[LINK] ALP Net censorship policy hidden, but alive and far-reaching

Robin Whittle rw at firstpr.com.au
Tue Aug 17 16:17:34 AEST 2010

The ALP site enables comments on some pages. I was able to add a
comment underneath the PM's speech/blog:


What I wrote was broken into nice paragraphs, but linebreaks are
filtered by the site.  There's apparently no moderation, since the
text went straight onto the site in a few seconds.

 = = = = = =

There are 39 policies listed at this site, but the most significant
and unpopular is not mentioned - Internet censorship.

Benjamin Franklin's 1755 statement: "Those who would give up
essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve
neither Liberty nor Safety." is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.

The ALP Internet censorship policy is such a serious threat to our
democratic freedoms that there's no way I can vote Labor.

I have never voted other than Labor, but I will be voting for the
Coalition and the Greens ahead of Labor on Saturday.  Mandatory
filtering by ISPs of all websites (not yet email, instant messenger?)
which contain material which is "R rated" or beyond goes far beyond
banning child pornography, which is already illegal.

The intention is to prohibit Australian adults from communicating
regarding material which is "wrong" [1] [2], or which "instructs in
matters of crime" and the like.

Voting for the ALP is voting for Internet censorship to the point of
attempting to make all Internet communications (web at least) safe
for children [3].  This is impossible, of course, and any attempt to
do so would destroy the freedom of communications which adults in a
democracy must have.  It is wrong to be complacent about this,
thinking the Greens and Coalition will block it in the Senate, or
because this sort of policy is unconstitutional in the USA, where
their First Amendment has meant the mid-1990s US government attempts
at Internet censorship were quickly found to be unconstitutional.

The ALP has betrayed its progressive roots with this Internet
censorship policy.  This is the sort of policy we expect from Family
First, the DLP or the right wing of the Liberal party.  This is the
ALP's new Stalinism:  "The government knows better than we do what we
should communicate about.  The government knows that spending $43B of
our taxes in an attempt to make the NBN is better for us than than
spending less on broadband and more on preventive health and

The Coalition rejects mandatory ISP filtering because it is wrong in
principle and practice.  Internet censorship is like banning or
burning books.  It must be rejected, and that means rejecting the
ALP.  More details and links:

  - Robin Whittle, Melbourne.

P.S.  Full marks to the ALP allowing these comments on at least
      some pages of this site, but if all the above appears as one
      paragraph, then my line breaks have been filtered out!




 = = = = = =

Craig, I understand your concerns about the coalition.  However, I
consider this largely hidden, inadequately publicly discussed, policy
of the ALP to be a far more serious failing than any policy or
personality in the Coalition.

 - Robin

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