Xenophon remains against filter

As new Liberal shadow communications spokesperson Tony Smith ponders a clear stance on ISP filtering, while independent Nick Xenophon remains firmly against the plan.

As new Liberal shadow communications spokesperson Tony Smith ponders a clear stance on ISP filtering, while independent Nick Xenophon remains firmly against the plan.

A spokesperson for Xenophon told ZDNet.com.au that the South Australian-based senator's stance on the proposed system had not been changed by the ISP filter trial report's release this week.

Xenophon has previously said the mandatory ISP filter plan was unworkable because it would slow down internet speeds and block content inaccurately. Today, he remains the only senator clearly opposed to the proposal. Greens senator Scott Ludlam said yesterday it was a "misguided" policy, and his party would seek to make "significant amendments" to the proposal.

It's not yet clear how important the independents' votes will be come 2010, given that currently the Liberal party remains in limbo over the proposed system. Fellow independent Steve Fielding has commended the plan, leaving Xenophon, in his outright rejection of the proposal, the only senator to clearly oppose the proposed amendment to the Broadcasting Act which would see all ISPs implement filtering systems by mid-2011.

Smith, Conroy's new shadow, has cautiously promised to review the filter trial report commissioned by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, while opposition leader Tony Abbott yesterday did not come down on either side of the policy.

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