Abbott drawn into filter debate

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has today fended off questions regarding his stance on the government's legislation for mandatory internet service provider filtering.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has today fended off questions regarding his stance on the government's legislation for mandatory internet service provider filtering.

Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott
(Credit: Tony Abbott)

In a doorstop interview at the Westin Hotel in Sydney today, he was asked if he thought the filter was desirable or feasible. Abbott admitted he wasn't versed in the details of the legislation and stayed firmly with one foot on both sides of the fence.

"I think that it makes sense to try to ensure that the homes of Australia aren't invaded with pornography via the internet," he said. "On the other hand I don't want to see wider censorship and I don't want to see the internet destroyed as a tool for people's education or as a tool for people's businesses."

What it came down to was a question of whether it was technically feasible, according to Abbott. Yet he wasn't willing to air his thoughts on the matter. "I just don't know enough about it at this stage to have an opinion on that," he said.

Shadow Communications Minister Tony Smith has stated his desire to carry out an independent audit of Enex TestLab's report which recorded the results of the filtering trial. The trial tested how effective filtering was when used by internet service providers in a live environment and whether it effected internet speeds.

Enex found that filtering from a blacklist did not significantly affect performance but that it was easily circumvented.

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