back to article Australia's anti-smut internet filter blueprint lasts LESS THAN A DAY

Australia goes to the polls on Saturday to elect a new national government - but the likely winners of the election have just suffered an embarrassing reversal after a day during which they proposed, then withdrew, a plan for a national anti-smut internet filter. The proposal was contained in a policy document published today …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. RobHib

    Hell, not again!

    Oh, here we go again. The moment we put down these bloody moral campaigners, like weeds, they rise again. Kill them off now and next season they'll be back again with a vengeance.

    With the NSA et al and now the moral brigade mob, it really is time to brush off Tor. If everyone uses it, it'll get faster and eventually these PIAs might go away.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Hell, not again!

      Does Tor work well for Streaming Videos. I gather it sucks for BitTorrent though...

    2. cybersaur
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Hell, not again!

      Most Tor nodes are operated by the U.S. government.

    3. Steve Knox

      Re: Hell, not again!

      Tor? Are you sure?

      Have you read this?

      1. Oninoshiko

        Re: Hell, not again!

        Tor doesn't even work well at what its supposed to do.

        It doesn't conceal any identity against a government-level attacker, and likely only makes you a target for surveillance. Oh, and it slows down your traffic.

    4. wayward4now

      Re: Hell, not again!

      I would agree with the Moral Campaigners, if they would agree that the Internet is NOT a safe haven for minors. If they cannot give "genuine consent" then one would think that sites who pander to kids, while making a buck profiling them being groomed with targeted ads, in the exact same fashion of "objectifaction" that all abusers share in common then, for "The Safety of the Kids", keep them off of what is most decididly an Adult Social Media (the entire Internet), where "genuine consent" may be safely assumed among adults. Then, if they MUST access the web, then it would be by using a parent's or responsible adult's account , to gain access and THEY would assume all responsibility for the welfare of the minor, not the General Public who couldn't give a rat's about 'em. Ric

  2. Roo

    It doesn't bode well for the electorate if the "likely winners" can't even execute an elementary bait and switch. I guess they'll have to go to plan B which is ram it down the electorate's throat.

    1. Roger Stenning

      I take it that the "down the electorate's throat" was an intentional double entendre, right ?

      1. Roo

        @Roger Stenning

        Aye, it was intended, it seems to fit the circumstances neatly.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Yeah, they don't even make politicians like they used to.

      To hell in a handbasket and so on and so forth. . .

  3. Suricou Raven

    The NBN is really, really great...

  4. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    That plan calls for “an effective complaints system, backed by legislation, to get harmful material down fast from large social media sites”....It's also unclear how it would be possible to enforce such a law. The likes of Facebook and Twitter operate offices in Australia, but takedown requests could be ignored by their parent American companies.

    Yeah, but we'd all like to see the cops cuff a few Facebook Australia employees because their American overlords flouted the local laws...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      whose local laws?

      Those in the U.S. state of California?

  5. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

    So does a politician in the southern hemisphere doing a u-turn go in the opposite direction to one doing it in the northern hemisphere, like water down the plughole?

    Scientific minds need to know, 'cos we fed up with the political aspect of the whole lot of them.

  6. Tom 35

    Just posted too soon?

    I'm guessing they were going to post that after they won.

  7. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Why the F*** is it SOOO G*dam*d hard for Parents to Parent there Children?

    Keep the Computer in a place where you can monitor what your Kids are up to while on the Computer. Instead of letting them Play crappy COD Games (or as I like to call it Child On-Line Daycare) while using the most offensive foul language that would make an old salt blush.

    But, God forbid ya want to have a wank! I just hope no one down there uses Bing to search for videos! lol

    1. John G Imrie

      Apparently parenting is hard

      As a recent report pointed out that 4yo's where turning up to school in nappies as they had not been toilet trained.

      1. Duffy Moon

        Re: Apparently parenting is hard

        Potty training and computer skills should be included in the exam that prospective parents should be made to take before having children.

        Joke (or is it such a crazy idea?).

        1. Rukario
          Thumb Up

          Re: Apparently parenting is hard

          Scott Adams beat you to it (as he usually does)

    2. Northumbrian

      Q: "Why the F*** is it SOOO G*dam*d hard for Parents to Parent there Children?

      Keep the Computer in a place where you can monitor what your Kids are up to while on the Computer."


      A: It's possible, though surprisingly difficult, to monitor the computer use of your own children. Try, for example, watching the use a 5-year old is making of the computer whilst the 12-month old, who has just mastered crawling really quickly, is sampling the joys of "pulling himself up on the table where you've just put down the chillis in order to answer the door."

      No, the real problem comes when they're old enough to go round to their friend's house without you being present all the time. Or even swapping information in the playground. At that point you're dependent not just on your own parenting skills and standards, but that of the parents of all the other children in the school. And it's not just the parents of the children to whom your children are talking / swapping pictures - it's the parents of the children that those children talk to.

      Once they get to 10 years old, you have to start insisting on really strict, "who you may talk to" rules and sending them to religious academies where they'll get really unpleasant consequences for using naughty words or expressing unacceptable opinions. And THAT'S a cure worse than the disease.

      Otherwise you have to opt for home schooling and social isolation and there are not that many parents - at least in the UK - who are prepared to go down that route.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about the filters be off by default and let the filters be another tool for parents to use on their children's phones and computers.

    How about a software version of the V chip in TVs. Having similar chip built in phones isn't a bad idea either. Content providers could tag smut and let the phone or computers operating system do the filtering. Not fool proof but it would be a start.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Isn't that more or less the same thing?

      Parents need to stop using the XBOX, Phone, PC, the next iThingy as a distraction to keep their kids quiet.

      If they decided that its ok then they need to be held accountable for what their Kids get up (or in), to, and not you and I Sir!...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Parenting? It's not as simple as that.

        If a 12 or 14 year old (say) decides to look at something on their phone whilst upstairs in their room, or is calmly "doing homework" with the laptop on the sofa, or at the table, how does that mean the parent is "using the PC as a distraction to keep the kid quiet"?

        Honestly it's not as simple as you make out. Are you suggesting that I tell my child "don't dare touch that ipod unless I am looking over your shoulder" or "no you can't research your geography homework online unless I am there beside you the whole time".

        Having said that, I am not keen on mandatory ISP filtering, I prefer to run my own IPCop + Dan's Guardian on an IPCop box). That doesn't help with mobile internet though, or friends houses.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Parenting? It's not as simple as that.

          Christ if your that much of a prude to stop a 14 y/o looking at porn then yeah have fun with that.

          I'm talking about the little 8 y/o sh--s you have to put up with on XBL!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Parenting? It's not as simple as that.

            Not a prude but can we take it then that you disagree fundamentally with the whole 12-15-18 age rating thing that is done for movies etc ?

            There's a reason why some things are rated 18 and I don't need my 12-year old looking at it yet.

            1. Michael Habel Silver badge

              Re: Parenting? It's not as simple as that.

              And yet I bet your the kind of Person that lets their Kids loose on XBL playing COD, GTA (Insert other 18+ Game HERE) Take your morality and stick it poccko! thankfully I don't have any Kids (CAN'T FLIPPN STAND 'EM!) So how about you take some responsibility in being a Parent for Once. Instead of making life harder for everyone else? You don't need your Kids looking at filth? Just keep the Computer in the FREAKING LIVING ROOM! That should stop the buggers right in their tracks!

              Otherwise head down to Currys PC World and pick up the latest Net Nanny! Which I unfortunately gather also has an Android Version....

              1. David Nash

                Re: Parenting? It's not as simple as that.

                What on earth would cause you to surmise that I would do that (loose on XBL etc), given what I already posted? But you ignored most of what I posted anyway.

                Kids these days have ipods and many other devices that can access the web. They do homework online. Browsers have multi-tabbed windows and the ability to surf in secret. Even if they are in the living room, are you saying I have to be looking over their shoulder, constantly?

                Nothing is as simple as it first seems.

                And there's no need to shout. Jeez I am glad you're not a parent, talk about volatile! Of course if you were one you might appreciate the position of others rather than shouting from the sidelines on something you clearly have no experience of.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Parenting? It's not as simple as that.

                  Yes, you *do* have to look over their shoulders if you want that much control. I personally think you're wrong - my children have grown into healthy young adults despite looking at naked people. In fact, because I didn't make it a big deal, my eldest son looked at it, got bored, and spent the rest of the time on his laptop writing some suprisingly good books. I'm sure he still looks at porn, but I doubt it's anything like as much as I do.

                  Do you try to overhear all your kids conversations with their friends? If not, how do you know they are not talking about sex? By the time your kids are old enough (12 & 14) for you to find constantly looking over their shoulder a ridiculous idea, you should be accustomed to the idea that they will see nudity, violence, etc. and you should be ensuring that they are developing into normal healthy adults who have reasonable responses to such material, rather than engaging a futile attempt to stop them from encountering it. And if you do want to go to extreme lengths to stop them encountering it - those lengths should not affect my access to the internet, because it's *your* problem.

              2. Suricou Raven

                Re: Parenting? It's not as simple as that.

                The age ratings have some flaws. The US-issued ratings are generally very tough on sex, but almost ignore violence. A few bloody impalings, decapitations and bisections will get you up to a 16 - but glimpse a nipple for a moment and it's instant 18.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Parenting? It's not as simple as that.

                  > A few bloody impalings, decapitations and bisections will get you up to a 16 - ...

                  If would certainly explain the seemingly maniacal desire of the US military to blow up people in the Middle East.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Parenting? It's not as simple as that.

            'I'm talking about the little 8 y/o sh--s you have to put up with on XBL!'

            Funny, I thought most kids grew out of Xbox by age 14 anyway?

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        I say this also should extend to these "Stories" we hear about when little Timmy and Susie WhoLue rack up $4000.00(USD) of Debt whilst playing whatever it is they play on said iThingies. While Momy's busy watching TV....

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quantum politics

    The mind boggles as to why you'd prepare a policy statement that's the exact opposite of your actual* policy (because "poorly worded" doesn't even come close to an excuse, not even by politicians' low standards).

    Perhaps it's an example of quantum politics, where you can have two diametrically opposed policies at the same time. I could see that appealing to politicians as it means they could avoid all that messy lying and always win the election (in some universes, at least).

    *For some value of actual.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Quantum politics

      I don't know Osamba did try to weasel out of his "Red Line" remark a Day or Two ago.

      Stating that it was a "Red Line" that the "World" had set before he opened his Mouth. So lets not underestimate those weaselly Politicians just yet...

      1. Steve Knox

        Re: Quantum politics

        I don't know Osamba did try to weasel out of his "Red Line" remark a Day or Two ago.

        Stating that it was a "Red Line" that the "World" had set before he opened his Mouth.

        1. You're getting off-topic here, but:


      2. Bernard M. Orwell

        Re: Quantum politics

        "Osamba"? Really?

        Up to this point I just thought you were just a bit shouty and illiterate....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quantum politics

      Just goes to show, it's the same people behind the scenes, it's just the puppets that change.

  10. kneedragon

    To tell the truth, I'm a little bit relieved. I seem to remember hearing something about this nearly a year ago, and I've been dreading it. I thought it was a done deal. To have it fall over at this late hours is a bit of a bonus. Now if we can just get the libs to take on the fibre-to-the-home version of the ABN, I can nearly live with with Tony Abbot for a term or two. I'd like to think that won't be needed, but I fear it is going to happen.

    Oh, and to answer an earlier post, which way do politicians rotate in the bowl up there?

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      IIRC Counter Clockwise....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I'm all for fast internet, but I also want the installation to be fast. 6 years I've sat and watched the progress of this NBN, and for 6 years of work, it's pretty pathetic.

      At least with the coalition's stepped approach the rollout will speed up. And long term it could cost a little more to roll out, but it will be making money by then unlike Labors fibre still sitting in a warehouse.

  11. Graham Marsden

    As has recently been achieved in the United Kingdom...

    ... really? Did I miss something? Exactly when was the following achieved?:

    * involve mobile phone operators installing adult content filters on phones which will be switched on as the default unless the customer proves he or she is at least 18 years of age; and

    * involve major internet service providers providing home network filters for all new home broadband services, which will be switched on as the default unless the customer specifies otherwise.

    Unless by "achieved" they actually mean "comprehensively demonstrated to be utterly impossible to introduce or enforce"...

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: As has recently been achieved in the United Kingdom...

      Most mobile phone operators already do the former and have done for some reason, as I found out trying to access an entirely innocent writing website.

      Which just goes to show that these content filters are stupid anyway.

      Who would have thought?

    2. PaulR79

      Re: As has recently been achieved in the United Kingdom...

      If you missed it then I missed it too but knowing this clown infested government anything is possible.

      With regards to mobile networks blocking crap it is nothing but money gathering for them. I had a content lock on with Vodafone and the only way to remove it was to pay £1 to which hey say "but we give you £2 credit for that". The worst part of that is that my content lock somehow came back and even though they admitted it had been removed before the only option available was for me to pay the same £1 before being told once again, unhelpfully, that "we'll give you £2 credit". I left Vodafone at the end of the contract for other reasons but the fact that shit like that goes on made me want to avoid them in the future.

  12. Craig Foster

    This is from the same political party that wants to re-edit school curriculum to whitewash the left-of-right Labor party from history. Or espousing Christian values while cutting refugee intake and humanitarian aid.

    I think this document was a planned release from the Department of Newspeak, just it was prematurely released before the DoNS could reveal itself.

    1. Northumbrian

      "This is from the same political party that wants to re-edit school curriculum"

      I've only just seen this gem passed by the South Dakota House of Representatives in 2010 (though the language if not the sentiment was later amended by a - presumably - more educated or informed Senate):

      .. the South Dakota Legislature urges that instruction in the public schools relating to global warming include the following: ...

      (2) That there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological [sic], thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect [sic] world weather phenomena and that the significance and interrelativity of these factors is largely speculative;

      I understand that Tony Abbott is - let us say - not in favour of any sort of action on climate change and that he has been known as a Young Earth Creationist. Perhaps he'd be in favour of re-modelling the Ozzie school curriculum to reflect his point of view. Teach Genesis along side the geology text books and let the students make up their own minds about mountain building and rock formation.

  13. Anonymous John

    "Poorly worded " = "We meant to publish this after the election".

  14. Frankee Llonnygog

    A simple policy

    Web browsers Down Under can't show anything down under

  15. asdf


    And here I thought ALEC sneaking in draconian fine print at the last minute was mostly an American thing. Oh well any time the tiny "moral (you know god wants me to be rich)" minority gets it ass handed to it you have to cheer.

  16. asdf


    There is a reason why Australia and the US are such buddies. Birds of a right wing religious crazy feather ...

  17. Captain DaFt

    Two types of pedos out there

    One wants to abuse bodies, the other wants to abuse minds.

    The first ends up arrested, the second elected.

    Both cause life-long damage.

    I find both Abhorrent.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We will introduce nationally agreed default..."

    Agreed by whom?

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: "We will introduce nationally agreed default..."

      Have you not been following the democratic process all these years. First there is a solution which places greater power in the hands of grubyment low lifes, usually at the behest of other low lifes who seek to profit. Then a demonstrable problem that impacts very few in any significant way is discovered followed by a national debate in which selected opposing views are publicised and ridiculed. Then there is a vote that almost no one can attend and finally a law brought in by people scared to be seen as soft on whatever the problem was or who would otherwise only be able to point to a record of complete non-achievement in their careers and would therefore have nothing to say in post retirement books or speaking circuits. The Westminster system at its finest, everyone has a voice but no one is listening.

  19. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    nationally agreed default safety standards

    How are they going to get everyone in the nation to agree on anything?

  20. Don Jefe

    Cheer Up

    At least some of your politicians read the policy before signing laws enforcing its precepts. That's what happens here (US) all the time and the politicians are stuck having to defend things they didn't even bother to know they had supported. So maybe there's hope?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Who's gonna decide what's acceptable anyway? Me or Mrs. Grundy?

  22. Herby

    The old adage goes:

    The internet sees censorship as lossage, and routes around it.

    Good luck!

  23. MacGyver

    Are people not concerned that the only way to "filter" content going to your home has to be at some level to "read" it first. What is their plan, filter for naughty words? Check to see if the picture is more than 75% beige? Filter for moaning noises? Block all pages not "registered" in a government database?

    Some people think that other people want this?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > a Facebook page listing the number plates of unmarked police cars

    Who watches the watchers?

    We do apparently, and they don't like it one bit.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020