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Thursday, 05 August 2010 21:47

Coalition declares its anti-filtering stance

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The Coalition has revealed that it would oppose any plans by a future Labor Government to impose mandatory Internet filtering.

The announcement has been greeted with great enthusiasm by the Greens and Electronic Frontiers Australia.

The Coalition chose an interview with Treasury spokesman, Joe Hockey, on ABC Radio's 2JJJ to show its hand. The ABC, on its web site -  reported him as saying "We believe the Internet filter will not work and we believe it's flawed policy. It is not going to capture a whole lot of images and chatter that we all find offensive ... that are going through email."

Hockey was also quoted saying that the Coalition would stick to the plan of giving parents more control, and promising that the Coalition would make more comment on the issue.

Electronic Frontiers Australia immediately seized on Hockey's comments to declare the ALP's filtering plan dead in the water. EFA chair, Colin Jacob, said: "With The Greens long on record as opposing the Internet censorship scheme, Mr Hockey's announcement means that Labor's legislation is effectively dead on arrival in the Senate."

He called on the ALP to "admit the mandatory filter policy is dead, and to move on to a debate more grounded in reality."

The Greens were also quick to respond to Hockey's comments. "This is excellent news and the Liberal Party should be congratulated for finally declaring their hand, " said Greens communications spokesman Senator Scott Ludlam.

He called on the ALP to "drop the censorship proposal rather than fighting what now looks inevitable," and said that the Greens would "work with any party in the parliament on constructive cyber safety proposals."

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