Anti-Net filtering group aims to bring protestors closer together

Anti-Net filtering group aims to bring protestors closer together

EFA brings on senior legal lecturer as campaign manager to provide a hub for Internet filtering protestors

Giving Internet filtering protestors an avenue for collaboration and promoting education to end-users are top priorities for Electronics Frontiers Australia’s latest recruit.

Queensland University of Technology senior law lecturer, Peter Black, was brought on-board by EFA this week after a job process that began just before Christmas. He aims to make the anti-Internet filter group a hub for efforts by malcontents to stop the Government mandatory filtering plans.

“I think there have been a lot of very interested and passionate people all over the Internet,” Black said. “But to date, there hasn’t been a lot of communication or collaboration between the interested bodies.

“I think it’d be wishful thinking to say that everyone could come together in one particular organisation. That’s why we’re not about bringing everyone into one organisation or under the EFA.”

Black admitted the anti-filter movement had not proved highly successful thus far, as Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, is pressing ahead with plans to pass filtering legislation.

“Something we can all do better is explain the problems of the Government’s policy to the non-technology members of Australian society,” he said. “Most families don’t have a high level of technology or an understanding of the issues, so that’s one thing all organisations can do.

“If we are able to do a better job of communicating what’s at stake, then you will see the movement gain more momentum both online and offline.”

But the Government’s determination to pass a mandatory filter meant there was little chance of forcing it to cancel the proposed legislation, Black said.

“Success in this instance may not be getting the Government to completely back down, although in the ideal world that’s what we want,” he said.

“We may be able to persuade the Government that there are sensible amendments that can be made to its proposal so that it loses its mandatory nature, which is the most odious aspect.”

Earlier this week, Enex Testlab managing director, Matt Tett, told <i>ARN</i> his company’s ISP filter trials had proven a national system of mandatory filters could be brought in with minimal impact on access speed.

ARN contacted the office of Minister Conroy, but did not receive a response by time of publication.

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