ZDNet reports that the Australian government have announced they will spend $86 million on software filters for every family. Helen Coonan, the minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts says
"Under this scheme, families will be offered a filtered service or a free filter for their home computer, either for download from a dedicated Web site or delivered to them on CD-ROM. All ISPs will also be required to offer filters to new and existing customers at no additional cost."
This is a bad idea. With a triple x in the title and url of this blog I regularly get "filtered" by lousy software proporting to be protecting Web users from inappropriate content. But the NetNanny type software just doesn't work - it censors innocuous sites and those that criticise censorware and lets though hard porn, whilst creating the illusion that it is protecting the children. There is no substitute for parents teaching their kids to be streetwise about the Net. The Aussie government are buying into an illusion that the software filter companies are only too happy to sell them.