Australia’s Internet Censorship Scheme Takes Money Allocated to Pursue Pedophiles

The Great Firewall of Australia, the Australian Government’s Internet censorship scheme that is being sold as protecting children has resulted in significant budget cuts to a dedicated anti online child abuse police team.

$2.8 million AUD ($1.86m USD) originally allocated to the Australian Federal Police’s Online Child Sexual Exploitation Team (OCSET) has instead gone towards Internet censorship. A small figure perhaps, but the total budget for the team in 2007 (without the $2.8m) was $7.5 million AUD ($5m USD).

But it gets better: according to research from Stilgherrian, without that money, OCSET simply doesn’t have the staff to investigate all of the suspected pedophiles it already knows about. Some cases get palmed off to the states — that is, to police who don’t have the specialist training and experience of OCSET, and the rest are simply dropped.

So the Australian Government, in the name of protecting children with a scheme that blocks millions of sites, has created a situation where pedophiles get away, even when they are known to exist, because funding that would have been allocated to pursuing them has been spent on internet censorship.

Won’t somebody think of the children?

I’ve said it before, but this whole scheme is a farce and the Minister should be removed from his position. Even the do-gooders who are backing the censorship regime should be disgusted by this gross misallocation of funds by the Australian Government, as most Australian’s will be. Imagine inversely if the $44 million allocated to censorship was given to this taskforce, and the real outcomes that could be achieved.