I wrote to Senator Conroy (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) expressing my concerns about the proposed Mandatory Internet Filter.

 

 

2010 January 19

Senator Stephen Conroy
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Level 4, 4 Treasury Place
Melbourne Vic 3002

Dear Sir,

I wish to express my serious concerns about your proposed mandatory Internet filtering initiative.

While I welcome your concern for the safety of Australian families, as a single IT professional, I do not need or want
your ‘safe net’ filter. Why can I not opt out? Indeed why can this not be an ‘opt in’ model?

Your distinction of illegal vs Refused Classification items escapes me. Under the existing classification system any
item that does not have a classification from the OFLC is considered illegal. Using this argument you would have to
block every web page until the OFLC had classified it. Are you really suggesting that the OFLC is going to classify
every fourteen year old child’s Facebook postings? What is going to be the actual process for establishing this ‘black
list’? If this process is different to the existing OFLC arrangements, then is this not just a new additional censorship
regime (and a very expensive one at that)?

As a web site owner what will be my rights if my site is blocked, as what happened in the case of the infamous
Queensland dentist? It is all very well to say that the site was hacked by the Russian mafia; as the ‘black list’ is secret,
if this happens to my site how will I know? How will I get my site unblocked once the offending material has been
removed? And if my site is blocked in error who will I appeal to, what compensation will be made and how will this
be determined?

During the ABC Q&A program (2008Mar26) you agreed that this proposal would not be able to prevent criminals (ie:
pedophiles, terrorists, etc.) from using encrypted VPN to bypass the filter. As such this filter will only impact law
abiding internet users. Would not the resources being wasted on this proposal be better used by law enforcement
agencies to target actual criminals? Can you assure me that the resources being used for this proposal are not at the
expense of actual law enforcement efforts?

Thank you for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Shipley

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