Stephen Collins of EFA has a nice post to follow up Scott Ludlam's excellent speech to Parliament, in which he notes that the filter will not prevent child porn, and that there are more effective ways to deal with it. Here's my one-line summary:
The mandatory filter is a way to avoid having to do anything substantive about porn, because that would take effort, money and not get politicians a public profile.
The way to deal with illegal content is to prosecute, after police investigation. If that content is overseas, then contact the host nation. We all have pretty much the same goals.
This takes money, time, personnel, and will not get headlines in the Murdoch press, but it is the only way to deal with these crimes. It is also the only way that has worked in the past. If Conroy and Rudd really want to do this properly, then appoint more police and fund the states to have more police aimed solely at this sort of crime. Prosecute these crimes. Enact sensible laws against them. And most of all, stop hiding behind the Censorship Board. In fact, I think we would as a community be a lot better off if we abolished the Censorship Board entirely. It has shown itself to be easily manipulated by both political and special interests for decades.
Australia has become one of the most draconian of all democracies in its paternalistic control over what we can and cannot do and say. I am ashamed of my country's placing style over substance and passing off responsibilities to government and bureaucracies that should be taken up by individuals.