I’ve taught computing for the last ten years and a lot of this has been to parents. I’ve made a point of teaching them how to help their children when they’re using the Internet. Just like you have rules or limits for everything else with your kids you need to set up rules for Internet use too. www.cybersmart.gov.au is the government’s new online safety website. It doesn’t look as good to me as the old www.netalert.gov.au which is still up but doesn’t contain the good content it used to. I might have a look and see if I’ve still got some of their printed materials.
Don’t get me wrong, if you choose to use Internet filtering software at home for your family then that’s entirely up to you. That’s your choice. 🙂 If you do use it just remember it’s not the entire solution.
I think everyone should be able to choose for themselves what Internet content is suitable for them and their family. I would hate to see censorship and filtering go overboard and start blocking websites dependent on their religious beliefs or if they criticise the government. Homeschooling is illegal in some countries the Australian government might decide to filter out pro-homeschooling websites.
When you think about it has censorship of any kind ever really worked? Did burning books work? People will always find another way.
The government is pushing the need for a filter as ‘Child Protection’ but it isn’t actually going to protect children and here is why:
A web page can be made and uploaded to the world wide web in an hour or so. I doubt that the government’s filter can keep up with the thousands of webpages being uploaded every day. Google can’t, so how can our government?
Illegal material is most often shared via peer to peer file sharing and in chat rooms. Kids know how to use peer to peer file sharing and will access content if they want to. The government’s filtering system will not prevent this from happening.
We stand to join a small club of countries which impose centralised Internet censorship such as China, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The secret blacklist may be limited to “Refused Classification” content for now, but what might a future Australian Government choose to block?
This quote is from the Great Australian Internet Blackout website:
There are sites uploaded all the time to teach kids how to bypass filtering such as www.beatfiltering.com
Please research this issue for yourself and see what you think!