Is Internet filtering inevitable?

I’ve written previously that the Federal Budget sort of explained what’ll be happening with Internet filtering. Now that Senator Conroy has announced his Cyber-Safety Consultative Working Group I’m not so sure.

As Michael Meloni says over at Somebody Think of the Children:

When you consider people like Anthony Pillion, manager of filtered Australian ISP Webshield, and Child Wise CEO Bernadette McMenamin are on board, the odds of mandatory filtering being found a good solution are disappointingly high.

Pillion has a business interest and for McMenamin the gesture alone of protecting children is better then doing nothing, even if it has no chance of working. Here’s part of her letter to Stilgherrian:

If filtering of child pornography cannot work then why is there so much anger, fear and resentment to any attempt to block child pornography and other illegal sites?


Thankfully, the group does contain at least two people opposed to mandatory filtering: Sue Hutley from the Australian Library and Information Association (who asked Conroy questions about his plan that we all want answered and is opposed to filtering in public libraries) and Peter Coroneos from the IIA.

I’ve written plenty about censorship before. so while I’m busy at CeBIT‘s Transaction 2.0 today, feel free to discuss this amongst yourselves. Play nice. I’ll ponder it in more detail later.