Great Firewall of Australia

The Rudd government seems to think that they have to protect children from the dangers of the Internet. They're planning on doing this by filtering our Internet connections at the ISP level. They will provide two levels of filtering - one "kid safe" that you can opt out of, and another level that you CANNOT opt out of. This second level will block things the government think that even adults should not see (for example, child porn).

Sounds great, right? Wrong. There are several serious problems with this idea. First, no filtering software is perfect. When the government trialled various filtering systems a couple of months ago, the BEST of them still got it wrong far too often - when you scale up the trial to Australia-wide usage, it would be getting several thousand incorrect blockings PER SECOND. Imagine the load on the ISP help desks, not to mention the several thousand pissed off voters.

The other incredibly bone-headed issue with this filter is.. If you know where the kiddyporn sites are, why not shut them down? All this filter will do is force the pedos to bypass the filter (which will be easy, anybody can set up a VPN to the other side of the filter for $cheap). The contents of the filter blacklist WILL leak, so now you have a nice big list of kitty porn sites, and a now the people who want to view that kind of shit knows where to find it. Brilliant!

As for providing a safe internet for children, well the government already supplies free filtering software you can install on your home PC. Even this is no substitute for parental supervision.

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