Labor’s mandatory ISP filtering plan has generated much debate, and an equal amount of confusion.

In an effort to combat some of the misconceptions and to set out some of the real concerns with the scheme, Electronic Frontiers Australia has prepared the six single-page fact sheets to bring politicians, media and the public up to speed.

For instance:

The fact sheets cover the following areas:

  1. Overview: What is the scheme, how did it come about?
  2. Cyber-safety: Will the filter protect children and how?
  3. Technical issues: How will the filter work and what are the technical difficulties?
  4. Filtering overseas: How does this scheme compare to those in other democracies?
  5. Combating illegal material: Will the filter crack down on the distribution of child abuse material online?
  6. Filtering and free speech: Does the scheme pose a threat to our democratic freedoms?

EFA welcomes any feedback on the content of these so we can keep them up to date and help drive the debate forward.

Download Filtering Fact Sheets (PDF, 2MB).

17 Responses

  1. Overall, I like it. It's not rabid, but it clearly enumerates the legitimate reasons why the proposed filter scheme is a stupid and dangerous idea.

    Just in the interests of polish: First page, first column, four lines from the bottom is a "the the" typo. Centre column page 3, the definition of URL should probably say "Locator", not "Locators". There's some inconsistency of hyphenation of "URL-based" in there, too. Typo "proposoal" in column 3. Page 4 "technological censorship in regime in place". (And DNS is mentioned in that list without any definition or mention of its significance.) Odd punctuation "U.K's" on page 5, column 2. Page 6 first paragraph "NTRODUCING". Second paragraph, don't know it "Regulated" should be capitalised…

    Have I worn out my welcome, yet? ;-)

  2. My letter of protest if anyone wants to copy and paste. Please do send your one.
    His email is [email protected]

    Dear Senator Conroy,

    I am writing to you in concern about the proposed internet filter. Like many Australians, I have serious concerns about both the viability and ideology of the scheme suggested.

    From what I have read and heard, there are many flaws in the idea of a "clean feed", not the least of which are the serious issues about who decides what is "clean". The sheer number or internet users in this country, and the size of the internet means that filtering all of the information is costly to set up and exponentially to maintain. The amount of money that this will cost could surely be better spent on education for young children about internet safely and pursuing those few sites who are most harmful?

    Further, the amount of websites that I do want to visit that might be blocked by accident is unacceptable, and severely damaging to my freedoms and the digital community and its development in Australia.

    I hope you will listen to my and many others concerns and represent us truly when you vote against this proposed plan.

    Yours sincerely

  3. Why even bring it in the bad people who they are trying to stop find ways to continue the bad stuff they do.

    a pedo will just go into a chat room and eventualy join one of there online communitys and share images and videos on a peer to peer basis over email or even through the mail all the time useing code words to get past any filtering this is the stupidity of the goverment your not stoping anything. i for one when i was younger found porn sites with ease that didnt mention anything sexual in its name or on the site so nothing blocked it on my parents selected filters and when they did a quick history read and im not even smart as you can tell by my lack of spelling and puntuation

    pshhhhh goverment if you take away our freedoms then we will vote you out

  4. The Problem is that Conroy does not have any knowledge how the Internet works at all.
    He thinks it is like radio or tv. Also he is an Opusdei, guilt riddled Catholic.
    One can easily install Christian Ubuntu, which has inbuilt filters, or use opendns etc. Just look at what the Catholic church has done to little boys.

    We are meant to live in a secular society, not ruled by an evil Church.
    When the next elections think of the greens or otherwise we will have religious bigots tying to force their backward biblical crap on us.

    The church i.e all Churches hate the idea of freedom of the press.

    The first thing that should be blocked is that rubbish thing that is called the "Bible"

  5. I don't know about you, but I'll just a proxy!

    Oh, how far the internet has come. It's like a series of tubes.

  6. To put a law on something is to put a limit on it.
    The censorship blacklist, like everything else in this useless capitalist society is a vehicle for abuse of power.
    The internet is our only hope for finding the truth behind the lies told to us by the major news networks. If the internet is censored, then how many uncensored news feeds will be made unavailable to us?
    Yet again, people will only have biased propaganda to inform us.

    Yes i agree that circulation of child pornography should be eliminated, and its horrible when children get exposed to adult content by accident, but this is not the way.
    It will only stop the latter, and will not put a large dent in illegal pornography rings, as they have other, equivalent means of electronic distribution over the internet that this solution just does not fix. Nor does it intend to fix it. Its not in their 5 year plan or whatever.
    So creating a blacklist to control illegal/controversial media is not the way. The blacklist does not work, and all it does is reduce our base freedoms.
    (although it is noted, that Australia has no free speech laws.)
    Scumbag Politicians…

  7. I think the internet was created in the spirit of free, shared information, and censorship brings it down to the level of TV. Online, I can learn what's happening in the darker corners of the world,- and in my own country: I can research alternative health treatments, legal loopholes, join campaigns, write letters, sign petitions and get involved in all sorts of serious social issues, but most importantly I can be informed. Once censorship is applied to the internet, will it expand to these issues? If euthanasia is on the hit list, then the answer is yes. Give the money to the police to track down the pedophiles, and drum it in to parents that the internet should never be available in a child's room. We were able to see everything our child looked up, and we saw very little objectionable content. I am not happy about this filter, and if I am prevented from using the internet freely and fully, I will strongly consider moving to a more democratic country.

  8. Putting my personal distaste for censorship asdie (It dosn't work.) The considerable loss of speed is the real reason I have something against this system. Considering my already hopeless internet a 10% decrease would be disasterous. A 40% Decrease would be simply inadequate. I would no longer be able to maintain a decent knowledge base for my work. Neither would I be able tos study, rural facilities are a joke and with the internet taken away there will be nothing left but to sit on the walfare system.

  9. Although this isn't really relevant I was just saying that if for what ever reason a dictator ship / military cue takes place this having the filtering will make it easy to block freedom of speech and also to make sure that outsiders cant find out what is happening in Australia. Is the Senator getting any ideas?

    Also by forcing out the internet option, pornography will be forced out into paper editions or onto disks making it almost impossible to police.

  10. I think it needs to be shown that this is against Human rights.

    Australia supposedly abides by the UN's "Universal Declaration of Human Rights"
    The full list can be found here:

    Article 19 states :
    "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

    I am no lawyer but that sounds awfully like what our government is trying to take away.

  11. Wow, my post on the fact the Australian government already censors our internet wasn't added ?

    I don't think filtering the internet technically breaches free speach. It's just a level of control that can be used to inhibit free speach.

  12. I see lots of people complaining that this is a violation of "free speech".
    How many people are aware that as Australians we don't actually have a right to free speech? Back in the day we all voted no to the bill of rights and as a result we don't have any right to free speech.

    I agree that the internet filter will not solve the problem they are hoping to solve. Have these politicians been to David Jones lately and seen the 12 to 14 year old girls in the advertisements dressed up to look like they are 18 and ready for a night on the town? They are putting so much effort into filtering our internet but can't see what the media is doing right in front of our faces.
    Wake up everyone!

  13. We do have a right to free speach. This is a democracy and freedom of speach is part and parel of the democratic system. Of course we don't truly have a dDecmocracy, there are individuals and organisations that find themselves outside of the system. Proof of this is the fact that after a statewide vote in WA the government still enforced Daylight savings. Also noted with the obvious push towards an R18+ Rating in games the fact one man is derailing the process is hardly democratic.

  14. Well it seems that the way we're going now, by the way you described our "democracy" that no amount of petitioning or angry letters of disaproval will stop this filter from happening. The whole country could go on strike and I bet nothing will happen, because they just don't care. The government are going to do whatever they want. They're going to screw up the internet just like they're screwing up everything else.

  15. Filtered internet should be done on a personal basis. The government should not censor anything for everyone. Look at China. Do you want that to happen?

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