[LINK] [SPAM?] Re: Jenny Macklin's response to my fax about Internet censorship

Richard Archer rha at juggernaut.com.au
Fri Aug 20 16:44:55 AEST 2010

At 4:20 PM +1000 20/8/10, Robin Whittle wrote:

>The only response has been a personally signed letter from Jenny
>Macklin, which arrived today.  I know she has a staff of people to do
>this, but she and her team went to considerable trouble to do this.  I
>doubt it is a form letter.

Hi Robin,

Compare it to the following letter I received back from
an inquiry to my local member. This reply was received
from a staffer.

Mine includes some additional text:

"The Gillard Labor Government does not support Refused
Classification (RC) content being available on the internet."

And probably some other changes, but it's basically a
form letter.


---begin forwarded text

Subject: Enquiry
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2010 14:42:47 +1000
From: "Flower, Heidi (C. King, MP)" <Heidi.Flower at aph.gov.au>
To: <rha at juggernaut.com.au>

Good Afternoon Richard,

Thank you kindly for contacting Catherine regarding the introduction of
requirements on Internet Service Providers (ISP's) to block access to
certain materials.

Federal Labor believes that while the internet offers fantastic
opportunities, governments have a responsibility to put in place
measures that ensure Australians, in particular children, have a safe
experience online.

There is no silver bullet solution to Cybersafety.  That's why Federal
Labor's $125.8 million Cybersafety consists of a comprehensive range of
measures encompassing education, law enforcement, research and
mandatory Internet Service Provider (ISP) filtering of Refused
Classification (RC) content.

Under the plan:

·         Ongoing funding has been allocated to expand the Australian
Federal Police Child Protection Unit by 91 police officers.

·         Funding has been provided for education programs which have
reached 144,000 parents, teachers and students through the delivery of
the Outreach program. Cyber-safety education resources are being
delivered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority through
a new Cybersmart website
including a 24 hour counselling service provided by Kids Helpline (1800
551 800).

·         Membership of the Consultative Working Group on Cybersafety-
comprising industry, child protection advocates and government - was
expanded to consider all aspects of cyber-safety faced by Australian

·         A Youth Advisory Group of 300 children aged 12 to17 has been
established to provide valuable advice to the Federal Government on
Cybersafety issues, from a young person's perspective

·         Following completion of a live pilot of ISP level filtering,
Federal Labor announced enhancements to its cyber-safety plan including
introduction of mandatory ISP level filtering of content that is rated
Refused Classification (RC). We plan to introduce a grants program to
encourage ISPs to offer additional level filtering services to
households that want them.

The Gillard Labor Government does not support Refused Classification
(RC) content being available on the internet.

Refused Classification (RC) content includes child sexual abuse
imagery, bestiality, sexual violence, detailed instruction in crime,
violence or drug use and/or material that advocates the doing of a
terrorist act.

Under Australia's existing classification regulations, Refused
Classification (RC) material is not available in newsagencies, it is
not on library shelves, and you cannot watch it on a DVD or at the
cinema and it is not shown on television.  Moreover, Refused
Classification (RC) material is not available on Australian hosted

The Federal Labor's proposal to introduce mandatory ISP filtering as
one part of its Cybersafety Strategy will bring the treatment of
overseas hosted content into line by requiring ISPs to block overseas
content that has been identified as being (RC)-rated.

In 15 Western Democracies, including many countries in Europe (such as
the United States, Sweden and Norway), ISPs already use the same
technology to block URLs, mostly of child sexual abuse material. They
do this on a voluntary basis.

The Gillard Labor Government understands that the public needs to have
confidence that the material blocked under ISP level filtering, and the
process by which it gets there, is independent, rigorous, free from
interference or influence and has appropriate review mechanisms.

That is why we have committed to a comprehensive suite of transparency
and accountability measures to accompany the introduction of ISP
filtering of Refused Classification (RC) content.  These include:

·         An annual review of the Refused Classification (RC) content
list by an independent expert who will be appointed in consultation
with industry.

·         Clear avenues for appeal of classification decisions.
·         A requirement that all content identified on the basis of a
public complaint be classified by the Classification Board under the
National Classification Scheme.
·         A provision for affected parties to have the ability to have
decisions reviewed by the Classification Review Board.

More information on the complete suite of transparency and
accountability measures is available at

The Gillard Labor Government understands that there is community debate
about what material should be included in the Refused Classification
(RC) category. That is why the Gillard Labor Government is also seeking
a review of the Refused Classification (RC) category before any
obligation on ISPs is implemented for mandatory blocking of Refused
Classification (RC) content, to ensure that this classification
continues to reflect current community standards.

In the meantime, the Gillard Labor Government welcomes the announcement
that three of Australia's largest ISPs, Telstra, Optus and Primus,
representing around 70 per cent of end users, have agreed to
voluntarily block at the ISP level a list of child abuse URLs compiled
and maintained by the independent regulator, the Australian
Communications and Media Authority.

This approach is consistent with what is happening around the world:
·         In the United Kingdom, ISPs representing over 95 per cent of
end users block URLs of child abuse material.
·         In Canada it is almost 90 per cent.
·         In Denmark it is 99 per cent and in Sweden its 85 per cent.

I hope this information will be useful and thank you again for your contact.

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