Protect the Children!

The wowsers are back. Apparently we are going to join China and Saudi Arabia by censoring the Internet. All to protect children from the horrors of Internet porn:

EVERY Australian with an Internet connection could soon have their web content automatically censored.

The restrictions are planned by the Federal Government to give greater protection to children from online pornography and violent websites.
Under the plan, all Internet service providers will have to provide a “clean” feed to households and schools, free of pornography and other “inappropriate” material.
Australians who want uncensored access to the web will have to contact their Internet service provider and “opt out” of the service.
Online civil libertarians yesterday warned the freedom of the internet was at stake, while internet providers were concerned the new measures could slow the internet in Australia to a crawl.
They said it was a measure usually associated with oppressive regimes and was no alternative to proper parental monitoring.
But Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said everything possible had to be done to shield children from violent and pornographic online material.
“We have always argued more needs to be done to protect children,” he said. Senator Conroy said the clean feed, also known as mandatory ISP filtering, would prevent users from accessing prohibited content. ……
The previous government made a free internet filter available but us children can’t be counted on to use it, so censorship is the answer. Yeah, right. Call me a cynic but the fact that minor party politicians like Family First’s Steve Fielding will be controlling the balance of power in the new Senate may have something to do with it.

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