Electronic Frontiers Australia, Inc. (EFA), a pioneering NGO promoting Internet users’ rights, launched the new Safely Surfing the Internet Campaign which targets teenagers from 12 to 18 years old (also known as the “Generation Z”) The campaign’s overall purpose is to create a sense of personal responsibility among members of the target group by inculcating a sense of discipline.
Internet users will develop this sense of personal responsibility through the use of media propaganda. The campaign gives particular attention to the Generation Z because this group is composed of teenagers that are extremely curios about a lot of things and they have yet to develop the right values that would judge right from wrong, thus they use the Internet as an avenue to access information from just about any website, even websites that could be harmful to them.
The campaign also urges that the Government should set up a system that would filter the dangers of the Internet which will hamper the exposure of teenagers to these risks. In 2007, the Australian government passed a law that would require Internet Service Providers to block content forcefully. The federal government decided to provide mandatory funding to the law such that the 2008-2009 national budget allocated $24. 3 million to the Government’s “clean-feed”. The funding will be increased to $51.
4 million in the 2009-2010 fiscal year. Colin Jacobs, EFA spokesman said: “Given the manifest impracticality of the clean-feed scheme, I’m sure this money could have been put to much better use. ” The campaign objective includes: •To inform the target group about the disadvantages of irresponsible use of the Internet. •To assist parents in training their children to use the Internet carefully. •To inform the government that mandatory control of Internet is unnecessary.