Christian lobby slams 'incomprehensible' filter block

If the Greens hold the balance of power after the upcoming Federal Election in several weeks, the Coalition's block will doom the filter legislation in the Senate

The Australian Christian Lobby has slammed as "incomprehensible" a revelation by Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey late yesterday that the Coalition would vote against Labor's controversial mandatory internet filtering project if associated legislation made it into parliament.

If the Greens hold the balance of power after the upcoming Federal Election in several weeks, the Coalition's block will doom the filter legislation in the Senate. Many anti-filter campaigners are already celebrating the news as the death-knell for the filter project.

However the ACL -- a non-partisan group which lobbies on behalf of Christian interests -- said in a statement that it couldn't believe the news. “This announcement is incomprehensible on a number of levels”, said ACL managing director Jim Wallace.

Hockey had said the filter technology simply didn't work, but Wallace said trials showed that it did. "To have a system that orders takedown notices for Australian sites carrying Refused Classification (RC) material, but allow it to come in unhindered from overseas sites is simply illogical," he said.

It appears that the Coalition plans to re-introduce its policy of providing PC-based filtering technology that parents can apply to their machines themselves. "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," said Wallace.

The ACL chief described the anti-filter effort as "a well-funded scare campaign" on the issue, including "conspiracy theories that saw us all becoming like China and North Korea". “On every level arguments against ISP level blocking of RC material have been disproved or shown to be illogical,” Wallace said.

The US Ambassador to Australia had also expressed concern about the filter project, but Wallace said the ambassador's analogy that the internet should be free as the oceans were "conveniently overlooked" US actions to block drugs being brought by boat from Central America to the US -- because of the harm drugs can deal to 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,” said Wallace.

The ACL chief finished his statement by noting that it was important to understand that ISP filtering was only part of the solution to the problem of RC material on the internet and that the Government's policy also included additional police funding to intercept illegal peer to peer material and find the perpetrators.

“The Government is absolutely right to retain its resolve on this issue,” Wallace said, “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.”

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internet filterinternet filtering

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?