Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) today welcomed the widespread opposition to the the Rudd Government's mandatory Internet filtering plan.

"There are dozens of organisations and groups that are working against the Government's plan to censor the Internet, highlighting the depth of community disagreement with the plan," said Peter Black, EFA's campaign manager.

EFA has launched a new website, OpenInternet.com.au, blog and Facebook fan page, to act as a campaign hub for these different groups.

"We hope that the Open Internet campaign will help unite all these different groups, so that we can work together to stop the Government's plan," Black said. "The big challenge for all of the opposition groups now is to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Australians, who perhaps aren't particularly computer or Internet savvy."

EFA is concerned that the actions of Anonymous are only hurting the movement's cause.

"EFA condemns the denial of service attacks orchestrated by Anonymous, as they damage the cause by playing to stereotypes of filter opponents as juveniles motivated by a desire to ensure the availability of Internet pornography," said EFA Vice-Chair Colin Jacobs. "They serve no purpose but to give the Government the moral high ground, and distract from arguments about the ineffectiveness of the policy and its ramifications for free speech."

EFA also rejects any attempt to legitimise the actions of Anonymous.

"We are aware that Anonymous is now organising street protests on 20 February, dubbed Project Freeweb," said Black. "However, EFA does not support these protests. Any attempt to legitimise the actions of Anonymous only makes it easier for the Government to dismiss the opposition to its filter as fringe extremists."

"While we understand the frustrations that the Anonymous members feel, we would instead encourage people to contact their local Member of Parliament, or participate in the National Day Action activities being planned by Block the Filter and Stop Internet Censorship on 6 March," said Black.

The Open Internet website has a list of 10 practical things that people can do to oppose the filter.

The Open Internet campaign marks an escalation of opposition to the plan, which will continue throughout the year. "Our goal is to ensure the Australian public know what they're in for," said Black. "It's important that such a major and expensive policy gets the public scrutiny it deserves. And we believe that Open Internet portrays a positive and understandable message that will resonate with Australians who are yet to form a strong opinion on the Government's policy."

- Ends -

Below is:

- Background information
- Contact details for media

* EFA's Open Internet campaign
- http://openinternet.com.au/

* Electronic Frontiers Australia
- https://www.efa.org.au/

About EFA:

Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. (EFA) is a non-profit national organisation representing Internet users concerned with on-line rights and freedoms. EFA was established in 1994, is independent of government and commerce, and is funded by membership subscriptions and donations from individuals and organisations with an altruistic interest in promoting online civil liberties.

Media Contacts:

Mr Peter Black
Campaign Manager
Phone: 0421 636 496
Email: pete.black at efa.org.au

Mr Colin Jacobs
EFA Vice-Chair
Phone: 0402 631 955
Email: cjacobs at efa.org.au

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