I was happy when the new Federal Government was elected in November. But when I see announcements like this from Stephen Conroy I have to wonder whether anyone in politics really knows enough about the technical realities to make sensible policy.
So there are two issues here. The first is child pornography, that is pornography that features children. Obviously this stuff is terrible, and as a father of a five year old I would like to see people who put children in that situation strung up. However, I don’t see how adding filtering to the Internet does anything other than cover it up so the masses aren’t aware of the problem. It is the electronic equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.
The second issue is pornography that a child might be exposed to. This is a much more delicate issue (in my opinion) because the policing of it is subjective.
For example, if my five year old daughter found some pornography on the Internet I think that I would be interested to hear what SHE had to say about it. It would be an opportunity to do some parenting.
You could ask your child:
- What do you think the people in the picture/video were doing?
- Why do you think that they put it on the Internet for everyone to see?
Basically its the beginning of a discussion, and whilst we like to pretend that we have a lot of control over when that discussion takes place, a child’s natural curiosity is going to find a way to circumvent any control mechanisms you put in place – and if a child can do it, everyone can.
Basically – the government is just proving that they are irrelevant on this issue.