According to this ABC News article, links to child pornography were posted on the website of Senator Steve Fielding of Family First. The website hosted a forum (under the link ‘Have Your Say’) where anyone can register as a user and then post comments. I’m unable to verify because the forum is now closed, but I suspect someone registered an account and spammed the site. Childish and puerile but hardly uncommon on the internet, particularly when you’re a politician who is very ‘pro family values’!
The news article contains this quote:
"It is disturbing. But I suppose this is the reason why we do need to have some sort of classification, some sort of filtering, and I do know that is controversial."
If this quote is true, then let me explain why this is scary. While Senator Fielding is an independent and not part of the government, he will surely support the proposed mandatory internet filter when the legislation comes before parliament.
Yet this is just another example of a politician who fails to understand how the Internet works – scary because they are going to be imposing legislation that will impose a filter that is a waste of money and time.
Senator Fielding if you’re going to host a discussion forum on your web site you need to take responsibility for the fact that people may post unsavoury content on there – you need to impose a system of moderation on this web site and actively screen content for this kind of spam and abuse. This is a far more sensible approach than imposing a mandatory ISP level filter that will not work.
Let’s hope the Australian Federal Police have more sense than this and laugh in his face when this matter is referred to them.