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Conroy office must stop bullying critics of Labor internet 'clean feed' censorship plan.



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Fri, 24th October 2008 CONROY OFFICE MUST STOP BULLYING CRITICS OF LABOR INTERNET 'CLEAN FEED' CENSORSHIP PLAN

Senator the Hon Nick Minchin Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Conroy and his staff must stop bullying critics of Labor’s flawed plan to censor the internet.

Shadow Minister Senator Nick Minchin, said today he was troubled about newspaper reports that Senator Conroy’s office has been sending emails and making telephone calls to try to silence industry figures who have expressed reservations about the Government’s ‘Clean Feed’ filter proposal.

“It’s extraordinary that Minister Conroy’s office has moved from not only wanting to censor the Internet to actually attempting to silence those who don’t agree with him.

“Minister Conroy’s office doesn’t seem to realise that the broader Australian public are not bound by archaic ALP regulations that forbid any view other than that determined by the Labor caucus.

“Picking on the views of individuals when they have concerns about what you propose is not a smart tactic. This latest episode demonstrates the ugly reality of Rudd Labor when someone disagrees”.

Senator Minchin said the Coalition had already indicated its concern that the Government’s internet filter proposal would see responsibility shifted to Internet Service Providers.

“While we fully support guarding our children from being exposed to inappropriate internet content, parental supervision and guidance supported by readily-available content filters tailored to the needs of particular user settings is a more realistic approach.

“Labor’s ill-conceived proposal does nothing to address areas of the online world where the most predatory risks can be found and we are monitoring the progress of the live pilot trial of its Clean Feed internet filtering concept with great interest.

“I can understand why Australians are concerned about the effect of the Government’s Internet censorship proposal on system performance and the manner in which a blanket arbitrary determination about web content is to be imposed by the Government.

“Targeting critics is just more evidence of Labor’s heavy-handedness”, Senator Minchin concluded.