The ALP’s grand vision of a “clean feed” Internet safe for Aussie kids is meant to filter out — what, exactly? Labor’s pre-election policy [PDF file] seemed to give the proposed ISP-level filters wide scope indeed, blocking content â€œinappropriateâ€ or â€œharmfulâ€ for children — however thatâ€™s defined. But evidence given to Senate estimates last night suggests itâ€™s little more than whatâ€™s already in place.
As Iâ€™ve written in Crikey before [1, 2] debate is clouded because sometimes people talk about Internet filtering in terms of child pornography and other very-illegal â€œprohibited contentâ€, and other times itâ€™s about material as wide-ranging as websites promoting anorexia as a lifestyle choice.
Communications minister Stephen Conroy hasnâ€™t helped by labelling free speech advocates watchers of kiddie porn.
Last night Senator Conroy confirmed that the trial of ISP-level filtering is on schedule. The contract has been issued; the reportâ€™s due back on 30 June. But whatâ€™s actually being filtered, beyond ACMAâ€™s existing blacklist of about 800 URLs of â€œprohibited contentâ€? No-one knows. A Ms Oâ€™Loughlin from ACMA told us they â€œhavenâ€™t completed discussionsâ€ with the Ministerâ€™s office about that.
Continue reading “How clean is Labor’s “clean feed” Internet?”