[LINK] 'Open Government' invites filter discussion

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Wed Jul 21 09:33:17 AEST 2010

'Open Government' invites filter discussion
By Liz Tay
Jul 20, 2010 12:38 PM

AGIMO moves forward with Gov 2.0 recommendations.

The Federal Government has invited "continued engagement" in response to 
online criticism of its Open Government promises and mandatory internet 
filtering proposal.

Last Friday, outgoing Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner made a 
'Declaration of Open Government', in accordance with recommendations 
provided by the Gov2.0 Taskforce in December. 

"[The Government] is committed to open government based on a culture of 
engagement, built on better access to and use of government held 
information, and sustained by the innovative use of technology," it 

"Collaboration with citizens is to be enabled and encouraged. Agencies 
are to reduce barriers to online 
undertake social networking, crowd sourcing and online collaboration 
projects and support online engagement by employees, in accordance with 
the Australian Public Service Commission Guidelines."

Tanner's invitation to engage was followed by 71 comments 
his AGIMO blog entry, before the comments were closed for the election 
period yesterday afternoon.

Many posters welcomed the declaration, but some took issue with the 
promise of openness while the Government planned to introduce a 
mandatory, ISP-level internet filter.

One commenter, Gail Tuft, asked: "How can the Gillard government declare 
Open Government as a commitment when the same government is playing 
hardball on a mandatory secret censorship system?"

"You can't have both," Tuft wrote. "You are either open and treating 
Australian adults as adults in the modern world or you are censoring and 
treating Australian adults as though they are children."

Others, posting under the names Chris, Kanook, Luke P and Greg Khun, 
suggested that the declaration was "hollow" and a "statement without 

"I'd like Labor to be open about your precious internet filter, ACTA, 
NBN discussions, the constant piling on of matters into the 'Refused 
Classification' category..." Luke P wrote.

Addressing the criticism, a spokesman for the Department of Finance and 
Deregulation told iTnews: "As stated in the Declaration, the Government 
welcomes open discussion and continued engagement."

The declaration is accessible from the Department's website. 



Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
email:	 brd at iimetro.com.au
website: www.drbrd.com

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