Image source: techworld
This week Senator Stephen Conroy held a press conference to announce his internet filter is being delayed for a year, sighting the need for further consultation on exactly what is refused classification content.
It appears the new PM Julia Gillard is attempting to clear any unpopular issues from the election runway. Asylum seekers aside, the internet filter has been one of the most contentious issues facing the government, attracting widespread criticism and international attention. By delaying the legislations introduction to parliament until well into 2011, means the election will be a distant memory for most. More importantly it’ll be too late for the general public (or those the legislation effects most) to have their opportunity to protest the issue by voting against Labor.
Many voters, including myself, feel torn between voting for labor to support the NBN, while wanting to vote for the opposition to oppose the internet filter. This highlights our fundamentally flawed political system where voting happens once every 3 years, rather than on each specific issue.
Opponents to the filter claim the 12 month delay as a win, claiming the online and nation-wide protests have been successful. While some are quick to suggest this is the first step in the policy being killed off completely, Conroy’s relentlessness to proceed despite seemingly no support for the compulsory ISP-level filter, means its unfortunately still likely. At least while he’s still has that portfolio. While it is possible the filter will still be implemented it’s likely that the final legislation will be a watered down offering than what Conroy has proposed so far. If the filter is introduced, it won’t be before 2012.
As part of Conroy’s announcement, it was revealed that Telstra, Optus and iPrimus will implement an ISP-level block on a list of sites that serve illegal content. “I welcome the socially responsible approach taken by some of Australia’s largest ISPs.” says Conroy. Are we to deduce from this statement that all other ISPs are socially irresponsible ?
For those customers using other ISPs or ISPs that wholesale off the big guys, your internets remain untouched.
More info @ Delimiter