content either hosted in or provided from Australia and apply to most service providers supplying content via a carriage service. The nation’s new Labour Government justified the new policy after claiming that the previous Government’s proposal of supplying free NetNanny software to all households who wanted it wouldn’t adequately protect children.

The new rules require that Internet service providers supply ‘clean feeds’ excluding any age restricted content with users then able to ‘opt-out’ and not receive the censored feed.

However, the Council’s David Bernie has called the plan ‘political grandstanding’ and a ‘gimmick’ that is being sold as protecting the public from pornography but would instead lull parents into a false sense of security. He also stated that the legislation had serious implications for freedom of expression and would discourage parents from monitoring their children's Internet activities.

'It is a gimmick,' Bernie said.

'It's been sold to the public as protecting children from pornography but what is dangerous about these filters is that parents will think their children can't access pornography on the Internet when in fact they can. Anybody who's computer-savvy can work their way around these filters in about two minutes maximum.

“Only adults would be restricted by the filters. Will there be some database of people who want to access adult pornography, which is legal in most democratic countries?'

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