Message received by nocensorshipaus on December 6th. 2008
December 4, 2008
We are writing on behalf of ContentWatch, Inc., makers of Net Nanny parental control software. Net Nanny has been the desktop Internet filter of choice for Australians over the last 10 plus years, as well as the leading parental control solution in the world currently installed in 157 countries.
Net Nanny has proudly worked with ACMA (the Australian Content and Media Authority) over the last 10 years in accepting lists of illegal sites to be blocked to Australian citizens upon installation of Net Nanny.
Net Nanny was submitted into the original PAFO (Protecting Australian Families Online) scheme and went through several rigorous tests that proved the effectiveness of Net Nanny’s patent-pending Dynamic Contextual Analysis filtering engine. At the time of testing, we were confident that the most trusted brand of consumer Internet filtering in the world would be accepted into the program to help increase the visibility and take-up of desktop filters in the PAFO program. Net Nanny did indeed pass the Additional PC Filter Product invitation, but the PAFO program was frozen before we could be added to the list of approved vendors.
Since that time, we have followed the Netalert program and the current proposed ISP filtering plan. As a company that provides both consumer desktop filters and filtering appliances that ISPs can use on their back-end, we share many of the same concerns that Australian citizens and ISPs have been voicing as well as some other issues rarely mentioned in this debate.
At the forefront, the issues around censorship, network performance, filter effectiveness, and ISP liability have been discussed in newspapers, editorials, blogs, etc. As this is being written, the first ISP in Australia has volunteered to trial the ISP filter program and we all eagerly await the results. We at ContentWatch do not believe the ISP filtering plan goes far enough to help protect Australian families from not only inappropriate and illegal content, but from inappropriate contacts and conduct as well. When looking at the ISP filter plan, a few questions arise:
· How does the plan help protect families against online predators, cyberbullies, scammers and other people online who have ill-intentions?
· With the rise of Internet addiction, how will families be able to control the amount of time children are spending online?
· How does ISP filtering address secure and non-secure proxy web sites and anonymizers, which allow users to circumvent filters to gain access to illegal content?
· How will the plan prevent P2P downloads and copyright infringement?
· How can families adjust the filter to meet their personal family values based on religious or cultural preferences?
· How does the ISP filter keep up with new content and web sites as they are created, in particular in the Web 2.0 paradigm and the social networking phenomenon?
With a desktop parental control solution such as Net Nanny, every family in Australia can have confidence that not only are illegal web sites like child porn being blocked for their safety, but all of the above issues are addressed in such a solution.
Net Nanny 6.0, released 2 weeks ago, features unprecedented protection for families by issuing parental alerts around instant messages involving cyberbullying and cyberpredators, incorporates social network profile reporting and also aggressively blocks and filters anonymizers and encrypted proxy servers commonly used by teens to circumvent filters. This recent release of Net Nanny has earned the top software review award for the 2nd year in a row in the U.S., the PC Magazine Editors’ Choice Award for Parental Controls. Additionally, Net Nanny has now been selected as the top ranked Internet filter for 5 years running on TopTenReviews.com as well as rated #1 by 6 other review sites. Net Nanny is also proud to announce that we also now protect families who use Macs.
If the Australian government were to take a more aggressive and pro-active role in actually facilitating the distribution of desktop filters to all Australian families, the program would go a long way in being more effective and allowing families to take responsibility for what comes into their home over the Internet. The current funding for the program allocates dollars to both ISP and PC level filters. As the most widely accepted and recognized desktop PC filter in Australia, Net Nanny is supportive of the program to protect families and would help ensure the uptake of the software and visibility of the initiative.
This could be done in a cost effective manner by using the ISPs to deliver the software freely to their customers. For example, TTNet, the largest broadband services provider in Turkey has over 235,000 customers using Net Nanny filtering as part of their value-added services. In a more far-reaching proposal, the government could send a CD to every home with children as well as making CDs freely available in places that families and children frequent, such as stores, restaurants, schools, libraries, sporting events. All of these physical locations can take part in raising awareness of the issues while distributing the needed tools for families.
Anything that ContentWatch can do to help clarify and further the discussion around the best options to protect families in Australia, we are more than willing to do. We look forward to being engaged in this important Australian government initiative.
Larry Aiken Peter Ferioli
Director of Channel Sales Director of Net Nanny Operations
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posted by admin (nocensorshipaus)