Remember When The Internet Filter Was A Thing? Well, It's Back

Like a Zombie that just won't go down, no matter how many headshots are sent its way, Internet filtering just refuses to die. The Coalition has announced a policy whereby a mandatory opt-out filter would be added to all Internet services in Australia.

ZDNet reports on the move, which is part of a $10 million online safety policy; you can read the entire document here.

"The Coalition will work with internet service providers (which provide fixed-line broadband services to the home) to develop online safety standards for those services, recognising that they are very often accessed by children. As has recently been achieved in the UK, we expect these standards will involve the major internet service providers providing home network filters for all new home broadband services, which will be switched on as the default unless the customer specifies otherwise."

This is apparently a completely different filter to the Stephen Conroy backed filter… sorry, that's their statement:

"This is a very different approach to the discredited compulsory filter proposal championed by the Rudd-Gillard government, which was abandoned as unworkable. The Coalition's approach aims to empower parents — by giving them the choice of whether or not to operate a filter at home, [and] by establishing the default setting as one which provides maximum protection."

The Coalition also figures it can legislate (and enforce) social media sites to take down objectionable material

"The Coalition will ensure there is an effective complaints system, backed by legislation, to get harmful material down fast from large social media sites. Our approach responds to the very clear message received in our community consultations: when children are the subject of harmful material online, it is vital to have a way to get it down fast. Too often that is not available today."

Update:The Coalition is now claiming that the original policy document was "poorly worded"




    omg really, after all the stink they kicked up about labours policy. I dont want no filters!!!

      So, you opt-out. As I will.

        opt out of one thing, is opting into to another.. ie/ being put on a list & labeled as a 'pervert'. no thanks.

      I thought I'd fact check being as there was no source article.

      No filter. It's a software scheme.

    So uh, who do I vote for so this doesn't happen?

      The Australian Sex Party!

        Isn't that actually making it more likely to happen? The minority parties will mainly attract people that would have previously voted for labor, hence basically cementing the liberal victory.

        They preferenced the LNP higher than ALP this time around didn't they?

          So do your own preferences...
          YOU decide where your preferences go, the parties just make deals for those too lazy to bother.
          It isn't that hard and after about 10 doesn't really matter what order they're in either (unless you're voting from least popular to most popular parties)

      Labor. Greens. Anyone who isn't Liberal.

        We've really got to stop referring to the LNP as "the liberals".

        There's nothing liberal about them.

      Labor/Greens preferenced above Coalition. Labor might have introduced this, but they dropped it, and they're sure as hell not going into the election with it as a policy.

    How exactly does the coalition plan to force American hosted (or really, any overseas hosted) sites to take down posts? I mean, the US recently enacted a law that makes foreign takedown requests on things that are legal in US unenforceable (It was done in response to the UK's harsh slander and libel laws).

    "This is a very different approach to the labor proposed filter which wouldn't have worked. Now watch as I don't bother to explain how it's different or how this one could possibly work."

    It's the role of parents to look after children, not blanket banning everything to appease the rightwing bible bashing turds!

      Won't somebody please just think of the children!

        There are any number of options a parent can use if they have concerns without going to this extreme.

    haha and the Australian public are too dumb to realise who they are about to vote in... oh well, times like this it's easier to just get drunk.

      I have faith in the younger generations. (Under 26s.)

      If they bother to, avoiding the urge to donkey vote, ALP might just nab a surprise victory.

        Yeah I hope so as well, I have seen lots and lots of pro-labor stuff on facebook the last week, mostly from people in their late teens and early to mid 20s

    Nice of them to keep this quiet until the eve of the election. Can't possibly imagine why that would be. On the plus side, their NBN is going to be so shite that having a filter on it won't make any difference.

    It'll be interesting to see if the Labor party backs it in the Senate, cause it's a guarantee that the Greens won't. And without the Labor party's support, this filter's as dead as the last one.

      Labor will counter this, they'll want to seize all the negatives on this they can. All of the negatives that made them drop theirs.

      Don't assume it needs senate approval though. Sometimes these things can just happen...

        Problem is, the media blackout is now in effect. Labor can't run any sort of advertising at all to counter it now. That's why the LNP has stalled so long on actually showing us their policies, so they receive the absolute minimum amount of criticism possible.
        This has been the most dishonest, underhanded political campaign I can remember. And the worst thing is, it's probably going to pay off for them.

    It's sad to say, but I think we'll all have to move to New Zealand if Abbott comes into power

      I've been thinking New Zealand or maybe Canada...worst case scenario - US coz they at least have a Bill of Rights.

      I voted today and I am thoroughly depressed by the Abbott future that appears to be incoming - like genuinely depressed. Wait till you see what they do to our Industrial Relations - it wont be Work Choices - it'll be Work Options.

      Worst time for me to have given up the drink and the smoke...I may need to rethink my sobriety.

        I assume your last paragraph was a reference to this:

        Last edited 05/09/13 9:08 pm

          You have brightened my day - oh what a larff :)
          Been a while since I saw good old Lloyd Bridges - and his sentiment is exactly how I feel!

          Thankyou aliasalpha.

        I just moved here from NZ, I see all the billboards, ads and spam mail with politics. I'm sure there are/should be laws against slander. At least I can tell my wife to vote for labour. Fast Internet is better.

    welcome to the 1950's......

      And what kind of internet filter did they have back then?

    Holy shit, how did this get put back on the cards? Didn't it get shut down hard last time it was a thing?

    I can just see it now....

    Liberals: "Hay yoo... facebook... there's anti-christian, pro abortion, pro gay stuff on facebook! TAKE IT DOWN!"

    Facebook: "lolwut?"

    Liberals: "Take it down or else!"

    Facebook: "No."

    Liberals: "Take it down or face the consequences!!!!"

    Facebook: "Which are?"

    Liberals: "A strongly worded letter and a parliamentary committee set up to investigate how to look into how to write said letter in 3 - 5 years!"

    Facebook: "You're a fucking idiot."

    Liberals: "Want to invest in FTTN? It's been a bit of a flop... but it works! We swear!"

      This is the best thing I've seen on the internet today.

    You have to love the way they slipped this out "The announcement, buried in an AU$10 million online safety policy published online today" whilst the budget data would take all the media attention, and then we hit the blackout.
    Sneaky bunch of ......

    ...probaby an unpopular view to have on this site, but I reckon this is great.

      The first half of your sentence is correct - the second half, meh ;p

    Oh HELL no, if the Australian public is stupid enough to vote this fool in, ... I have nothing to say.

    Opt out Is at least the lesser of the evils, not getting my vote for censored slow internet though.

      Opt in would be the lesser evil. Opt out means you need to call your ISP and get put on a list of people who want to be able to see porn and other content.

        Exactly right. I'm sure the legislation will include provision for the govt to force ISP's to provide details.

          Law enforcement agencies already have the ability to track IP's that frequent illegal sites, and they don't need the permission of your ISP. They have sophisticated software that can track 1000's of IP addresses per minute and when they get a hit on anything illegal, they get a warrant to track that IP address around the clock. Just in case you didn't know.

    While sneaky... This is an AT HOME solution.
    Very much like the AT HOME filter the Howard Government introduced but ultimately failed.
    But this is another nail in the Coalition's coffin for the big house.

      How does the phone component fit into "an AT HOME solution"?
      Are they planning to install a new router in every home to force connections through OpenDNS?

        The filter is at the server end, so any traffic, be it phone, tablet or laptop, hits the filter.

      How could an AT HOME solution be opt out, and not opt in?

      They only AT HOME part about this would be the people AT HOME calling their ISP's to unblock it.

    This election may be more interesting that many think (or it may not!). Apparently about 730,000 undecided voters are leaning toward the ALP, about 540,000 are leaning toward the coalition and most of the remainder of 2,000,000 voters are leaning toward the Greens. Perhaps this little bit of information will push the 730,000 and a few more to the ALP and Greens, dashing expectations of a coalition win. Or am I just pissing upwind?

    Make sure the Libs go somewhere on your ballot paper below Labor. We have preferential voting, so put a Libertarian of some kind up the top if you've got a local candidate that fits the description. But PUT THE LIBS BELOW LABOR.

    We need to put an end to this bullshit.

      That's the beauty of preferential voting..
      You can have a vote that counts but don't give them a "mandate".

    Don't forget that adult content is just the start. Personally, I couldn't care less if all porn was eliminated from the internet. My concerns are the effect it will have on speed and, more importantly, where this will lead. Anyone who uses torrent sites to download TV, movies, music etc. should be very concerned. Keep government out of the internet. We have only 24 hours to spread the word. Get it out there.

    There are 62 preferences in the Senate ballot paper this year. I will be filling out all 62 just so that I can put these goddamn liberal clowns LAST on preferences. I would seriously MUCH rather the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) party get into power than the Liberals! (And before you ask: )

    I just found this article in which Turnbull says that the filter will be built into the mobile phone or modem. WTF!

    My concern is how easy it would be for them to later turn around and extend the scope of the filter once it was in place. An opt-out filter could very easily become a filter that only lets you opt out of some things.

    "The filter now blocks torrents*. Opting out of doesn't affect the torrent blocking part of the filter"
    * Rupert figures it will boost Foxtel subscribers.

    Typical of Liberal policy - there is NO detail on this before the election. Who will maintain the list of blocked content? I am going to need my ISP account marked as "pervert" if I want to watch the Blurred Lines film clip?

    Internet filtering should only ever be opt-in. I believe the default assumption should be that people with a home or mobile internet connection are adults.

    Turnbull said that it was never opt out in the first place (from his twitter "Policy released today wrongly indicated we supported an opt out system of internet filtering. That is not our policy and never has been.").

    It's not mandatory and never will be, just an option parents can add for piece of mind.

      "What is being proposed is the filter will be contained in software installed in people's smartphones or modems which can be disabled at their option..." - Turnbull on Triple J.

      Certainly sounds like opt-out to me.

    Just want to remind everyone that even if you opt out, your internet speed will be reduced: possibly not by much, but more likely by a lot.

      If the libs get in it'll already be reduced by their shitty NBN.

        Hey the copper infrastructure was good enough for abbot's father and grandfather! Come to think of it, it was probably the exact same copper

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