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Get serious about protecting children from Internet porn predators: Harradine.

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Brian Harradine, Senator for Tasmania

Get serious about protecting children from Internet porn predators: Harradine

Children are being exposed to Internet pornography because the Australian Broadcasting Authority isn’t serious about the problem, Senator Brian Harradine (Ind, Tas) said today.

Senator Harradine said Internet service providers (ISPs) had a vested interest in not promoting Internet filtering software because of commercial gain from pornography downloads.

In question time today Senator Harradine asked Communications Minister Senator Alston about a second report from the Australia Institute, released today, which proposes a new regulatory regime including the mandatory use of filters.

Senator Harradine said he supported the findings of the Australia Institute which reported that:

“…tens of thousands of websites showing pornography, some of it of the most extreme kind, are easily accessed by children. Not only is regulation of pornography on the Internet manifestly failing, but the regulatory authorities themselves appear to have lost sight of their functions. The ABA seems to be more concerned to promote use of the Internet than to protect children from its dangers.”

“I strongly support the Australia Institute recommendation that all Internet service providers (ISPs) should be required to apply filters to all content to protect children from porn merchants”, Senator Harradine said.

“Telstra and the ISPs benefit financially from the current system where they continue to earn substantial money from bandwidth charges for the pornographic images downloaded. But we should not allow trade in pornography at the expense of our children.”

4 March 2003

Senator Brian Harradine, Tel. 02 6277 3735