• SMH: “Opposition grows to filter”

    Feb 25 2010, 10:21

    The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting this morning that the opposition in Canberra to the Government’s mandatory Internet filter is growing:

    BACKBENCH MPs on both sides of politics opposed to the government’s internet filtering proposal are vigorously lobbying their colleagues, creating a potential roadblock to the plan backed by the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy.

    A group of four young Liberal MPs – Simon Birmingham, Alex Hawke, Michael Johnson and Jamie Briggs – are leading the charge against the filter within the Coalition, while the Labor senator Kate Lundy is putting a case to her colleagues in favour of an optional filter.

    Senator Conroy has won the backing of cabinet and is awaiting debate in the party room next month, while the Coalition is waiting for more detail. With the Greens indicating their opposition, the Coalition’s position is likely to decide the filter’s fate.

    Read the full story here. ┬áThis story confirms what we are also hearing from Canberra; namely that politicians from all sides of politics are increasingly becoming concerned with Senator Conroy’s impractical and costly policy of Government censorship.

    It is also worth noting that Tony Smith, the Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, recently expressed doubts on his blog about the Government’s plan:

    The fact it has taken the Minister two years to produce his plan and release results of filtering trials highlights the complexity and problematic nature of his proposal. The Coalition is yet to be convinced that mandatory filtering will be effective.

    The Coalition would like an independent audit of the trial results and we hope this can happen as soon as possible.

    The Coalition will continue to consult extensively with the telecommunications industry and other stakeholders to enable a fully informed response, if and when the Government puts forward any formal proposal or legislation.

    Read more here.

    We are hopeful that together the Greens and the Coalition will block this proposal in the Senate, and we look forward to working with politicians from all sides of politics on alternative ways to make the Internet safer for children.