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Wednesday, 17 November 2004
Page: 1

To the Honourable the President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled

We, the undersigned citizens of Australia draw to the attention of the Senate the common incidence of children being exposed to Internet websites portraying explicit sexual images. These images may involve children/teens, sexual violence, bestiality, and other disturbing material. Many such websites use aggressive, deceptive or intrusive techniques to induce viewing. We submit to the Senate that:

Exposure to pornography is a form of sexual assault against children and should be considered, like all sexual abuse of children, as a serious matter causing lasting harm.

It is not adequate to charge individual parents with the chief responsibility for protecting their children from Internet pornographers determined to promote their product, OR to expect parents to teach children to cope with the damaging effects of pornographic images AFTER exposure.

It is the primary duty of community and Government to prevent children being exposed to pornography in the first place by placing restrictions on pornographers and those businesses distributing such material.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs), should accept responsibility for protecting children from Internet pornography, including liability for harm caused to children by inadequate efforts to protect minors from exposure.

Your petitioners therefore, pray that the Senate take legislative action to restrict children's exposure to Internet pornography. We support the introduction of mandatory filtering of pornographic content by ISPs and age verification technology to restrict minor's access.

by Senator Ian Campbell (from 501 citizens)
by Senator Eggleston (from 203 citizens).