Supporters are claiming one hundred people an hour are signing onto a petition aiming to stop the roll out of the Federal Government’s ISP-level Internet content filter.
The petition, drafted by the man hired as a campaign organiser for the Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA), lawyer Peter Black, will be the first submitted to parliament for consideration.
Black said the action is the first step into bringing the content filtering debate to the general public.
“We are hoping to act as a campaign hub of collaboration for the various different opposition groups – we want to open up communication channels and… take debate beyond technology sector to mainstream sectors,” Black said.
“If we can do a good job of explaining that the filter will not address the government’s objectives (of reducing child pornography), we will get widespread opposition in the [general] public.”
However the EFA is keen to distance itself from other protests such as those organised over Facebook for March 6. EFA board member Geordie Guy said the group will focus on collaborating opposition efforts.
“The protests don’t have anything to do with us – we help groups obtain protest permits and supply P.A equipment, but we don’t get heavily involved,” Guy said, adding that Black has been charged with formalising the EFA’s position on the filtering scheme over the next few weeks.
He said the petition has gathered more than 1000 signatures since its launch last night. (Read the petition on the EFA website).
“The most important thing about the petition is that it is valid for parliament [as] it has been worded in compliance with Senate Standing Orders… it is not just clicking a button,” Guy said.
The petition will remain online until the Federal Government formalises its content filtering policies, which Black said will not jeopardise its validity in the Senate: “it will be very weighty in parliament”.
Next page: Pollies back online blackout