Filter fight back on

The Federal Government’s mandatory Internet filter plan is back in the spotlight

Now the Labor Government has been returned, albeit as a minority government, the fight over the Federal Government’s mandatory Internet filter plan is back on.

Prior to the election, the Coalition finally took the stance to oppose an ISP-level cleanfeed. The Greens also maintained their position against the filter.

With Labor now forming a minority government, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is looking forward to the implementation of the filter. Despite the amount of criticism against plan, the lobby group is confident the Government will stick to its guns.

“Labor made very strong commitments to the Internet filter in the lead-up to the election and we would expect them to honour the commitment not withstanding the tight election results,” ACL national chief of staff, Lyle Shelton, said.

“We envisaged the Greens might be in a balance of power situation in the senate; that was widely tipped before the election. So we specifically asked Julia Gillard [in an interview with ACL chief, Jim Wallace] if there was a hostile senate, would she ensure the commitments Labor has made will not be traded away.

“She said absolutely, so we would expect her to honour that.”

It is this kind of attitude that concerns the EFA. The Internet civil liberties group has encouraged the public to call Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy’s office to vent their hate for the filter.

“After investing so much into defending the trouble scheme, Senator Conroy clearly can’t bring himself to let the poor thing die with dignity,” EFA chairman, Colin Jacobs, said in a post of the group’s website.

“… As long as the filter is Government policy, we must maintain our rage; the possibility of floor-crossing Liberals, a double dissolution election, or regulation-based solution can still keep us up at night.

“Tell him what you really think - that the filter's a joke, that it damages the dignity of the government, that you want him to focus on making our Internet experience better, not worse.”