Teenager Cracks Government’s $84 Million Porn Filter in 30 Minutes

    A 16-year-old Australian hacker was able to crack the federal government’s $84-million internet porn filter NetAlert in record time, proving that teenagers will always find a way to access porn, no matter how expensive or advanced the filtering technology is.

    It’s amazing that after 30-minutes he didn’t move on to the sears catalogue.

    Tom Wood, a Year 10 student who has the perfect name for the job, told the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday that it took him a mere 30 minutes to break through the government’s new porn filter.

    During his free time while attending a private school in Melbourne, Wood found a way to deactivate the filter with several clicks of the mouse. His hack ensures that the software’s toolbar icon is not deleted, leading his parents to believe the filter is still activated and working properly.

    As a victim of cyberbullying, Wood fears that a computer-savvy child could put the bypass on the internet for others to use.

    “It’s a horrible waste of money. They could get a much better filter for a few million dollars made here rather than paying overseas companies for an ineffective one.”

    Australia’s Communications Minister Helen Coonan explained the government anticipated that children would find ways to get around the NetAlert filters.

    The ease at which Wood was able to bypass the filtering is leading to cries for compulsory filtering by internet service provider’s (ISP’s), which based on what is happening in China may not be the right approach.

    “You need both. You need it at the ISP and at the PC level,” Senator Fielding said. “The Government has not listened to common sense and it leaves kids exposed.” One would argue that it’s the parents responsibility to monitor their children’s internet browsing and computer usage, not the federal government.

    Wood’s exploits highlight the inefficiencies of big government. That $84 million could have been far more effectively spent.

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