back to article Oz cans porn filtering trial

A proposed net content filtering trial which was supposed to begin protecting Tasmanian surfers from smut last year was canned after ISPs Telstra and Optus refused to play ball, The Australian reports. The main tech supplier for the government-championed pornbusting operation, Internet Sherrif, intended to demonstrate "if it …


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  1. Stuart Van Onselen

    Surely not?

    Are they talking about a voluntary scheme whereby you can elect to block all porn on your connection, say, for the sake of your kids?

    Or are they talking about preventing (eventually) all Australian adults from ever seeing 'net porn?

    This article implies the latter, but I just can't wrap my head around the idea of a modern democracy imposing that sort of censorship on the 'net.

    It's simply outrageous!

    Just when did Oz join the US Bible Belt? I must have missed the news of the annexation.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not?

    Ahh, the war on pornography. Good luck to them. After all, the federal government has sent troops into the Northern Territories to take the spanglemags of the Abos. I wonder what they have in store for the topless chicks on the city beaches?

  3. David


    Oz has always been in the bible belt. They just think that they're not.

  4. Karl Lattimer

    Yet another christian lobby group?

    Take this guy for instance

    He told us of the evils of drugs, homosexuality and paw naw gra phee. Then he's found in bed with a 16yr old boy in possession of angel dust! There's nothing wrong with porn, well maybe some of it but looking at the state of the porn industry on the net I'd rather it stayed and drove new development as it does than be blocked by some holier than thou hypocrite like Reverend Ted Haggard!

    Or is it that internet porn is killing the print/video porn industry in Oz and like las vegas and gambling they want to ban it to drive people back to spending money the way the gov wants them to.

  5. Andy


    ...because it's obvious to everyone if something is porn or not, right? Okay, most internet porn is obvious because it's tacky. But all pictures of naked people have to be porn, right? So that's okay; they can do that.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well then...

    ...I'm now *glad* that my attempts to emigrate to Oz, back in 2000/2001, were unsuccessful. I can live without my biltong and my Mrs Balls Chutney, but I sure as hell can't survive without my porn!

    BTW, Haggard was caught with an adult male prostitute, not a 16yo. And it was meth, not PCP. Please don't trust Wikipedia, especially on highly-emotive subjects.

  7. Steve


    Lester, you really need to provide for links for background!

    The trial was designed so that ISPs would offer users two services :

    1. Uncensored internet

    2. Internet without the porn or "extreme violence", for which the user would pay an extra fee of about $2.50

  8. Trevor Pearson

    I wonder

    If they did put a 'porn' filter on , and one ISP didn't how many people would change supplier ?

  9. Chris Collins


    What happens if you want "pornographic and offensive internet content"? Surely this is just people being killjoys.

    I do think taking the Abbos' booze and scud away was outrageous. Clearly the Australians believe taking away people's wanking fodder will cure whatever plague they are suffering. I can only get an erection if it involves midgets and donkeys so my life would be ruined.

    Oh, and we have Mrs Ball's chutney in Tesco's here. There's a bar job with your name on it...

  10. Steve

    Re: I wonder

    Based on the article, not enough to make a business case. The ISPs didn't play ball, which means they calculated it would cost them more to maintain the filter than they would make from selling the service.

  11. leslie

    who cares?

    I cant say I would care if my ISP filtered all the porn, but where would it stop, filtering p2p, block *.mp3, *.divx, no I can do without the porn, but I cant do without my unfiltered connection.

    Vote with ones feet and dont take supply from any filtered company

    Before anyone shouts if you had children etc, I have, a few, and I have taken the time to explain the net to them, and that if they ever see something they think is inappropriate for them, they should close the page. (after book marking it for me so I can pass judgement later....)

  12. andywebsdale


    Wikipedia says meth + prostitute as well ,God knows where PCP came from

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Handy list

    For and extra AU$5.00 can I get uncensored internet access and a list of sites which they are blocking? As it would save all the bother of having to find them myself.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Handy List

    is a dandy idea. That would be great to pay an additional fee for access to the list of blocked content.

  15. heystoopid


    Wowsers ! , it is so easy to by pass all net filters that some days I really wonder why these wankers try to impose their own narrow minded views!

    Strangely , organizations like Recording Asses of America and it's various wholly owned mouth pieces and bribe taking politicians like those in the current ruling party within Canada , indicate that the volumes of data well in excess of the Internet via illegal file sharing is consuming most if not the entire bandwidth of the Internet , so just how much room is there left for porn to occupy?

    Or is it like much in todays new 21st century in which Propaganda and fiction rule !

    Our collective police forces have failed to stem the ever increasing tide of thousands of tonnes of illicit drugs flooding in from countries now under direct rule by US Military Forces and CIA sponsored warlords (co-incidence or a black hat job?) In one new FBI report shows the cost to all citizens of some 3.8 billion dollars annually in blue collar crime and corporate crime cost some 38 billion dollars more with little or no punishment meted out against the white collar theft , or of greedy lawyers plundering 50 million dollars from the billion dollar ground zero fund set up to provide the sickness benefits to all World Trade Ground Zero workers(it explains why Michael Moore deliberately included some of these people in his new movie Sicko!)!

    As for Aussie PM John Howard sending in Army Reservists and the ever thinner blue line of the 9 to 5 grossly undermanned Federal Police Force into indigenous reserves to enforce his new direct rule by decree and steal children at risk thus recreating another stolen generation and restarting the whole vicious cycle yet again , for the next generation to endure .

    Alas , history tells us that all Church and State based Indigenous Welfare and vocational training programs for well over 200 years since first Crown Colonization in the country , along with all Federal attempts post Federation 1901, were riddled extensively with scandals of the same identical type they seek to alleviate that beset todays Aboriginals reserves and encampments scattered across the country in remote areas and within many cities as well..

    All bets are saying once the current new Federal Australian Election is concluded at the close of the polls , the Federal presence will vaporize at the same time , as it will fail like all other previous direct Stalinist rule without representation schemes!

    Wankers , wowsers and Chicken Little's that cry wolf and make mountains out of mole hills , will this new century lead us back to slavery and serfdom controlled by absolute despotic rulers or enlightenment in the age of universal information at one finger tips?

  16. Dillon Pyron

    Hundreds a day

    Porn sites pop up by the hundreds everyday. Filters would have to be updated every few seconds.

    I recently saw where porn makes more money than the rest of the net combined. I kind of doubt it, but I wouldn't be surprised to find them much higher than the rest.

  17. pondscum

    The real story.

    Tasmanian politicians wanted to filter "fun stuff" at the ISP, thus preventing their constituents (the inbred lot) from any contact with porn.

    Helen Coonan wants to supply "net nanny" type software free of charge to all Australian households so they can make up their own minds as to whether to censor or not. That is, the parents are responsible. What a shock, parents being responsible for their kids.

    A lot of difference,

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They already censor everything else...

    Many in America (maybe elsewhere?) see Australia as a pretty progressive country, but contrary to what many people think, they sure are pretty liberal about their ideas of "freedom of speech." I'm not saying that the American government is great at respecting our first constitutional ammendment, but at least it doesn't blatantly admit to censoring what we see, hear, or read. The Australian government has long censored movies and video games, and individual states have banned the sale of movies receiving an X rating. That's state sponsored censorship. Perhaps idiot ideas like this don't seem too oppressive to the good old Australians, but it sounds very Orwellian to me. If any government arm in the US spoke about banning video games because of how violent they were, or movies because of how much sex they showed, I can guarantee that most of our citizens would be itching to utilize their 2nd ammendment rights.

  19. Anthony Horton

    Am I the only one?

    I read the headline as 'Oz cans pom filtering trial'. Effective pom filtering would be even more of a technological challenge than porn filtering.

  20. the Jim bloke Silver badge

    ISP filtering can be commercially viable

    Firstly, they charge users a premium to access unfiltered content. which is what the users are actually after.

    Secondly, they charge websites a fee to not be blocked - I think hotmail does something like this already for emails -

    Thirdly, they provide an alternative ISP thats going to catch all the people who refuse to accept censored content.

    As gangsters and extortionists know, you can always make money by getting between people and what they want.

    On some of the other replies, Sure the police and army arent going to solve the aboriginal child abuse etc etc.. but at least they will do some (however minute) good, which is more than the big fat negative which all the aboriginal groups and social theorists have accomplished. If the aboriginal communities did some self-policing instead of covering up, they might have prevented things reaching this stage.

    "Stealing" the children is the best thing that can be done for them now.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Freedom of Speech?

    I see people speaking about freedom of speech in Australia all the time, however there is NO freedom of speech laws here in Australia. There never has been any FOS laws. The government is allowed to censor whatever they want for this exact reason.

    Also, hardcore pornography has been illegal in every state and territory (except ACT) for decades, I'd say they're just trying to enforce it now.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @the jim bloke

    Sure filtering can be commercially viable. But not if you are in incumbent telco building a multiservice network.

    For starters, how do you tell video porn from pay TV?

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