The Coalition has announced a policy for a compulsory opt-out filter for all Internet services — fixed and mobile — to be implemented at a cost of $10 million. Update: Malcolm Turnbull is now claiming that it’s a case of a “poorly worded” document.
I’ve written more on this over at Gizmodo in terms of the proposal, which is reasonably couched around child protection.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with child protection, but I have this horrible feeling — because it’s exactly what happened before — that it’ll quickly become a battle surrounded by cries of “Won’t somebody think of the children”, rather than looking at the technical difficulties (which are non-trivial), the censorship angles (which are highly concerning) and the monitoring issues (given it’s planned to be an opt-out, rather than opt-in filter). Also that it’s been announced pretty much at the end of the day at nearly the last minute in a rather chaotic election campaign, which means that (for example) the 2 million Australians who’ve already voted before the policy was actually announced may be backing something they’d rather not prop up.
More over at Gizmodo.
Update: The online reaction to this was swift and not surprisingly, fairly condemning of the plan. The official Coalition line is apparently now that it was “poorly worded” and that it doesn’t support mandatory filters.
More in an updated Gizmodo story
Image: Isaac Mao