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Friday, 06 August 2010 09:19

Coalition to block internet filter: Hockey

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Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey says the Coalition would dump the Government's controversial mandatory internet filter plan and instead revert to the Howard Government policy of making free end-user filters available to parents.


Speaking on Triple J current affairs program Hack late yesterday, Mr Hockey said the Coalition did not believe the Government's filter would work

"We believe the internet filter will not work and we believe that it is flawed policy," Mr Hockey told the program.

"(We) would stick to the original (Coalition) plan of handing out free end user filters software '¦ which is giving parents control," he said.

He said the Opposition would have "more to say" on its filtering policy soon.

Opponents of the mandatory ISP-level filtering plan seized on the comments, with Electronic Frontiers Australia applauding the Hockey statement and calling on Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to declare the policy dead.

Greens communications spokesman Scott Ludlam says the Coalition's opposition to the plan effectively draws a line under the policy. Without the support of the Liberals, the policy now stands no chance of getting through the Senate.

"This is excellent news and the liberal party should be congratulated for finally declaring their hand," Senator Ludlam.

"The ALP should drop the censorship proposal rather than fighting what now looks inevitable."

"The Australian Greens will work with any party in the parliament on constructive cyber safety proposals. At last that debate can start properly," Senator Ludlam said.

EFA chairman Colin Jacobs welcomed the Opposition to the ranks of organisations and individuals who had long viewed the filter as a policy failure.

"We call on Minister Conroy and the Gillard Government to now admit the mandatory filter policy is dead, and to move on to a debate more grounded in reality," Jacobs said.

"The government must now listen to the experts, and get back to working on giving Australians access to better and faster broadband," he said.

 

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