After making a surprise move in throwing her support behind the Federal Government’s controversial ISP-level internet filter, Senator Kate Lundy has made a follow up blog post acknowledging potential alternatives.
Titled, Further thoughts on the filter, the blog post starts by covering the disparity between Labor's original election promise to implement a filter where many thought there would be an 'opt-out' option.
"Given the election commitment stated thus 'Provide a mandatory ‘clean feed’ internet service for all homes, schools and public computers that are used by Australian children' an ‘opt-out’ for adults appears to be consistent where children are not subsequently affected by the uncensored content," Lundy wrote.
"As I mentioned in my first post, an adult ‘opt-out’ is far from optimal given the potential stigma associated with it. However, the feedback is overwhelmingly that having an adult ‘opt-out’ is far preferable than not. Far preferable still was an ‘opt-in’ approach."
The Senator goes on to note the idea of having an opt-in choice when individuals, families and organisations sign up for an ISP service.
"To satisfy the policy objective of a mandatory filter for children, active acknowledgement that the subscriber is aware the government strongly recommends a filtered option for homes where children use the internet could be a part of this active (mandatory) choice," she wrote.
The 1641-word blog post (give or take a few words due to the inclusion of links) is also notable for the acknowledgment there are still considerable concerns over the limitations of using a blacklist in helping to protect children and other technical issues raised after the Enex Testlab report was publicly released.
Lundy said providing a range of tools along with an opt-out option was an opportunity for community and government engagement and trust building.
"This pro-active engagement offers government a realistic and practical platform of trust with the citizens they are trying to assist by making the internet safer by setting clear expectations if they opt-in," she wrote. "ISP’s could, if they assessed there was interest in the market, offer a range of filter options, again providing an informed choice for internet users.
"In addition, the government is also providing a platform of trust with people who are ideologically opposed to the filter, or for other legitimate reasons such as network performance, as they could, with no stigma, effectively opt out of the filtered service."
While also noting the government's "direction will never satisfy those who continue to be ideologically and implacably opposed to a filter" Lundy said she respects this position and committed to bringing "these concerns to the attention of my colleagues and pursue my ideas in the new year".
More Computerworld coverage on the internet content filter
- Child groups slam Conroy’s ISP filtering plans
- Greens, EFA critical of ISP filtering plans
- ISP-level filter trial vendor happy with results
- Google 'concerned' over Australian mandatory ISP-level filter
- Smith calls for independent audit of Internet content filter trial results
- Internode: ISP-level filter goals still not clear
- ISP-level filter bad for industry
- Budde: Worries remain over ISP-level content filter
- Mandatory ISP-Level Filtering report released
- Report ticks filtered Internet
- Lundy throws her support behind ISP-based filter