Porn Down Under

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"The Internet industry has got to be brought back to the real world; they're just like any other industry but they've got away with murder because they've convinced politicians that they've saved the world," Australian Prime Minister John Howard said.

Howard wants to force ISPs to filter content for their users, following the release yesterday of a report by an Australian think tank concluding that "regulation of pornography is manifestly failing."

The ISPs say filtering should be left up to parents.

"For industry people to dump it on parents is outrageous," Howard said, describing the position of ISPs in general as a "commercially driven morality."

Meanwhile in the U.S.: Tomorrow the Supreme Court considers the government's appeal of a lower court decision which found a federal law requiring public libraries to filter content to be unconstitutional.

NEXT: The Union Gap

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  1. For my part, I think this was more of a problem in the ‘bad old days’ of an earlier internet environment. It used to be that for any given innocuous search I would get two or three porn sites back, because the porno people where putting in innocuous keywords to draw in unsuspecting surfers. I haven’t seen that lately (unless searching for something that could possibly be misconstrued as sexually related) so it seems to me the folks in the porno business have realized it’s not good business to bother customers who are not interested in their product.
    It’s easy enough for the people who want it to find it, so resorting to such trickery just increases the pressure from religious and parents groups to censor the net. Such predatory tactics are no longer in the industry’s best interests.

    There’s plenty of software options available for filtered surfing, and as others have pointed out the role of parental supervision. There are other options as well. My boss, for example, does not have cable TV or internet at home because she has a teenage son and she knows how he’d use it. Personally I find this draconian but it is a reminder that no one is forcing you to bring these media into your house, so you likewise have no right to impose restrictions on others because their content is ‘trespassing’ your property, or violating your rights not to be offended.

  2. Could someone please explain to me again why pornography needs to be filtered in the first place? I didn’t understand it the first time.

  3. Mark, there’s some really bad porn out there. Not everyone has DSL, some have dial-up modems, and the wait to download a mpg or avi can be unbearable. We need government to force the providers to filter out the bad porn, so we can get just the good porn.

  4. [with my best Tori Spelling impression] I think it has to do with…uh…well, um…like, does it have to do with God or something?

  5. Porn is bad because the Bible says so (I’m sure it’s in there somewhere, right?). And, since most people are good Christians, it’s the gov’t place to support religion, right? Right?

  6. As a good(?) Christian, my response to NineNine is…um…NO!

  7. Yes, how dare it be suggested that parents should monitor what their children are doing. I want the government monitoring my daughter! Keep an eye on her so I don’t have to! It would certainly free up a lot of my time.

  8. Porn embarrasses parents because it reminds kids that their parents screw. Therefore, porn is Evil!

    Well, folks have a right to their opinion, and porn spam sure is pretty endemic. But seems that not allowing the kid to check their email till the parent has cleared out the porn spam would solve accidental porn sightings. And after that you’d have to trust the kid to obey you not to go surfing for it.

    Of course, someday they’ll probably disobey, but they’ll probably be no worse for wear for it….

  9. Jeff Fecke, Dude you nailed it! I now have nothing to add. Okay, maybe a little… Why do so many people look outside themselves for control?
    BTW…The Bible does refer to the matter, but if you don’t already know that it is likely of little value or interest to you. And thats OK. We all must make our own choices, which is the point of the matter anyway. Anyone who is willing to rely on the Gov. or their ISP to direct their values or protect that which they can identify as right or wrong in their own hearts & minds are cowards to begin with. Well I guess there was more left in there than I thought…

    Ig

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