Considering my work is based on the internet with the Australian Labor Party stating that they are going to re-open the case for internet filtering in Australia I decided that I needed to attended the proposal forum. The forum was held on the 27 November 2008 at the University of New South Wales.
I got there about 15 minutes late so missed the introductions which I was not to upset about. The discussions where interesting and presented both the pros and cons of the subject. There were both technical and legal discussions the overall consensus was that the group did not think the filter was a good idea.
I enjoyed the presentation from a fifteen year old girl who stated that she did not need protecting on the internet and had not stumbled upon porn in her years of browsing on the internet.
I presented the question that if we are only going to filter the HTTP protocol and port 80/8080 then what about all the other protocols and ports. If they only block HTTP wont that just force the pron industry to move more underground using other protocols. If that happened and it became standard in the industry to use non standard ports then the knowledge of how to do that will increase. This means that it will then become harder for law enforcement to catch sex related crimes on the internet as they will be using different ports and protocols. Hence the filter will then have negative impact on the one reason it is supposed to stop.
There are other solutions out there and the filter is not one of them. Whilst in power the then Liberal government looked into a filter decided against it and went for the opt in free software that whilst kids can get around and so will people get around this filter. With the opt in software it puts earnest on the parents not the government. The government should put more money behind education of correct use of the internet rather then trying to parent its population.