[Offtopic] Free government pornography filter

Clarke Stevenson clarke.stevenson at bigpond.com
Sun Aug 26 22:01:57 EST 2007

Has access to "internet porn" really been that bad for our kids? 


Has it completely corrupted them?


I have met many "well adjusted" 20 something kids of friends, who have
survived an "internet upbringing" - the only problem is that they don't want
to leave home:-(


Without doubt, cigarettes and drugs are by far a greater threat to our
young, and the $64 million would be better spent on education programs about
them. But then "cyber porn in schools" makes a much better headline in an
election year.


Clarke Stevenson



From: offtopic-bounces at edulists.com.au
[mailto:offtopic-bounces at edulists.com.au] On Behalf Of Roland Gesthuizen
Sent: Sunday, 26 August 2007 3:16 PM
To: Information Technology Teachers' Offtopic Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Offtopic] Free government pornography filter


Students and Staff must treat school computers as "G" rated public terminals
.. sadly, the real world is much less forgiving. 

Whilst it is nice to live in a country that is generally democratic,
relatively free and mostly safe, .. imagine cutting the ties or being
responsible for the death of an overseas political dissident who is trying
to securely communicate with their child in Australia. 

Would you report them to the authorities or take steps to help protect their
new life and safe identity?

I quite agree with Cameron, there were better things to do with this money
beyond software filters to improve the resilience of our students to issues
such as cybercrime, fraud, online bullying, Internet and porn addiction. If
it the view outside is dangerous then paint all the windows of our
magic-school-bus black. 

Regards Roland

On 26/08/07, victor rajewski <askvictor at gmail.com> wrote:

And then there is onion routing (TOR) which renders any sort of filter
obsolete (just ask the Chinese)


On 8/26/07, Stephen Digby <digby.stephen.p at edumail.vic.gov.au > wrote:
>  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.
> Cheers
> Cameron
> stephen at melbpc.org.au  <mailto: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
> >
> > 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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> > offtopic at edulists.com.au
> > http://www.edulists.com.au/mailman/listinfo/offtopic
> >
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Roland Gesthuizen - ICT Coordinator - Westall Secondary College
http://www.westallsc.vic.edu.au  <http://www.westallsc.vic.edu.au> 

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change
the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has." --Margaret Mead 

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