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Old 10-27-2008, 07:30 AM   #16
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I agree with your post in principle. However, I just don't give a damn ever since I read multiple articles earlier this year by IT professionals blasting the filter as impractical and unworkable. Given that Fielding will doubtfully last beyond the next election and pandering to radical fundies will no longer be vaguely necessary, I expect this to just linger proposed but not implemented for the government's current term and then to fade from the agenda. I'd rather get angry about things that are actually happening right now than waste my anger on something that probably won't happen.
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:48 AM   #17
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I don't agree, it technically is illegal for me to look at two pretty girls pissing on each-other and I remain opposed to the OFLC and the censorship regime in force within the country to this day, practicalities are irrelevant, I want the freedom and as it stands I would technically be a criminal for what I want expose my mind too.

Fuck Australia, fuck it and its regressive OFLC.

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Old 10-27-2008, 07:18 PM   #18
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I stand by comments that should have gone into the FYM bar, in vino veritas and all that
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Family First Senator Steve Fielding wants hardcore pornography and fetish material blocked under the Government's plans to filter the internet, sparking renewed fears the censorship could be expanded well beyond "illegal material".

The Opposition said it would take "a lot of convincing" for it to support the controversial mandatory ISP filtering policy, so the Government would need the support of Senator Fielding as well as the Greens and Senator Nick Xenophon to pass the legislation.

Industry sources said Senator Fielding's sentiments validated ISPs' concerns that the categories of blocked content could be broadened significantly at the whim of the Government, which is under pressure to appease vocal minorities.

A spokesman for Senator Xenophon said, should the filtering plan go ahead, he would look to use it to block Australians from accessing overseas online casino sites, which are illegal to run in Australia.
In a Senate Estimates hearing last week, the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, confirmed that his proposal would force ISPs to implement a two-tiered filtering system.

The proposed censorship is more advanced than that in any liberal democracy and would put Australia on a par with oppressive regimes such as Iran, the internet industry says.

Despite his earlier promises that Australians would be able to opt out of any internet filters, Senator Conroy said the first tier would be compulsory for all Australians and would block all "illegal material", as determined in part by a blacklist administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The second tier, which is optional, would filter out content deemed inappropriate for children, such as pornography.

But asked to specify the categories of content that Senator Fielding would like blocked by the mandatory first tier, a Family First spokeswoman indicated the party would want X-rated and refused classification (RC) content banned for everyone, including adults.

"Family First would consider a mandatory ISP-based filtering system that protects children by blocking illegal content like child pornography, but allows adults to opt out of filtering to access material classified R18+ or less," Senator Fielding's spokeswoman said.

According to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, X18+ content includes hardcore pornography, while content that is refused classification includes that which depicts drug use or sexual fetishes. Both are a step above R18+ content, which typically includes adult themes.

The online users' lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia expressed fears that the internet filters could be used as a bargaining chip every time the Government needed to pass a piece of important legislation.

"Any group with an axe to grind and political clout will be lobbying the Government to blacklist websites which they object to," EFA spokesman Dale Clapperton said.

"Having all Australians' internet access subject to a secret and unaccountable government blacklist is completely unacceptable in a liberal democracy such as Australia."

Clapperton said most adult pornography on the internet was already "prohibited content" under the Act, and pro-euthanasia, pro-anorexia and pro-piracy websites could easily be caught by the system.

Today, such prohibited content, if hosted overseas, is added to ACMA's blacklist but Australians are still able to access it if they wish. This would not be the case if mandatory ISP filtering was introduced.

"Senator Conroy talks about blocking access to 'illegal material', but the ACMA blacklist of 'prohibited content' is not limited to material which is illegal - it includes X-rated material, and R-rated material unless it is protected by a government-approved restricted access system," he said.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam expressed similar concerns when grilling Senator Conroy in Senate Estimates last week.

He said all sorts of politically sensitive material could be added to the blacklist and otherwise legitimate sites - for example, YouTube - could be rendered inaccessible based on content published by users.

"The blacklist ... can become very grey depending on how expansive the list becomes - euthanasia material, politically related material, material about anorexia. There is a lot of distasteful stuff on the internet," Senator Ludlam said.

John Lindsay, carrier relations manager at Internode, said: "I don't see that what Fielding has just described to you is necessarily any different to what the public should expect from the Government's as yet unstated filtering regime, because we haven't got a clear explanation as to what the Government's actual mandatory blacklist looks like."

The Opposition's communication spokesman, Nick Minchin, said it would take "a lot of convincing" for the Coalition to support the Government's filtering plan.

"That's the problem with having this sort of highly centralised government-mandated nationwide filtering system," Senator Minchin said in a telephone interview.

"The argy-bargy that would result over what is in and what is out strikes me as being almost impossible to manage and it would be a cat chasing its tail."

The Government's own laboratory trials have found that presently available filters are not capable of distinguishing adequately between legal and illegal content and can degrade internet speeds by up to 86 per cent.

Despite this, and significant opposition from ISPs, the Government will soon seek expressions of interest from telcos seeking to be part of a live trial of the filters.
Net filters may block porn and gambling sites - BizTech - Technology
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:20 PM   #19
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The rectal discharge of a communications minister has found out that some things he doesn't like aren't illegal, but they will be banned anyway
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Senator Conroy has continued to expand the reach of his proposed mandatory net filters, saying that he will block up to 10,000 new sites that contain “unwanted material”.

Reversing his policy to restrict the filters to "illegal content", Senator Conroy has recently promised to expand them to cover online gambling sites, and sites discussing euthanasia and anorexia.

Senator Conroy explained to Parliament today that the 10,000 banned websites would expand on the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s current blacklist of 1300 websites.

Live tests on the filters are due to start on December 24, at a time when most ISPs are winding down for the Christmas period.

“The pilot will specifically test filtering against the ACMA blacklist of prohibited content, which is mostly child pornography, as well as filtering of other unwanted content,” Senator Conroy told Parliament.

“While the ACMA blacklist is currently around 1300 URLs, the pilot will test against this list as well as filtering for a range of URLs to around 10,000 so that the impacts on network performance of a larger blacklist can be examined.”

The filters will be tested by public volunteers in participating ISPs. So far the only ISP to commit to testing the filters is iiNet.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Managing Director Michael Malone said he would be part of the “ridiculous” trials to provide the Government with “hard numbers” demonstrating “how stupid it is”.

“Every time a kid manages to get through this filter, we’ll be publicising it and every time it blocks legitimate content, we’ll be publicising it.”

Malone concluded, “This is the worst Communications Minister we’ve had in the 15 years since the [internet] industry has existed.”
Senator Conroy expands reach of net filters to "unwanted content" - Internet - iTnews Australia

I hope that this gets put in place and people get really angry, of course it could work, and where would it end - I mean FYM has "abortion", "gay", "sex", "euthanasia", "fuck" and a host of hot button keywords that will probably get listed - would I have to circumvent the censor to post here?
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:56 PM   #20
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The attack on internet freedom has corporate allies
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Australia's copyright police have used the cover of the internet filtering debate to launch a surprise attack on ISPs, with seven movie houses filing an action against progressive ISP iiNet - claiming it harbours pirates.

The action against iiNet was filed in the Federal Court today by Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox and Disney, as well as the Seven Network.

The companies want an order forcing iiNet to prevent its customers from engaging in copyright infringement over its network and are expected to claim damages. It's a move that's likely to send a chill through Australian internet service providers who already have their hands full with the Federal government's plans for force them to implement mandatory ISP-level content filtering.

iiNet is one of Australia's largest ISP and no stranger to controversy, with managing director Michael Malone recently volunteering to participate in the internet filtering trials just so the ISP can help point out how stupid the idea is. You don't need to be a conspiracy nut to question the timing of this week's legal action - coordinated by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

There's an old saying; my enemy's enemy is my friend. Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, is facing an uphill battle to implement his mandatory ISP-level filtering, which critics say is unworkable and heavy-handed censorship which has the potential to be abused. The plan's conservative supporters in the Senate are already calling for the filtering to be expanded to encompass "illegal" content. ISPs such as iiNet are leading the fight against the plan. iiNet has also publically slammed the federal government's efforts to build a National Broadband Network.

Meanwhile the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft is facing an uphill battle to stop Australians downloading copyrighted material via peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent. AFACT and its supporters want ISPs to monitor their customers' usage and enforce copyright law, a job ISPs say is best left to the police. The head of the Internet Industry Association, Peter Coroneos, has been previously quoted as saying ISPs won't step in unless forced to do so by law.

With the copyright police and the moral minority in the Senate attacking ISPs on two fronts, it forces ISPs to divide their efforts between two fights. Should Conroy get his internet filtering wish, you can bet AFACT will be first in line calling for the plan to be expanded to encompass illegal movie downloads. At this point ISPs will have no choice but to comply, and thus be burdened with the task of censoring what all Australians can do online.

Expect Australia's ISPs to circle the wagons and plan an orchestrated response to this two-pronged attack designed to hit ISPs when they're most vulnerable.
iTWire - Copyright police drag Australian ISP iiNet through the courts

Between media companies and value voters internet freedom is going out the window.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:56 PM   #21
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This is a rather big leap from the thread's actual focus (sorry!) and won't interest enough in here to warrant its own thread, but there's a long and interesting story in this week's New York Times Magazine about Google's "gatekeepers" and the compromises they regularly make balancing the goal of growing their brand and its various applications (YouTube, Blogger, etc.) off against laws limiting freedom of expression in various countries, including Western countries.

Google's Gatekeepers
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:43 AM   #22
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The FCC wants it too, on free internet, this is a global issue
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The Federal Communications Commission is going to be voting on a plan that could make free Internet access for the entire country a reality.

First proposed in 2006, the plan would launch a no-cost, smut-free national wireless service by allowing an auction of a swath of airwaves called AWS-3. The winner would be required to reserve 25 percent of the network capacity for free broadband, though they'd still be able to charge for other services including higher speeds. The FCC would also require a filter to automatically block adult content that users can remove once they've confirmed they're at least 18 years old.

Supporters say the network could help alleviate the digital divide in this country. Currently, only about 38 percent of rural households have broadband, most are still relying on dial-up and expensive satellite-based Internet. About 60 percent of suburban and urban households have broadband, according to USA Today.

The plan faces fierce opposition from several wireless companies including T-mobile. T-mobile paid $4 billion to buy a spectrum near AWS-3 and the company is concerned about interference. FCC tests dispute this claim.

The FCC is expected to vote on the plan at its Dec. 18 meeting and the AWS-3 auction would take place next year.
Want To Throw Away Your Internet Bill? - News Story - WFTV Orlando
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:18 AM   #23
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More rubbish from these statists
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Australia's broadband ministry on Monday defended the country's upcoming Internet filtering pilot, and acknowledged that the plan could include P2P traffic like BitTorrent.

"It is understood that technology exists to filter peer-to-peer networks," according to an FAQ posted online. "If such technology is proposed as part of the pilot by an ISP it will be considered."

An Internet filtering pilot is set to kick off later this month and run through the first half of 2009, according to Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy. The Department of Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy is currently looking for a "cross section of industry; including small, medium and large ISPs; and metropolitan, regional, rural and mobile providers" to participate in the pilot.

The government has already consulted with the Internet Industry Association (IIA), the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) and a number of individual ISPs and mobile operators.

Participating ISPs "will strengthen their brand image" and will receive limited funding to help implement the filtering technology, according to the department.

ISP filtering is part of a larger, $125.8 billion government cyber-safety plan that is intended to protect children from harmful Internet content, Conroy said. He denied that the plan would hinder the openness of the Web.

"Freedom of speech is fundamentally important in a democratic society and there was never any suggestion that the Australian government would seek to block political content," Conroy wrote in a Monday blog post. "In this context, claims that the government's policy is analogous to the approach taken by countries such as Iran, China and Saudi Arabia are not justified."

Australian ISPs are already subject to restrictions based upon the country's rating system for movies, computer games, publications, and other online content, Conroy said. That system, dubbed the National Classification Scheme, allows the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to issue take-down notices to objectionable material.

"All the government is now seeking to do is to examine how technology can assist in filtering internationally-hosted content," Conroy wrote.

But will this assistance affect chat programs or P2P programs like BitTorrent? Yes, according to the department.

Web filters in other countries often incorporate blacklists of prohibited Web sites, but blacklists do not include P2P or chat.

"The department understands that a number of ISP filtering products allow blocking of non-Web based applications, and that vendors are undertaking development in this area," according to the FAQ. "To the extent possible, the pilot will test the effectiveness of more sophisticated ISP level filtering services and products to help parents manage use of non-Web applications."

The ACMA currently maintains a list of 1,300 blacklisted URLs. The filtering pilot will expand that list to 10,000 URLs – none of which will be released publicly. The pilot will include two levels – one that will test against the blacklist and another that will allow ISP customers to "have greater choice in what is filtered."

"The use of approximately 10,000 sites in this test should not be seen as reflecting an expectation on the part of government that the ACMA blacklist will increase to 10,000," according to the FAQ. "The number has no significance beyond the fact that it has been raised in consultations as a possible tipping-point in terms of network performance for some types of filtering, and therefore needs to be looked at in the pilot."

Not everyone is convinced that Conroy's efforts are simply about protecting children.

The Digital Liberty Coalition hosted rallies in Sydney and Melbourne earlier this month, and said that the recent blacklisting of Wikipedia in the U.K. was "a taste of things to come here" if the ISP filtering plan proceeds.
Australia's ISP Filtering Pilot Could Affect P2Ps - News and Analysis by PC Magazine

I have nothing but contempt for the scummy politicians and media which whip up the flames of censorship.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:51 AM   #24
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While there is no way any filter thing is gonna work properly and would just be a disaster, it might assist in removing (or at least complicating the accessibility to) the market for child porn and sad-person websites where people kill themselves or have their bodies torn in half or whatever.

It'll never happen, cause it'll never work. Storm in a tea cup. People'll be able to get around any filter anyway.
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:12 AM   #25
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[I]20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter![/I]
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:32 PM   #26
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Australia is not a theocracy.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:59 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Diemen View Post
Australia is not a theocracy.
We give taxpayer dollars to religious schools, religion is taught at public schools (with prayer), open parliamentary sittings with the Christian Lords prayer each day, this state has laws that ban the defamation of religion, politicians routinely talk about our Christian heritage when discussing social issues (for which Australia is quite conservative).

Australia is arguably more theocratic than the United States, I desire bill of rights that guarantees both freedom of speech and a wall of separation between church and state.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:08 PM   #28
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TRIALS of mandatory internet censorship will begin within days despite a secret high-level report to the Rudd Government that found the technology simply does not work, will significantly slow internet speeds and will block access to legitimate websites.

The report, commissioned by the Howard government and prepared by the Internet Industry Association, concluded that schemes to block inappropriate content such as child pornography are fundamentally flawed.

If the trials are deemed a success, the Government has earmarked $44 million to impose a compulsory "clean feed" on all internet subscribers in Australia as soon as late next year.

But the report says the filters would slow the internet - as much as 87 per cent by some measures - be easily bypassed and would not come close to capturing all of the nasty content available online. They would also struggle to distinguish between wanted and unwanted content, leading to legitimate sites being blocked. Entire user-generated content sites, such as YouTube and Wikipedia, could be censored over a single suspect posting.

This raises serious freedom of speech questions, such as who will be held accountable for blocked sites and whether the Government will be pressured to expand the blacklist to cover lawful content including pornography, gambling sites and euthanasia material.

The report, based on comprehensive interviews with many parties with a stake in the internet, was written by several independent technical experts including a University of Sydney associate professor, Bjorn Landfeldt. It was handed to the Government in February but has been kept secret.

"I definitely think that what the Government is showing publicly �c is such a small part of what they need to do in order to get this right," Professor Landfeldt told the Herald.

He said he believed the Government had not released his report because its conclusions were too damaging.

"It's definitely not going to be workable to get a very significant reduction in access to this [unwanted] content that is available out there - it's fundamentally just not viable."

The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy - despite his promises before Labor was elected that people would be able to opt out of any internet filters - has said the first tier of the Government's censorship policy will be compulsory for all. This would block all "illegal" and "inappropriate" material, as determined in part by a secret blacklist administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Fatal flaws in website censorship plan, says report - web - Technology
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:44 PM   #29
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And we have some lovely armed thugs to help keep everyone on the straight and narrow
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This rather disturbing piece of news has been on Liveleak for a day or so now. Biggles9 was trying to help identify the man in the video and this is what happened to him . Whats next ?

On October 9, 2008, Biggles9, an Australian, uploaded a viral video he found to LiveLeak. It featured a man swinging a baby around in a seemingly very dangerous manner. It was one of hundreds of videos in Biggles9's uploads. Liveleak users are like freelance reporters and submit videos that they find while surfing the Internet.

On Saturday, November 29, 2008, Biggles9's home and office was raided by the Task Force Argos. They seized his computers for forensic inspection. He was arrested by armed officers while his neighbors watched, and was detained for 7 hours of interrogation with no lawyer present. He is being charged with accessing child abuse material, downloading child abuse material, and uploading child abuse material with the intent to distribute. He had to post $10,000 in bail, has to report to the police every two days, and has travel restrictions.

When the video was originally uploaded, the idea was to try to identify the man swinging the baby. Biggles9 worked with one of Liveleak's founders ( Hayden Hewitt), who in turn worked with the UK police, who in turn worked with Interpol, who traced the video's origin to Russia (possibly a "circus family"). However, Biggles9's IP address was also recovered and forwarded to the Australian federal authorities, who in turn forwarded it to Task Force Argos, who in turn arrested Biggles9. Hayden says at no point, on LiveLeak, were we contacted by any Australian authorities asking about Biggles or the video.
Here's Biggles9's post about the incident: LiveLeak.com - A Warning for us all, some times life sucks

quote:
Yesterday, Sunday my time, I was visited at my home with neighbors watching by the gun wielding "Task Force Argos" the Child Safety and Sexual Crimes Police. My computers were forensically inspected both at home and in my office.
This came about over a video I uploaded in October about a 9 month old baby that was being swung about by his father.
I have been charged with Accessing Child abuse material, downloading Child abuse material and uploading child abuse material with the intent to distribute and have to appear in court on the 18th of December for a judge to decide if I'm to be charged to appear in a higher court. Merry Xmas to me
My finger prints and DNA were taken and I was interviewed like a common criminal with tape recordings and video. Apparently this is taken very seriously in Australia.
I'm just trying to warn all the up loaders and Moderators to be very careful of what is posted and approved when it comes to children; no one needs to go through this crap over something that is so petty.
As a matter of fact Hayden did everything possible to report the video to the local authorities in London; Interpol traced the video to Russia. Seems that the police in Britain passed the information on to the Australian Federal police who tracked me down.
I want to thank Hayden and Venus for their kind support over the last 18 hours. I'm sure that sanity will prevail over this matter and that some one in authority will realize the insanity of the charges.
Biggles
Internet Police Raids Biggles9 - iReport.com



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Old 12-23-2008, 08:16 PM   #30
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Hmmm, 125 million dollars to introduce a censorship regime while the people that actually hunt down paedophiles and stop real child abuse don't have funds
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PEDOPHILES preying on children over the internet are going unpunished because state and federal police do not have the resources to investigate.

The Daily Telegraph has obtained a series of letters from Federal Police agents asking NSW Police to take over cases because they do not have the staff to investigate pedophiles.

In one alarming case, a NSW man who "groomed'' a 14-year-old boy in the US for sex on the internet and confided he had molested 100 children was not picked up by NSW Police until four months after the case was handed over by the AFP.

"This matter was originally referred to an operational area of the AFP, however due to operational and resource issues, no investigational activity was able to be commenced at the time," an agent from the AFP's online child sexual exploitation team wrote to NSW Police on November 7 last year.

The man, referred to as the "truck driver" in the police file, was not arrested until March, eight months after US authorities first alerted the AFP's Washington bureau to the predator.

"These delays – or in some cases failure to investigate – are unacceptable and the public expects crimes where children are involved to be a top priority," Police Federation of Australia chief executive Mark Burgess said yesterday.

The man is known to possess firearms and posed as a scout leader in New Zealand until he was caught with a child in his sleeping bag while on camp. He is currently on bail and awaiting trial.

"He made admissions to having a problem with boys, having interfered with 100 children," the AFP letter said.

"It is believed one male victim was slightly retarded and has since been in an institution."

In another case offloaded by the AFP due to lack of resources, nine Australians caught sharing child pornography through a global child pornography network are yet to be charged. This is despite the AFP referring the case to NSW on July 26, 2006, listing the names and addresses of the alleged offenders.

"The above persons have been identified as residing in NSW and this referral package is provided to your agency for whatever action you deem necessary," the letter read.

Three other NSW offenders were caught trying to share child pornography on the internet with an undercover police officer based in Germany, but once again the AFP halted the investigation because of lack of funding.

The Daily Telegraph has been told more than 100 child exploitation cases had been handed to NSW police in the past year but only half are likely to be investigated by child protection police. The rest will be farmed out to local commands or dropped.

The State Government has promised to boost the specialised NSW child exploitation internet unit from four to 11 officers, but will not deliver until 2010.
No money available to chase internet pedophiles | Herald Sun
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