[Offtopic] Free government pornography filter

Stephen Digby digby.stephen.p at edumail.vic.gov.au
Sun Aug 26 10:46:02 EST 2007

 The Australian Government seems to be hell-bent on wasting money on an ineffective home and ISP filter systems which are very
likely to be bypassed easily by simple strategies including the huge and growing number of "anonymous proxy" sites.
These sites provide a window within a window. The school, home or government computer registers that the user has gone to the proxy
site..... and stayed there. The inner window then allows the user to go anywhere, look at anything without any trace.....
As in so many areas of law enforcement (in or outside school), the only real deterrent is a "climate of fear" regarding severe and
public punishment for offenders caught by traditional methods - surveillance, informers, mistakes by the perp (e.g. storing images
on local machines for later viewing).
Stephen Digby, Learning Technology Manager
mailto: admin at cheltsec.vic.edu.au 
Cheltenham Secondary College www.cheltsec.vic.edu.au
Ph: 613 955 55 955  Fx: 9555 8617 Mb: 0431-701-028
I photocopied a mirror just to see what would happen... Now I have an extra photocopy machine.   Steven Wright  

-----Original Message-----
From: offtopic-bounces at edulists.com.au [mailto:offtopic-bounces at edulists.com.au] On Behalf Of Cameron Bell
Sent: Saturday, 25 August 2007 4:39 PM
To: Information Technology Teachers' Offtopic Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Offtopic] Free government pornography filter

Which is why I find it amazing that there are many schools that still think that banning, blocking, filtering and removing access
will solve everything.
Kids are now downloading porn straight to their mobile phones. That bypasses any filters we have in place.

stephen at melbpc.org.au wrote:
> Student cracks $84m porn filter
> By Nick Higginbottom and Ben Packham,  August 25, 2007 12:30am 
> <http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22304224-421,00.html>
> Schoolboy takes 30 minutes to bypass filter Leaves impression filter 
> still working Cracks upgraded filter in 40 minutes
> A MELBOURNE schoolboy has cracked the Federal Government's new $84 
> million internet porn filter in minutes.
> Tom Wood, 16, said it took him just over 30 minutes to bypass the 
> Government's filter, released on Tuesday.
> Tom, a year 10 student at a southeast Melbourne private school, showed 
> the Herald Sun how to deactivate the filter in a handful of clicks.
> Parents easily fooled
> His technique ensures the software's toolbar icon is not deleted, 
> leaving parents under the impression the filter is still working.
> A former cyber bullying victim, Tom feared a computer-savvy child 
> could work out the bypass and put it on the Internet for others to use.
> Tom, who spoke to Communications Minister Helen Coonan about cyber 
> safety during a forum in May, said the Federal Government should have 
> developed a better Australian made filter.
> "It's a horrible waste of money," he said. 
> "They could get a much better filter for a few million dollars made 
> here rather than paying overseas companies for an ineffective one."
> Cracks replacement filter
> In response to the Herald Sun's inquiries, the Government added an 
> Australian designed filter, Integard, to the website yesterday, which 
> Tom cracked within 40 minutes.
> Senator Coonan said the Government had anticipated children would try 
> and find ways to get around the NetAlert filters, and suppliers were 
> contracted to provided continuing updates.
> "The vendor is investigating the matter as a priority," Senator Coonan 
> said.
> "Unfortunately, no single measure can protect children from online 
> harm and ... traditional parenting skills have never been more important."
> Family First Senator Steve Fielding, a long-time campaigner for cyber 
> safety, said cracking the software showed the need for compulsory 
> filtering by Internet providers.
> "You need both. You need it at the ISP and at the PC level," Senator 
> Fielding said.
> "The Government has not listened to common sense and it leaves kids 
> exposed."
> The filters are designed to stop access to sites on a national 
> blacklist, bar use of chat rooms, and can be tailored by parents to 
> stop access to sites.
> Filters 'don't address bigger issues'
> Tom stressed the filters were missing the mark by a long way 
> regardless of how easy they were to break.
> "Filters aren't addressing the bigger issues anyway," he said. 
> "Cyber bullying, educating children on how to protect themselves and 
> their privacy are the first problems I'd fix.
> "They really need to develop a youth-involved forum to discuss some of 
> these problems and ideas for fixing them."
> The $189 million NetAlert scheme includes $84.4 million for the 
> National Filter Scheme, plus funding for online policing, a help line, 
> and education programs.
> The Government will also offer the option of filtering by internet 
> service providers.
> Under its filter program, households can download the filter from 
> netalert.gov.au or have it sent out on to them.
> --
> Cheers, people
> Stephen Loosley
> Victoria, Australia
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