Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Sunday, May 9, 2010
From the 'Open Internet for Australia' Facebook page today:
On Four Corners, reporter Quentin McDermott will examine the filter in a story called "Access Denied":
A story that reveals how an apparently well meaning attempt by government to protect children from video nasties on the net turned into a policy that critics say promotes censorship and reduces personal freedom.
This follows a story today on the SMH about the true political motivations for the MISP filter:
The Rudd government’s internet filter has always been a kind of policy duck - flapping on the surface, quacking all the right things but with lots more happening underneath in the murky waters. It seems like a repeat of just the kind of expensive and more than likely ineffective policy that will create controversy in the future for the Rudd government. However obvious to the rest of us, it looks like Labor may have not got the memo. Reports are that Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is only delaying the fight over the filter until after the election where it might be in a better position to spin it their way and have no electoral repercussions. But with the obvious problems with the policy ahead, wouldn’t it just be better to ‘‘do an ETS’’ and cut their losses?
I asked this question in class a few weeks ago - if the research shows that the filter will clearly not do what the Government intends to set it up for, then what is the real reason they're pushing to set it up? Far from accepting any conspiracy theories about censorship and control, I've always suspected that it is simple politics. The MISP filter was seen as a relatively easy win with the electorate, especially when you frame the question as, "do you want to restrict access to child pornography?". But its not about winning points with the electorate, its about shoring up support with within the Labor factions and Family First.
Now its off the agenda till after the election, so the Government clearly misjudged the public reaction. Thanks to widespread media coverage on the inherent flaws of the MISP, coupled with the activism of protest movements such as Electronic Frontiers Australia and the Pirate Party, its fair to say that the general public have moved beyond the Government's black and white positioning of the proposal.