Woe to ye hypocrites

Woe to ye hypocrites

Telstra will not tolerate pornography, unless it profits from it. Earlier this year it was reported that 90 Telstra employees were facing disciplinary action following the discovery of pornographic materials on a Telstra system.

According to the report, a Telstra spokeswoman said: ". . . a large amount of pornographic material stored on the hard drive was discovered during routine maintenance of the network at the Global Operations Centre at Clayton, in the outer suburbs of Melbourne.

"This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated by the company and we will be taking action," she said.

Certainly, the fact that Telstra has a strong policy relating to its employees obtaining and distributing digital pornographic materials is to be applauded. As to what the subject of the images actually were, we can only guess. One must only assume that it would have been quite offensive to demand such a strong and highly publicised reaction from the telecommunications giant.

Yet what is truly fascinating about this whole issue is that Telstra has quite wittingly and publicly established itself as one of this country's greatest corporate and moral hypocrites. After all, Telstra, through its BigPond Internet services, can quite likely claim the prize as being Australia's foremost provider of online pornography.

For those who doubt the validity of this comment, including, it would seem, Telstra BigPond management, we'll take a quick stroll along the BigPond newsgroup path. Just before we do though, bear in mind that, unlike Web sites which can be accessed by bypassing a proxy server or IRC (Internet Relay Chat), which is an uncontrolled medium, an ISP's newsgroup service can be easily set to exclude any newsgroup, offensive or otherwise.

Having established this, a perusal of BigPond's newsgroups, which contain the word "erotica" shows us that Telstra's computers retrieve, store and make accessible, newsgroups such as:n are a mere fraction of the pornographic offerings Telstra is currently providing to its users. Even children can use a simple tool such as Outlook Express to access Telstra's in-house and online storage of rape, torture, incest and any number of other images.

Tabloid is a place for hypocrisy. We thrive on it. We make no excuses for chastising those who make errors and also use the section to correct our own mistakes.

But we may have been dethroned. Well done, Telstra. You have established new levels of hypocrisy within the Australian community. What next? Will the drug lords start advocating the arrest and rehabilitation of their addicted customers?

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