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Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Page: 0

To the Honourable President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled.

The petition of the undersigned shows:

  • that the Government is proposing a costly, oppressive and technically infeasible plan to impose filtering on all Internet connections;
  • that, according to the Whirlpool Australian Broadband Survey 2007, 74.4% of Australian Internet users oppose the plan;
  • that, according to a June 2008 report produced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, present filtering technology could result in performance degradation of over 80% and up to 8% false positives, while failing to block up to 12% of tested sites;
  • that present filtering technology is ineffective at filtering non-Web protocols such as instant messaging and peer-to-peer file sharing, increasingly used by today’s children;
  • that no comparable filtering schemes are used in any liberal democracy;
  • that the scheme will restrict our civil liberties while encouraging lax parenting;
  • that this will come at a likely cost to the taxpayer of over $44 million, and further increase Internet charges;
  • that the filter will be ineffective and will NOT protect Australian families from pornography or online criminals;
  • that we the undersigned, whilst having differing moral and religious views regarding pornography and unlawful material, believe that the proposed filter is not a good solution to these issues.

Your petitioners ask the Senate to:

  • condemn the Government’s Internet filtering plan,
  • oppose any legislation for the plan’s implementation,
  • recognise that it is the role of parents, not the government, to protect their children, and

support educational programs and the work of the Australian Federal Police in this area.

by Senator Ludlam (from 41 citizens)