Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) today welcomed the results of a recent survey that found Australian Internet users do not support the idea of mandatory Internet filtering.

The preliminary results of the Australian Broadband Survey 2009, conducted by Whirlpool (whirlpool.net.au), found that 91.8% respondents did not support the idea of mandatory Internet filtering.

The survey also found 83.4% of respondents said that the introduction of mandatory Internet filtering might affect their vote at the next Federal election.

“The results highlight widespread community disagreement with the Government’s plan,” said Peter Black, EFA’s campaign manager. “These results also show that Australians believe the Government would be better off focusing on increased education and law enforcement, instead of an impractical and costly policy of Government censorship.”

When asked what the Government should focus on in terms of internet safety, 81.8% supported educating parents, 63.9% said educating children, 43.7% said law enforcement, 42.1% said subsidising desktop filter software, and 33.5% said subsidising ISP-level opt-in filters, with only 3.2% supporting mandatory Internet filtering.

These preliminary results from the Australian Broadband Survey 2009 only include respondents aged 18 years of age or older. The survey was successfully completed and verified 21,775 times by respondents aged 18 years of age or older. The full results of the Survey are expected to be published soon.

“These results confirm that people who understand the issue overwhelming oppose the Government’s policy,” Black said. “The big challenge now is to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Australians, who perhaps aren’t particularly computer or Internet savvy.”

That is why last week EFA launched the Open Internet campaign, centred around a new website, OpenInternet.com.aublog and Facebook fan page, to, to, that together will act as campaign hub for all the different individuals and organisations that are campaigning against the Governmentb s mandatory Internet filtering policy.

The Open Internet campaign marks an escalation of opposition to the Government’s policy, 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/

* Australian Broadband Survey 2009 Pre-Release Report
- The pre-release report has been redacted.  The full report will be available at Whirlpool (whirlpool.net.au) in the next few days.

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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