Filter takes back seat for independents

Summary:As the nation eagerly awaits the outcome of the parliamentary stalemate, only one of the three independent MPs at the centre of the uncertainty has provided an opinion on controversial cyber-security policies.

As the nation eagerly awaits the outcome of the parliamentary stalemate, only one of the three independent MPs at the centre of the uncertainty has provided an opinion on controversial cyber-security policies.

Parliament House

Rob Oakeshott, Bob Katter and Tony Windsor are in a "lockdown" meeting after the electoral result on Saturday. (Parliament House image by Andrea Schaffer, CC2.0)

Rob Oakeshott, Bob Katter and Tony Windsor currently hold the high-ground in the election as both parties look to seize power through the formation of a minority government.

In his electorate of Lyne, Rob Oakeshott has previously thrown his support behind greater transparency on issues relating to filtering and cyber-security.

Oakeshott participated in the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety several months ago. Before joining the committee he voiced objections to the filter, on the grounds that it slowed already lacklustre internet speeds in regional Australia and blocked sites that could be deemed safe.

"In regional areas, we already have [broadband] speeds that are too slow ... trials to date [have] been dogged by blocking of clean sites and slowing of internet speeds," he said.

However, Oakeshott has praised NBN Co's decision to include Coffs Harbour in the next phase of the national roll-out of the high-speed fibre network.

At the other end of the ICT spectrum is Queensland Independent MP Bob Katter.

According to the ABC, Katter "rejects computers", but has named broadband as a big issue in the election.

ZDNet Australia yesterday asked Katter about his views on cyber-security issues, including the mandatory internet filter and data retention. Katter's office responded that his priorities "have been and continue to be rural health, cost of living and clean energy corridor".

"As a general rule, he is fighting for the survival of his electorate. He will side with whoever offers the best chance of survival," according to the MP's office.

ZDNet Australia contacted Tony Windsor for his comment on cyber-security issues facing Australians, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

According to reports from AAP, Oakeshott, Katter and Windsor will be in a "lockdown" meeting today which is expected to run into the night.

Topics: Censorship, Broadband, Government : AU, NBN, Security

About

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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