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News Article

Can internet filters ever be a good thing?
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

“The internet censorship warriors are girding their loins for the fight against the latest bill requiring filters at internet provider (IP) level,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.  “They appear to believe that internet filters are the ultimate evil – blocking citizens’ ‘absolute right’ to view whatever they want for free, regardless of the cost to movie owners or the collateral damage to some viewers, especially children, from websites promoting hardcore porn, suicide or terrorism.”

Chris Berg from the Institute of Public Affairs is the latest to attack the Abbott government’s Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill on the ground that it is internet censorship.  Many tweeters agree with him.

“But what none of them seem to recognise is the harm done by some websites,” Ros Phillips said.  “Rates of online porn-induced sex assaults, by children on other children, are skyrocketing in Australia and elsewhere.  Many of these assaults are by children who have seen hardcore porn on others’ mobile phones that parents cannot control. 

“The children then try out what they have seen on their siblings.  Parents are too ashamed to report them.  But the children are doing permanent damage.

“Default IP-level filters – where customers must “opt out” of the filtered service if they want to view sites promoting porn, suicide, anorexia etc – are surely the minimum governments can require in order to protect children.

“Next week, Pippa Smith and Miranda Suit from Safermedia in the UK will visit Australia to tell how 90% of UK IPs have been persuaded to offer default filters to all customers.  The system is not perfect, but it is a big step in the right direction.

“Australians – including the federal government, not to mention Chris Berg – would do well to take note!”


  • Family and parenthood

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