Bradfield Resident

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Archive for June, 2010

Tue 08 Jun 10 | To: Child Wise | B.McMenamin quote in SMH article re mandatory internet filtering

Posted by bradfieldresident on 8 June 2010

From: Bradfield Resident
Date: Tuesday 08 June 2010 04:47 (+10)
Subject: B.McMenamin quote in SMH article re mandatory internet filtering
To: Child Wise – Office

Child Wise,

I refer to an article published on the Sydney Morning Herald website:

Filter goes ahead regardless
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/filter-goes-ahead-regardless-20100529-wmg7.html
SARAH WHYTE
May 30, 2010

The article contains the following paragraph:

But Bernadette McMenamin of the child protection group Child Wise said it was 100 per cent behind filtering illegal material. ”Sites are going to be blocked that should be blocked, and it’s absolutely essential every parent is taught about the dangers of the internet.”

Is this an accurate quote and representation of Child Wise’s position?

I note the specification of filtering ‘illegal material’; is that detail part of Child Wise’s particular position, or has it been supposed by SMH? I am inferring from the “Sites are going to be blocked” statement that Child Wise supports the filter being implemented, without restricting it to child abuse material.

I am also concerned by the quote from Ms McMenamin on three separate issues:

1. “Sites are going to be blocked” – from a technical standpoint this is known to be false and any blacklist can only ever be behind in listing any sites that could/’should’ be on the list

2. “should be blocked” – the current definition of “should be blocked”, that is, content that is or would be refused classification, is far broader than many people believe is appropriate; is not well defined (insofar as refused classification is not well defined); is certainly in excess of any child abuse prevention objectives of Child Wise or any other child protection agency; and is subject to arbitrary expansion by this or future governments and possibly even by non-representative groups and organisations.

3. I agree that “every parent is taught about the dangers of the internet”; it is my belief, and a belief held by many, that the implementation mandatory internet filter would likely lead to an actual reduction in the vigilance of parents in both monitoring and educating their children on using the internet, including by parents viewing the need to do so as less important therefore avoiding the necessary (parental) education.

I hope that Ms McMenamin (and Child Wise) are aware of these issues. If you could explain Child Wise’s position, making specific reference to these and any other publicly debated objectioned points to the mandatory filter that you choose to as additional detail, that would be of great interest to me and I imagine also beneficial to Child Wise’s public support for the filter.

Bradfield Resident
Sydney

Tuesday 08 June 2010


Bradfield Resident
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