Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) today welcomed an announcement by Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey that the coalition will oppose any move to legislate mandatory internet censorship in Australia. On Thursday's Hack program on Triple J radio, Mr Hockey stated that "we believe the internet filter will not work and we believe it's flawed policy."

"We applaud Mr Hockey's announcement that the Liberal Party will vote against Labor's filter," said EFA Chair Colin Jacobs. "The Opposition are very welcome among the ranks of those many organisations and individuals that see the filter as a policy failure."

A mandatory censorship scheme remains Government policy. However, with The Greens long on record as opposing the internet censorship scheme, Mr Hockey's announcement means that Labor's legislation is effectively dead on arrival in the Senate.

"We call on Minister Conroy and the Gillard Government to now admit the mandatory filter policy is dead, and to move on to a debate more grounded in reality," said Jacobs. "The government must now listen to the experts, and get back to working on giving Australians access to better and faster broadband."

- Ends -

Below is:

- Background information
- Contact details for media

Background:

* Coalition vows to block 'flawed' internet filter
- http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/05/2974827.htm?section=justin

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

* EFA's Open Internet campaign
- http://openinternet.com.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 Colin Jacobs
EFA Chair
Phone: 0402 631 955
Email: [email protected]

Mr Geordie Guy
EFA Vice Chair
Phone: 0415 797 142
Email: [email protected]

14 comments

  1. That's good news, at long last. I can't wait to hear the ACL's reaction to this.

    Comment by Jacob Zimmermann on 6 August 2010 at 06:49
  2. a win for all the right things like freedom,oversight,dissent.the vatican's hounds silenced.be vigilant.remember the proponents.remember those that stayed quiet,it suited them too.i feel like to party/celebrate.

    Comment by thomas vesely on 6 August 2010 at 08:59
  3. I was pretty relieved to hear this. I can't believe it took them this long to come out against it, but then again, I can't believe Labor was/is still pushing it. I've really been scratching my head as to why they were doing it.

    Comment by Kirk on 6 August 2010 at 09:11
  4. and they are too smart not to know that it wasn't helping,yet never looked like dumping it.some deals were done,favours owed.right now julia may well be thinking about that, she just wasn't new enough.were a filter in place we may have never known about all the stuff ups of rudd/gillard/garrett trifecta.i guess an inept government would find censorship useful??

    Comment by thomas vesely on 6 August 2010 at 09:19
  5. So long as they stick to it...
    w00000000000t :D

    Comment by Rob on 6 August 2010 at 13:59
  6. awesome - though they still won't be my first preference - but they will get voted higher than the Gillard Gang....

    .... Both will be towards the bottom of my list - either one's still gonna be in power so I'm still gonna put one or two minorities first to include a few other issues.

    Comment by Mudslinger on 6 August 2010 at 15:31
  7. Same here, mudslinger... they won't be #1, but I'll put them ahead of ALP. I don't like the Greens that much, but the Sex Party looks interesting.

    Comment by Kirk on 6 August 2010 at 19:02
  8. The ACL have posted on the Coalition's announcement, they said the position was incomprehensible (what, they struggle to understand that "the filter won't work"?).
    Choice quotes "And finally to imply that parents rather than the ISPs are best equipped to manage the technology by presumably introducing the discredited Net Nanny system, again simply defies technological reality." Seriously, Parents can't put a computer in the lounge room? The best monitoring system ever, about 0 technological skill required there.

    "Mr Wallace said the anti-filter proponents have run a well funded scare campaign on the issue, beginning with claims it would slow down the internet by up to 87%, only to be proven it was less than 1/70th of the blink of an eye, and conspiracy theories that saw us all becoming like China and North Korea." Not as well funded as your campaign, Jim you arrogant luddite, and yes it is no different to China and North Korea, becuause the banned list is secret (unlike the far more open and democratic activities of the Office of Film and Literature Classification).

    “On every level arguments against ISP level blocking of RC material have been disproved or shown to be illogical,” said Mr Wallace. “Even the much publicised statement by the US Ambassador that he was against it because he wanted to see the internet free “as the oceans have to be free”, conveniently overlooked the fact that the US blocks drugs been brought by boat from Central America to the US because of their harm to US society. ISP level filtering does the same with harmful internet product, and offends the freedom of the internet no more than the US does that of the sea in drug control,”. Ok, deep breath, harmful products on the open internet = drugs... Like what, like harm minimsation for drug users? The drugs are bad, but sharing a needle to inject said drugs is far worse, Jim you are a drop kick.

    "Important to understand in the Government’s plan is that ISP filtering is only part of the solution to the problem of RC material on the internet, that it includes in particular additional funding of police efforts to intercept illegal peer to peer material and find the perpetrators of it." Yes, agreed Jim (well we can agree on something), so why was funding cut? To pay for the useless filter.

    "The Govt is absolutely right to retain its resolve on this issue,” said Mr Wallace, “and it is extremely disappointing to see the Coalition adopt a policy that, as the civil libertarians behind it intend, will establish a principle where this medium is beyond regulation – quite unlike the supposedly free seas.” Well last I checked it is the responsibility of the nation were the server is located to regulate it. Thus the open internet is regulated, just not consistently (and beyond the reach of blinkered fundamentalists like you).

    It is tough living in a democracy when you want your very small minority (unconstitutional) view imposed on the masses.

    Comment by Rhino on 6 August 2010 at 23:10
  9. Great news. At least some parties are now listening to the electorate.

    Comment by Simon on 6 August 2010 at 23:17
  10. The Australian Christian Lobby's position is pretty strange. Even if you are a Christian conservative, who supports filtering in principle, how could you believe it wouldn't be used block things it shouldn't - particularly when the list is secret? The blacklist even included links to an anti-abortion site - I would have thought the fundamentalists would be up in arms over that!

    Libs cop a lot of flak for caving to religious right on occasion - as they should - so I think they deserve applause for standing up to them on this one. I can't believe ALP is still supporting it. Is this their idea of centrist policy? To support the religious right?

    Comment by Kirk on 7 August 2010 at 00:40
  11. Finally, a party comes out with common sense! They've got my vote!

    Comment by rainwilds on 7 August 2010 at 21:00
  12. @rainwilds

    What the Libs have said is all well and good. However, you may want to also take several other things into consideration before voting, such as:
    -What is the Lib's stance on an Adult Classification for games (last I heard Hockey was still making the claim that Video Games had "magical" properties that meant they couldn't be Classified like ANY other media.
    -What will the Libs be recommending to the review of the Classification System, if, and when, Conroy can get all the AGs to agree to one? It was under the Libs and Howard that we got the current fractured system and the RC Classification.
    -What plans do the Libs have for the current ACMA censorship system for Australian hosted sites that they themselves created? Will we continue to export IT Business overseas?

    Comment by Womp on 8 August 2010 at 08:22
  13. "Libs cop a lot of flak for caving to religious right on occasion - as they should - so I think they deserve applause for standing up to them on this one. I can't believe ALP is still supporting it. Is this their idea of centrist policy? To support the religious right?"

    The Coalition has nothing mate, just a few desperate pleas for a return to the good old days of the white Australia that was the brain child of John Howard.

    One only has to look at Malcolm Turnbull, the champagne socialist. Don't see any Liberal logo on his posters, good on him.

    Comment by willberforce on 9 August 2010 at 20:53
  14. Grow up willberforce, trying to link the Liberals and John Howard to the white Australia policy just makes you look like a moron.

    Comment by Ben on 11 August 2010 at 11:13