The federal coalition has announced it will scrap controversial plans for an internet filter if it wins the August 21 election.
I’m glad they finally made their position clear. Abbott had previously indicated a lack of faith in the technical implementation, but – worryingly – not much opposition to the concept (ie, you got the impression that if he thought it would “work” at blocking content, he might support it.) Hockey’s opposition has been more consistent, and more in line with libertarians:
“I have personal responsibility as a parent,” he said in March.
“If I want to stop my children from viewing material that I feel is inappropriate then that is my responsibility to do something about it – not that of the government.”
UPDATE: The Australian Christian Lobby has come out strongly against the Coalition’s rejection of the Internet filter.
The SMH had a story about a “virtual rape” computer game, and ended off with poll: “Do you support mandatory internet filters to block material such as the online game RapeLay?”
Even with a leading question like that, 65% of respondents (at time of writing) answered with a clear “No”. I know these polls are hardly scientific (and people who vote in online polls are arguably more tech-savvy, and therefore opposed to the filter,) but this does leave me with some level of hope that we can block this thing. The support for this filter just isn’t there, and it could be disastrous for Rudd if he tries to push through. I hope Abbott doesn’t screw this one up – this is a golden opportunity (and an easy goal for the Greens if he doesn’t oppose it completely and absolutely)
Time to start sending a clear message to the Liberals now! It worked for the ETS – it can work here!