Friday, 09 July 2010 00:22

Liberal calls Labor 'bloody minded' over Filter

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Although The Greens have consistently opposed the Internet Filter, the Liberals have until now seemed to be somewhat ambivalent in their opposition.  This appears to be changing.

Federal Member for Mitchell and Deputy Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety, Alex Hawke MP said yesterday that "In spite of serious opposition and ongoing concern expressed by virtually every sector, Senator Conroy and the Gillard Government appear bloody minded in their pursuit of mandatory internet filtering.

"Evidence from parent groups, ISP providers, teacher unions, internet peak bodies, such as the Safer Internet Group and the Internet Industry Association, has reinforced the need for better education of parents, teachers, and children and the need for greater resources for law enforcement such as the AFP.

"All of the evidence from key affected groups before the Committee has been that a filter is too simplistic, will not achieve the objectives the Government is seeking, and will do nothing to prevent illegal and inappropriate online behaviour."

The Greens (in the person of communications spokesman Senator Scott Ludlam) have regularly suggested that the Filter proposal is deeply flawed and now we see strong indications that the Liberals are starting to agree.

"Australian internet users need to be aware that if the Gillard Government is re-elected they will pursue mandatory internet filtering regardless of the strong evidence emerging that it will not achieve their own objectives," said Hawke.

Hopefully this is more than simple electoral posturing.


"Senator Conroy's claims that a mandatory internet filter is about child pornography are a complete sham in light of the evidence heard by the Cyber Safety Committee in recent weeks," Mr Hawke said.

"His comments that people looking for alternative solutions are "opting in" to child pornography are particularly insulting to Australian internet users.

"This highly illegal content does need to be dealt with by strong and adequate law enforcement and effective partnership with industry and parents," said Hawke.

"As the saying goes - 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions' - and the Government in this bloody minded pursuit of a deeply flawed policy will have major ramifications for all internet users with little to no benefit. Good intentions need to be supported by good evidence based policy," Mr Hawke said.

"Australian internet users need to be aware that if the Gillard Government is re-elected they will pursue mandatory internet filtering regardless of the strong evidence emerging that it will not achieve their own objectives."


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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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