Pirate Party Happy with Internet Censorship Backflip

Pirate Party Australia is happy with the Labor Government’s backflip on Internet censorship, however still raises concerns over the opaque and ineffective nature of the Interpol blacklist scheme.

“The Interpol filter, which is updated weekly, is designed to prevent access to websites that are known or appear to be distributing child abuse materials. In practice, this is a system that blocks websites at the domain name level, meaning operators of such sites can simply change their domain name, a task easily accomplished within minutes,” said David W. Campbell, President of Pirate Party Australia.

“Obviously this will just lead to a perpetual game of cat and mouse. The Australian Government must be incredibly naïve to think these criminals will be deterred by having their domain name blocked.”

Pirate Party Australia maintains that rather than tying up public or private resources to filter the Internet, it would be better for the international community to work towards taking these websites permanently offline.

“Filtration systems are sweeping the problem under the carpet. This is ‘safety theatre’ — by implementing any filter, a Government can sit back and say “we’ve done all we can.” Filters are easily bypassed, and are unable to prevent distribution of child abuse materials through other means. This will only apply to publicly available websites,” Mr Campbell continued.

“We, the community, activists and everyday citizens campaigned long and hard on this issue, so I’m glad to see it finally dead in the water. Thank you to everyone who put the effort in to raise the issue of mandatory Internet censorship that lead to its demise,” commented Brendan Molloy, Secretary of Pirate Party Australia.

“Unfortunately, the spectre of draconian Internet regulation legislation is not gone. With the national security inquiry in full swing to implement two years data retention and mandatory disclosure of encryption keys, the fight goes on.”

Pirate Party Australia is pleased that the Government is no longer pursuing their own mandatory filtering scheme, which under the guise of preventing access to child abuse material had a wide scope that the Party believes could have been used to censor content that was not illegal to possess, or extended to information that the Government of the day disagreed with.