According to this ABC Article, the Alexander Maconochie Cuddleprison has been having trouble with their internet.
Specifically, despite internet access being one of the privilege afforded to prisoners, their chosen filtering solution was still allowing prisoners to send untraceable and anonymous messages, by using news websites and other such facilities.
The Shadow Corrections Minister, Jeremy Hanson, went so far as to question why such access was being allowed at all, as it potentially granted ‘Inappropriate access, such that prisoners could be able to intimidate witnesses, affect the course of their trial by contacting the media, or conduct illegal activities’.
While the Opposition want internet access removed entirely, Labor are taking a more lenient approach, consistent with internet access being deemed a human right in some circles.
Joy Burch’s comment of “We’ve closed the sites we consider to be at risk and that we know of, so they’ve been closed down” makes me think firstly that our Minister for Corrections isn’t aware of exactly how accessing the internet works nor where her authority ends, but secondly that the AMC filtering solution is just using simple blacklisting methods.
The most common downsides to blacklist options are that the blacklist needs to be constantly maintained, and that prisoners are likely to access inappropriate websites faster than they can be blacklisted.
Considering that internet access is apparently an earned privilege, and approved on a case-by-case basis, with potential risks to public safety associated with outgoing communications, hasn’t the Minister for Corrections ever heard of whitelisting instead?
[Ed] This also came in from ADZA
The ABC News Website http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/14/2792437.htm reports today that the ACT Opposition is concerned a prisoner at the Canberra jail has been able to send an offensive email to a news organisation. This comes at the time when a needle exchange program is being looked at for the same prison.
What’s going on with jails (gaols if you want to be Australian) these days? There was once a time when you were locked up, that you had your privileges removed. How are the inmates getting needles and drugs in the first place? Why are they able to access the internet?
I guess this is from a “centre” that doesn’t even have the word “jail” in its name, so it comes to me as no surprise.