Melon Farmers Original Version

Age Verification in Australia 2007

Internet censorship hiding as age verification


Offsite Article: Big Brother is watching you watching porn...

Link Here26th November 2019
Australian proposals for facial recognition on porn sites are creepy and authoritarian. By Tarric Brooker

See article from


18th July

Update: Internet Censorship...

Australia internet industry publishes its Content Censorship Code

The Australian-based Internet Industry Association (IIA) has announced its new code of best practice censorship for online and mobile service content providers.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which regulates the industry, reviewed and approved this code of industry practice to oversee, monitor and enforce.

It took effect on July 16, following a 30-day public comment period.

According to IIA's chief executive, Mr. Coroneos: It provides a way for locally-based commercial content service providers and live content service providers to ensure that potentially restricted commercial stored content services or live content provided by commercial content services now comply with Australian classification schemes .

The code provides the Internet and mobile industries with guidance on a variety of subjects, including handling complaints; taking-down notified content; means of promoting online safety for Australian families; implementing restricted access systems for some content services; and regulating certain chat services.

According to the ACMA, any content that is likely to be rated MA15+ (for mature audiences over the age of 15) must be assessed and classified by "trained content assessors."

As part of the code, ISPs will use access controls to provide content that is rated MA15+ or R18+ (restricted to those over 18).

Standard hardcore material rated X18+ is banned.


14th January

 Offsite: Unfiltered Derision...

Widespread derision for Australia's internet filtering idea



6th January

Update: Unfiltered Doubts...

Criticism for Australia's internet filtering plans

The Australian Government plans to protect unwary children by blocking violence and pornography on the internet.

Yet this simple sounding initiative - barely discussed during the election - is riddled with technical, financial, moral and social complexities.

The Government's plan, overseen by Telecommunications Minister Stephen Conroy, would require internet service providers (ISPs) to block undesirable sites on computers accessed by Australians.

A seething Dr Roger Clarke, chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation, bluntly described the proposal as "stupid and inappropriate".

He said not only was it unworkable, but it was a sinister blow to an individual's rights to use the internet without censorship: Not only will it not work, it is quite dangerous to let the Government censor the net and take control out of the hands of parents . It is an inappropriate thing for them to be doing. Mr Conroy is like a schoolmaster playing god with the Australian population, all because of the dominance of a moral minority.

One problem for the Government is that blocking child porn may unintentionally block acceptable sites. Another problem, according to civil libertarians, is that policing the net should be left to parents - not a big brother-style bureaucracy.

And, if it is disingenuous to compare Labor's policy to China's malevolent control over web access to its citizens, it is equally disingenuous of Rudd's Government to claim the issue simply relates to child pornography. There are genuine concerns that the Government - backed by morals groups like Family First - will in time extend the powers outside of their intended target area.

Also of concern is that, under the Government's plan, users would be permitted to "opt out" of the scheme - and might therefore find themselves listed as possible deviants.

On a practical level, ISPs fear the mass blocking of sites could slow internet speeds and cost millions of dollars to implement. The ability for download speeds to be maintained would depend on the exact number of sites blocked - it is suspected around 2000 sites could cause problems. ISPs fear a system based on key indicator words could rapidly clog the system.

A user typing in the address would be sent to an error page or possibly - as in Scandinavia - redirected to a police page.

Crucially, the Government has not explained how such a system would be paid for or who would monitor it or how such a system would work.

So far the industry, although eager not to be seen to be dragging their feet on child pornography, has been noticeably reticent in their response to Labor's plans.

Internet Industry Association spokesman Peter Coroneos was keen to emphasise the work already being done by service providers in supplying free filters.

They are likely to clarify their position after ACMA runs simulated tests on a filtered network later this year. We obviously want to know if this will have an impact on network performance, Coroneos said At the moment we don't know what the extent of it will be, what it will cost, and whether it will set a precedent for other changes. We just don't know if it is feasible.

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