[LINK] Gillard backs internet filter

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Thu Jul 8 18:26:16 AEST 2010

And this an updated viewpoint of the Greens on the issue - Jump to
comments at the bottom - showing qualified support for the greens "IF"
they don't allocate their preferences to Labor.


July 08, 2010  3:41PM 

THE Greens have urged Prime Minister Julia Gillard to put the
controversial ISP filtering plan on hold or risk affecting Labor's
election chances.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said the friendless net filter proposal is
one policy that Labor will probably regret taking into the 2010

It hopes Ms Gillard will invest time in an evidence-based approach
before jumping the gun on the mandatory internet filtering scheme,
approved by her predecessor Kevin Rudd.

"Prime Minister, put the net filter on hold and take the time to review
the evidence that it simply won't work," Senator Ludlam said.

"There is still time to work with industry, online advocacy groups,
child protection groups and other political parties to adopt a truly
evidence based approach."

He urged Ms Gillard to pay heed to inquiries by the government-initiated
joint select committee on cyber safety before supporting the scheme.

"Prime Minister Gillard should have taken time to hear the evidence
before throwing her support behind the unpopular net filter.

"Why establish a cyber safety committee if you plan on ploughing ahead
regardless of the evidence it receives?" Senator Ludlam said.

Under the plan all internet service providers would be forced to block
web pages that contain refused classification material on a secret
government blacklist.

Ms Gillard is happy with the policy aim of the filtering proposal.

"Clearly you can't walk into a cinema in Australia and see certain
things and we shouldn't on the internet be able to access those things
either so (Communications Minister) Stephen Conroy is working to get
this in the 'right shape'," she told ABC radio yesterday.

Simon Sheikh, national director for activist group GetUp, said Ms
Gillard has a "great opportunity" to differentiate herself from Mr
Rudd's oft-criticised plan. He hopes she would adopt an opt-in mechanism

"Julia Gillard has a great opportunity to separate herself from the
former PM's controversial system by moving to an opt-in model that would
allow Australians to decide for themselves how best to protect children

"An opt-in system would have the extra benefit of saving taxpayer money
which could be redirected into essential front line services like those
provided by the Australian Federal Police," Mr Sheikh said.

He said that fundamentally, the internet cannot be likened to other
mediums like TV, movies and books.

"The government has said its proposed filter's underlying principle is
undisputable -- that the internet should not be treated differently from
any other form of communication.

"The logic is flawed -- the internet is a fundamentally different

"When a film is censored, Australians can take to the internet, discover
why, and debate the merits of censoring the film. But when the internet
is blocked -- how do we keep the government accountable? How do we
monitor what information we are allowed to see?" Mr Sheikh asked.

He said the proposed filter will not work. "Not only will the filter be
easy for those seeking to share illicit material to circumvent, it will
also block legitimate material."

Legislation could be introduced by the end of the year to force all ISPs
to filter the RC content list.

Timing for the legislation, which has earned the ire of ISPs, internet
freedom advocates and even Labor's own backbencher Kate Lundy, depends
on the date for the upcoming federal election and whether Labor wins


 Ms L of Perth  Posted at 4:47 PM Today

    Well if Gillard can't see reason, labour still won't get my vote.
Liberals won't get my vote because of the cancelling NBN. So congrats
Greens, +1 to you, but i ain't letting you assign my vote to labour ;)

 Intelligent policies please  Posted at 4:46 PM Today

    I will vote for the Greens only if they guarantee that they will not
allocate preferences to labour. Greens should make this an election

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