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Photograph of Irene Graham

Here’s a nice twist linking this week’s discussion threads. It turns out that Labor’s Internet filtering policy was largely driven by petitions to parliament — the very petitions which Chairman Rudd plans to make more effective.

Irene Graham (pictured), who commented here as “rene”, has been following censorship issues for years at In a post to Link she reminds us that back in October 2006, Senator Stephen Conroy was presenting a petition to parliament:

In March, Kim Beazley announced that a Labor Government would require all Internet Service Providers to offer a ‘clean feed’ internet service to all households, schools and public libraries that would block access to websites identified as containing child pornography, acts of extreme violence and x-rated material.

In the Senate today, I tabled a petition signed by more than 20,000 Australians endorsing Labor’s policy… [which] clearly shows that this view is widely shared in the Australian community.

However those 20,646 signatures were gathered through churches, hardly “representative”.

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