Minchin on Internet Filtering

Finally someone from the coalition has actually stated what a lot of people believe, that the federal governments proposed internet filtering plan will fail. Nick Minchin writes in todays SMH about how parents must play the most important role in providing supervision for their children:

This crucial capability must not be neglected in favour of an unproven filtering concept experts say will be easy to get around, will not block some offensive content while blocking some acceptable sites, and will slow down the internet for everyone in the process.

Wouldn’t the $40 million earmarked for the compulsory filtering policy be better spent on funding and resources for law enforcement, to better equip agencies to strike at the heart of child pornography production and distribution?

I feel a bit weird today actually agree with Minchin’s article, but if the coalition starts to act like this more often then I might be more inclined to listen to them.

No decent Australian would argue against the broad aim of making the online world as safe as possible. But Labor’s fixation with compulsory, centralised filtering – which tells parents they are incapable of protecting their children – is not the answer.


18 Responses

  1. Joni,

    Minchin was saying the same thing before Christmas:


  2. I think all of us know the pitfalls with the internet.

    I also think all of us appreciate the benefits of the internet.

    Any type of censoring will no doubt massively effect the legitimate and beneficial aspects of this technology.

    The only type of censoring should be parental control. Parents take ownership of what your child is doing on the net, teach them how to protect themselves form predators, explain to them the reasons they should NEVER give out addresses, phone numbers or any other family details over the internet.

    The government need to back off on this one.

    I totally agree with Nick Minchin, however the current opposition also seem to have a short memory as the election before last they were spruking control via nanny programmes a pet of John Howard which slowly died an unatural death and became optional.

  3. But Michin does seem to be changing his opposition from one of technical feasability to parental responsibility.

  4. Possibly the only time that Tricky Nicky & myself will be in agreement.

    Big kudos from me if the ‘tards can put a spanner in the works & curtail Conroy’s wowserish lunacy.

  5. Can I just mention that Nick Minchin’s a w@nker.

  6. I’d like to second reb’s astute judgement & add that he is also a “pro-business@ any cost” c*nt of a human being.

  7. No you cannot!

  8. A quick example. If sites containg the word “SEX” are banned then the following words will ban all those sites applicable to Astronomy, Astrology,Radiation,Book Binding etc,etc

    1) Sextant – An instrument used in Astronomy.
    2) Sextans – A Constellation next to Leo.
    3) Sexradiate- Six rays dealing with radiation.
    4) Sextern – 6 gathered sheets folded in 2 for binding together.

    Many more but just a few.

  9. (WARNING: More sensetive readers should not click on the link, and it’s definitely NOT SAFE FOR WORK.)

    I’ve noticed a certain word slowly creeping into the vocabulary here. In fact, in other places it seems to have become an acceptable part of everyday language.

  10. ToSY… just made the warning bold…

  11. (You could have tidied up the spelling while you were at it.*sensitive* ;-))

  12. Tony


  13. Oops – my internal spell check is not working.

  14. Minchin’s first sentence reveals his intent:

    “Underlying the Rudd Government’s plan to screen the Internet is an offensive message: that parents cannot be trusted to mind their children online.”

    Get it, the Rudd government thinks parents can’t be trusted. Only Rudd et al never said that and if they had Minchin would prodide the money quote. He doesn’t because it doesn’t exist.

    He provides one quote:

    “central to the Government’s plan to make the internet a safer place for children”.

    One might add that governments of all colours try to assist parents in raising children whether that be through film classification, TV program classification, magazine classification, labels on poisons, special containers for chemicals and so on. Parents expect governments to assist with rearing children.

    Is a law that demands children go to school another example of government not trusting parents? is a law that bans the sale of tobacco and alchol to minors also an example of governments not trusting parents.

    While I think Conroy is off with the fairies and his efforts are doomed, it’s a bit rich that Minchin is now running from a direction his government was at least exploring. Sure the internet is diferent and the only answer lies with the parents but a recent survey showed that nearly half of the punters thought it was a good idea to censor the internet.

    The government must appear to be trying. BTW, I hope Minchin and other pollies who write for newspapers pay for the space.

  15. That should be ‘alcohol’

  16. Tony @ 11.17

    That link was priceless!

  17. Interetsing – the US Supreme Court has blocked the US Child Online Protection Act as a violation of the right to free speech.


  18. Rigels, on January 22nd, 2009 at 6:50

    Yeah, they have a Bill Of Rights over there – something we are in real need of here if we don’t want more of the Conroy censorship and the Howard human rights type of abuses. It’s time to make our rights and freedoms inviolate, not to be horsetraded, removed or abused by whatever gaggle of politicians happens to be in charge in Canberra.

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