Net filter 'dead, buried and cremated': Turnbull

The idea 'should have been put down long ago'

Liberal MPs Malcolm Turnbull and Paul Fletcher flayed Labor’s mandatory internet filter project at an anti-filter forum held by the former Opposition Leader on August 7 in Sydney, where not a single voice was raised in praise of the controversial policy and Turnbull claimed the idea was now in the past.

"It's dead, buried and cremated, and if it shows any signs of revival it will then be exorcised," Turnbull told the crowd.

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey recently revealed the Coalition would vote against the filter legislation if it was introduced into parliament and would not introduce a mandatory ISP filter if elected. The move is likely to torpedo the filter project, as long as the Greens hold the balance of power in the Senate after the election, as they are expected to.

Turnbull said the idea "should have been put down long ago" and was a bad idea as a matter of principle in terms of civil liberties, as well as from a technological point of view. "It was simply not workable," he said. “It was a really bad idea that could only have come up from people that didn’t actually understand the Internet."

The MP pointed out that when the Parliament’s own Cyber-Safety Committee, which Fletcher sits in, reached out to the community to investigate whether they wanted a filter, the community said no, leading to the question of where the demand for the filter project could be coming from.

“You wonder whether the concern is coming from people that don’t use the internet at all, but in fact are a little bit concerned about it as a phenomenon -- uncomfortable with it as a phenomenon,” he said.

Fletcher said he suspected that industry skepticism about the filter had been fuelled by the “deeply simplistic way” in which Communications Minister Stephen Conroy had promoted the filter.

Other speakers at the event – former BigPond chief Justin Milne and Simon Sheikh, national director of political advocacy group GetUp! – also slammed the filter, and the idea was widely pilloried by members of the audience as well – consisting of numbers of about 100 people.

Milne initially described the filter project in philosophical terms, arguing that every time censorship had entered human history, it had led to dark periods of violence due to a lack of information, and that sharing information itself was actually a key to humanity's dominance as a species. The former BigPond chief also argued against the filter on technical grounds -- describing it as "a fence with holes".

Sheikh took a more international view -- discussing filtering and censorship with relation to oppressive regimes in Iran, for example.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Malcolm Turnbullinternet filtering

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Renai LeMay

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?