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

rene rene.ln at libertus.net
Wed Aug 18 16:43:29 AEST 2010

On Tue, 17 Aug 2010 21:42:45 -0700 (PDT), David Goldstein wrote:
> Robin,
> The ALP is most definitely not a progressive party. It's a
> conservative party that grew out of a catholic, trade union
> background. 


>It's just more progressive that the Liberal Party, which
> isn't hard, as even Menzies wouldn't recognise the party he created
> and is probably turning in his grave at what it's become.

In relatively recent years, the ALP has also become something that it was 
not, or at least did not purport to be, in the past. That may, or may not, 
be associated with Rudd having established in 2005 the ALP's "Faith Values 
and Politics" group for the apparent purpose of courting the (radical) 
religious right and subsequently conducting media interviews outside church 
each Sunday. Things that to the best of my knowledge neither Howard or 
Abbott have ever done, and that imo appear more likely than not to be 
associated with advent of the ALP's Net censorship plan (which has changed 
at least 3-4 times since it was announced 5 days before the 2007 election).

> As for the internet filter, where is there something that says it
> will include R-rated content? Everything I've seen refers to RC
> content. The latest is at
> http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/17/2985789.htm.

It's sad that the only recent information about alleged "ALP election 
policy" in relation to ISP level blocking of Web content is apparently on a 
media site. I agree that (since Dec 2009) the ALP has been claiming that 
they won't require blocking of R-rated content, but when one considers the 
history of how that change to their policy came about, it's difficult to 
trust them even insofar as believing that their policy won't change back, 
if they're re-elected, to requring blocking of "R18" and various other 
content below "RC".

 From mid 2008 to mid Dec 2009, there was absolutely no doubt that the ALP's 
policy plan was to mandatorily require ISPs to block adults' access to some 
MA15+, and all R18+ and X18+ material. That policy/plan got watered down to 
"RC" only (Conroy media release of 15 Dec 2009) as a result of evident 
widespread public opposition. Then very recently, the ALP realised that 
hadn't solved their problem/opposition, so they've promoted the idea of a 
review of what constitutes "RC" material - which would take, at the very 
least, 12 months (more likely 18 months or more based on past "reviews") - 
assuming all State/Territory Government Censorship Ministers agree to 
conduct a review (else it can't be done) and thereby enable the ALP to 
pretend in the meantime that the outcome of their blocking policy will be 
something different than if implemented now. That's a joke - in that no 
review of AU classification/censorship criteria in the last 20 years has 
ever resulted in less censorious criteria, and has more often than not 
resulted in increased censorship (else status quo). There's no reason to 
think that the outcome of any 'review' now/soon would be any different, in 
part because at the end of the day what happens depends on the agreement of 
all Cth, State/Territory Censorship Ministers, and any one of them can 
block a change proposed/wanted by all the rest of them (which is why there 
is still no R18+ classification for computer games).

Meanwhile it's arguably worth recalling that while the Coalition introduced 
an ISP blocking plan/draft law into Parliament in early 1999, they rapidly 
learned the error of their ways and amended the draft law. During the next 
8 years, including 3 years while the Coalition held the balance of power in 
*both* Houses of Parliament, they did not attempt to introduce mandatory 
ISP blocking, and the Coalition went to the 2007 election stating they 
would not mandate that all ISPs implement blocking.

Despite some people's claims/implications that the Coalition is a greater 
risk than ALP in terms of censorship, due to claimed religion-based 
motivations, there is actually no recent (10 yr) historical evidence to 
suggest that is so, in fact all evidence is to the contrary. Moreover since 
2007, it has become apparent that the ALP's previously purported opposition 
to increased censorship in various forms (inc. ISP mandatory blocking in 
1999) had far more to do with wedge politics and the politics of opposition 
(say no) than to their actual policy tendencies.

NB: I am not suggesting who people should vote for, nor that they should 
vote based solely on parties' censorship policy. I'm commenting merely 
because I get a bit tired of hearing stuff along the lines of "mad monk" 
tony, and the "progressive" ALP. Imo, both of these perceptions are some 
years out of date, and both major parties are as bad as each other in terms 
of whether or not, in power, they'd do things such as pander to the radical 
religious right and/or to any other any other segment of the AU population.

It might well be high time that both major parties got a wake up call by 
means of two hung houses of Parliament!




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