Pirate Party Australia rejects the Censorship Lite™ proposal currently espoused by Senator Lundy as a viable or appropriate alternative to the current proposal.

“Senator Lundy’s proposal for a ‘mandatory option’ for the internet filter is a bit of a hollow response to concerns of the wider community. It is basically opt-out, wrapped in double speak. Opt-out may seem marginally more palatable than the current proposals, however in some respects it is actually worse – it is totally unacceptable because it breaches the fundamental right to privacy.” said Rodney Serkowski, Party Secretary.

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He continued “It clearly is meant as a discouragement to those persons seeking an open internet, by making them effectively request permission from a stranger to have the option to view content that may not be to everyone’s taste, but is not in any way illegal for an adult in Australia to view. People opting out will run the risk of increased surveillance as the government continues its attempts to enforce conservative social norms and suppress fundamental freedoms.”

“This is an interesting development considering the amount of community pressure placed on the government over the issue. With support for the ALP waning in the polls, Lundy’s action is an attempt to mitigate the impact of one of the ALP’s most unpopular policies.”

“There is still nothing to prevent a future government from simply terminating the ‘opt-out’ option, and returning us to the blindness of a government imposed and controlled internet censorship infrastructure. There is still nothing to protect from an expansion of what is censored by the scheme.”

David Crafti, Party President said that “the issue is that all these filtering plans establish a framework that can be abused in the future. When you look at how either opt-in or opt-out mechanisms would work, they are effectively the same as the mandatory option, except that there is extra processing involved to determine who makes each request and whether they are opted in. It actually requires more invasion of privacy, as requests for censored
material then have to be linked directly to the requestor.”

This really is not the time for compromise — Internet users will unduly bear the costs for the proposed censorship infrastructure, both through misallocated government spending which would be better spent adequately funding and improving law enforcement capability, and through higher service charges for costs incurred through the implementation of the regime by ISPs.

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