Australian Christian Lobby renews call for internet filter

Australian Christian Lobby renews call for internet filter

Summary: The Australian Christian Lobby is seeking to revive the dormant mandatory internet filter issue.

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The lobby group claiming to represent Australia's Christian community has reignited calls for the Australian government to implement a mandatory internet filtering scheme.

Australian Christian Lobby spokesperson Wendy Francis said that the government should review children's access to online pornography.

"Talking to students about what they see online is important, but is too little, too late. It is important to prevent unwanted access to pornography in the first place," Francis said. "We must protect our children from forming unhealthy attitudes towards women and sex."

The government shelved its plans for a mandatory internet filter last year after reaching a compromise with Optus, Telstra, and CyberOne to implement a voluntary internet filter that blocks access to the Interpol blacklist of the "worst of the worst" of child abuse websites.

The government had previously pledged to continue down the path of mandatory internet filtering once a review of the classification system was completed. However, it has been eight months since the review was released, with a recommendation that the definition of the content to be blocked under a mandatory filter should be narrowed to exclude sexual fetish-type material and minor criminal activities such as graffiti or use of proscribed drugs.

Under such a proposal, the content that the Australian Christian Lobby wants blocked would not be part of the blacklist.

In March, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said that the voluntary filtering scheme was going well, and that he had been in discussions with other internet service providers (ISPs) about implementing the voluntary filter.

"We're in a situation where we're having some discussions with the industry association, and I think we may come to a very positive outcome," Conroy said in March.

While Telstra and Optus have voluntarily implemented the filter, other ISPs such as Internode have refused to follow suit, saying that it will only act when the government forces them to.

Topics: Australia, Networking

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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15 comments
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  • anywherehome

    that's not about pornography, that's about free speech! be aware of that!
    anywherehome
    • Wow

      Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home)
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      LanceRose30
  • This Is Why You Should Not Found Your Morality On Religion

    End of story.
    ldo17
    • Re: This Is Why You Should Not Found Your Morality On Religion

      Wow, two flags already. Well, you religious wankers can bugger off.
      ldo17
  • Get out of my country.

    Oh my god, would this group of pathetic people just leave this country already. These pieces of crap are actually a drain on society and are pushing to rewind our development. Something should be done about these people.
    AzHunter
    • Where would they go?

      Did you read their article? http://www.acl.org.au/2012/11/mr-blocking-child-abuse-material-does-not-obviate-need-for-filtering-legislation/

      The thing about your democratic right to tell the culture that largely built western civilization to leave is your right. However, they also have the democratic right to express an opinion that flies in your face. They have to deal with these kind of opinions and you have to deal with a radically opposing one. Get over with it. We live in Australia and last time I checked we had the right to express a view. Every church, religion and those who hate them share the same right. Democracy. https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Democracy&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1&redir_esc=&ei=rHWcUMygIuWjiAf43IAI
      ttremeth
      • Re: Where would they go?

        Very good post, ttremeth. This is exactly the sort of thing that tests our commitment to free speech. As an affirmed atheist I believe religion has no place in politics and I'd also like to silence this vociferous bunch of religious fundamentalists as well.

        So whenever I feel like that, I just remind myself of the famous line: "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend with my life your right to say it." And this is exactly the kind of case where this principle matters most; when one's desire to silence a fanatic seems otherwise perfectly reasonable, we must remember it is NEVER reasonable to deny anyone the right to speak, no matter how obnoxious we think they are.
        Mystikan
  • Even the US Christo-Taliban hasn't tried this!

    But, if it goes through in Australia, I'm sure they'll agitate for mandatory filtering in the US. Of course, they'll also want "input" on what is being filtered. The Iranian mullahs would be so proud.
    bkshort@...
  • Do it yourself

    Just get a free account at opendns.com and filter all the computers in your home.
    benched42
  • WTF

    First of all I wish to see the signatures of the 11,000,000 plus Christians who are represented by this group. I could claim to be a lobby group representing The People Who Flip Their Pillow to the Cool Side but in reality be speaking for just myself.

    Secondly, monitor your own Internet usage. I never, never arrive at a Dumbass Religious, Narrow-Minded Zealot Society by mistake. So you folks can avoid all those sites that have the phrase "gosh dang" on them by your own. I don't need your misguided self-righteousness saving me from hell!
    sircuit
  • Block ACL instead

    Conroy should add the ACL website to the Interpol blocklist
    wakieAU
  • Protecting children

    Wendy Francis wants to "....protect our children from forming unhealthy attitudes towards women and sex." This is excellent news, when is she shutting down the ACL?
    Cowcakes
  • I wonder if...

    Wendy Francis would join in the call for a Royal Commission (and not the pseudo commission nonsense currently proposed by the NSW govt.) investigating the sex abuse scandal that a certain Christian church/organisation had great pleasure in bestowing on actual children at the hands of their actual pastoral guardians.

    Would she whole-heartedly support such an investigation into a very real documented threat while making her call for mandatory filtering, or is she a hypocrite?

    The fact of the matter is that if you own a net connection and have young children you should exercise your authority as a parent and filter your kids access or ensure that the family computer(s) are in a highly visible place in the house at least. Such measures can be conducted without a federal mandate and will be more effective than any national scheme since parents can control access to the router.

    The time to be ignorant of the configuration of routers is long over. Parents can either be responsible and manage this themselves or withdraw net access from their kids. Instead of lobbying through an increasingly irrelevant religious organisation.
    Kosmos Agamemnon
    • No Need to Wonder...

      Nothing to investigate here, those innocent clergy just became confused about the difference between Pray & Prey where children are concerned.
      grump3
  • Sounds like a call for religious law...

    Separation of church and state is required here.

    When a religious group demands censorship based on their perception of morals they immediately remove the freedom of religion from all others.

    History repeatedly warms of the disaster when the politics of church and state mix.
    Scott W-ef9ad