Posted by: peterhact | April 7, 2010

My turn to comment on the Filter

Everyone has put in their two bob on the filter. Now, it is my turn. The Government’s proposed solution to combat kiddy abuse is to abuse the rest of us. Fantastic idea. I am amazed that there isn’t a bigger idea to set the internet to pass through a filter that prevents online purchases from any stores other than Australian ones. Or have I jumped the gun?

The best protection for people to have in regard to access to bad information is self filtering. If you don’t want to be called by telemarketers, you can invent ways to stop them calling you, or join the Do not call register. I prefer working out ways to dissuade them from calling me. much more fun. But for many people, the DNC register is worthwhile. They opted in for it.

The same should apply to the internet. If you want your information filtered, why should the rest of us have to be filtered too? There should be an opt – in for the filter, and leave the rest of us alone. There are sites that i visit that have links to suspect ones – I choose not to follow the link. I don’t need a Government official looking over my shoulder to see where i am going and what I am viewing. I am a big boy, nearly 40 years old.

A security analyst pointed out something that was really obvious to me – after he pointed it out, it was obvious. Why is the Government talking about filtering the internet when the security community haven’t attempted the same thing yet? I mean, if the security community thinks this is a massive failure before it is off the ground, what hope does the filter have?

He also mentioned that the best way to prevent kids seeing inappropriate material in your home is for you to regulate their usage, using COTS packages that are designed to protect and prevent your kids from accessing sites and for the bad people from contacting your kids via chat and other mediums. You cannot prevent them seeing the information at a friend’s house, but the filter wouldn’t be a magic bullet, they would still see stuff you don’t want them to somewhere else.

He also started laughing about email scanning. How can i say to my mother, via email as I do now, “I love you” if “love” is a targeted word? How can I fill in a web form that asks me for my sex, male or female? What happens if i want to view a breast on a breast cancer site not in australia for identifying what it actually looks like when breast cancer is visible on the skin, and the image is deemed offensive to someone else?

Why can’t the Government just give every household a piece of software that protects them if they want it to, but puts the ball firmly in their court, not hold the Government accountable? (probably couldn’t use “ball” it would be blocked)

There is one other thing that the Government should be considering. What if it all goes wrong and a child views something that they wouldn’t have previously – as the parents are now relaxed about the internet – after all, the Government has taken care of that for you, why should you care where your kids are going, it is all safe now…

Who will be blamed? The Government. Who will be sued? the Government. And who ultimately will pay? The Taxpayer. Not very good when election time rolls around, is it?

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