Protecting Your Children

Thinking more about internet censorship today.  I have half a dozen different tangents buzzing around in my head, but I’ll try to pull them out into focused topics for you and publish each one separately.  The reason there is so much buzzing around in my head is because this internet filter that the Australian government are planning to implement has so many flaws and reasons why it’s wrong for the government to do this to the Australian public that one doesn’t quite know where to start!

Today I was thinking about the claims by the government that they plan to implement this mandatory censorship simply to protect children from child pornography.  This is the hub of all their arguments, and it’s a cunning little ploy to force all of us that are against their censorship to look like we actually condone child pornography on the internet.

This is not true.  Those of us who are against censoring the internet are very much against child pornography, but we also know that this “filter” will do NOTHING to protect children from these predators, while actually making it easier for them.

Let me direct you to a fairly good description of how censoring the internet will not prevent or protect children from child pornography…

Click here

Now, as the post above explains, filtering the internet does not cover peer to peer networks (which is what child pornographers are using, and will be using even more once the internet is censored, because it will become even more safe for them).

A simpler explanation is this.  The internet is a whole bunch of computers all around the world, all connecting to each other through a web of internet service providers.  It is possible to filter internet service providers so that things you don’t want people to see are blocked, as well as files and documents are filtered so you can’t share illegal material.  However in doing so, it does things like slow down the service, block things you don’t want blocked, and be controlled by something like a government body.

A peer to peer network is like a small ring or web of computers that are only connected to each other.  Other than those actually in the network, who have been screened and invited, there is no way to block or filter it.  So people who are using p2p have the ability to share illegal material easily amongst themselves, passing it from one to another with no problem at all.  They don’t have to worry about the authorities finding it, because it’s not connected to the greater internet.

This is what child sexual predators are already using to share their disgusting child pornography.  As well as chat rooms, postal mail, and even hand delivery.  The internet filter will not affect this AT ALL.

Child predators do not build websites to lure children in.  They go to where the kids already are (Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and other popular sites), pose as other kids and groom them up there to trust them and make decisions that their young minds aren’t ready for.  No filter will fix this.  The only thing that will is awareness in kids as to what is safe behaviour, and good police resources to work towards capturing the predators.

Add to that the fact that the billions of your tax dollars that will be spent on this internet censorship will actually be diverted from areas like police, legal and prison resources that actually DO find, catch, prosecute and sentence child predators.  If the government have money to spend on this ineffective filter, why don’t they devote it ALL to resources that ARE effective?

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to protect children on the internet at an immediate level.  The most effective way is parental supervision.  That doesn’t just mean hovering over the computer while your child uses it, but teaching your kids that stranger danger doesn’t just happen on the streets, that it’s not ok to talk to people on the internet you don’t know.  It means teaching them how to use the internet to find good information and fun safely.  It means having the computer in a common area of the house if you have children, so that you are present to answer their questions or notice strange behaviour.  And if you have quite young children (under 10) then there are inexpensive software packages that help YOU choose what they can and cannot access on the internet.  Perhaps the government could spend the billions of dollars of your tax money in providing this software to every household that has a child?  It could quite easily be sent home from school with them, or mailed to you.  Or on a government website for you to download.

Instead of offering all these solutions that we know actually work, they plan to put an mandatory internet filter in place that will not actually help prevent child pornography or catch any child predators are out there.

Which raises the question… what is it that they really want to block us from seeing and why? Food for thought hmmm?

January 11, 2010. Australia, censorship, child pornography, child predators, children, education, internet, No Clean Feed, paedophiles, pedophiles, peer to peer networks, police, politics, responsibility, safety, taxes, technology, transparency. 4 comments.

A Post for the Guys…

This post is especially for the guys. I would like to ask you all to please go and read this article:

On Being a No-Name Blogger Using Her Real Name – Kate Harding

Ladies may read it as well, but I wager it’s all nothing you haven’t heard or thought before.

I am not using my real name. However many of you know my real name, or I have enough information on here for anyone who knows me, to know that this is my blog. I did have my real name on my Twitter too but changed that, however I use my first name regularly there. I have toyed with using my real name everywhere, as I really want to be transparent in my blogging/tweeting etc, I want my name to be connected to my writing, but I have had some troubling experiences in the life of my blogging. I have been lucky so far, I’ve not had anything truly frightening, but I have had some upsetting experiences.

However I don’t want those to take my joy of writing, tweeting, sharing photos and videos away from me. I want to stay transparent and open, I’m proud of that. I want to share my experiences and the wisdom I gain along the way, and dammit my opinions too.

So that’s why I’m asking particularly the guys to read the Kate Harding article linked above. Because when you fellas let it slide when some douchebag makes our lives miserable, or insults us, or “drunk tweets” feral sexual comments about us, or harasses us in blog comments, or rolls their eyes when we get upset about something and so on, you’re giving those misogynistic fuckers the message that it’s ok. And that encourages them to take it to the next step, and the next, and beyond.

But I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those men who DO stand up and say “Oi, that’s not right.” when these things happen. I would like you to know how much it matters to women when you do that. Not just because you’re seen as being on our side, but because it gives us a feeling that we are safer having your support. That not every man is out to crush us down, shut us up, force us into our “place”. That there is hope for change for women who wish to be seen, who don’t want to be invisible.

So thank you.

August 5, 2009. blogging, safety, sexism, transparency, Twitter, writing. Leave a comment.

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