Labor's Kate Lundy revises filter stance

Labor's Kate Lundy revises filter stance

Summary: Labor Senator Kate Lundy has expanded the set of options she will take to the party room regarding the controversial mandatory internet filter policy, including an opt-in approach alongside her existing opt-out option.


Labor Senator Kate Lundy has expanded the set of options she will take to the party room regarding the controversial mandatory internet filter policy, including an opt-in approach alongside her existing opt-out option.

Kate Lundy

Kate Lundy(Credit: Liam Tung/ZDNet Australia)

The senator has previously signalled that she is uncomfortable with the filter policy, but has continued to support Labor's party line on the issue while still working within the established party structures to attempt to inject some flexibility into the project.

Initially, Lundy's approach had been to persuade Labor to allow Australians to opt out of the filter technology on their individual internet connections. But in a blog post today, she said she would now also put forward an avenue for people to opt in for the filter technology to be applied.

"It has become clear that the community has a preference for opt-in approach, rather than an opt-out compromise," she said.

"This blog post is to signal to the community that I now intend to present both an OPT-IN and OPT-OUT approach to the Labor caucus along with the merits and the level of community support for each when the legislation is brought forward."

Lundy said from what she could see happening across the internet, an opt-in approach would attract the endorsement of "a wide range of community organisations".

The senator's blog immediately attracted response — both positive and negative — from interested parties in the community. "DING DING DING! A Labor politician gets it," wrote one commenter.

However, Internode network engineer Mark Newton (a long-standing critic of the filter proposal) said Lundy wasn't going far enough. He had to "call a spade a spade" and said that the whole proposal was one more in a string of regulatory disasters that had been foisted on the Australian telecommunications industry.

"It's profoundly disappointing that the one person in the ALP who seems to 'get it' isn't howling from the rooftops in fury about that," he wrote.

Topics: Censorship, Government, Government AU, IT Employment

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  • Kate doesn't get it at a technical level, but a least she listens to the voters unlike the train wreck that is KRudd and Conroy
  • James, that comment can go towards any politician.
  • I have to agree with James, Conroy is a mess. And he certainly isnt listening to anyone but himself. I think Kate is making the right move and if she keeps at it hopefully she can replace Conroy. At the end of the day she is much better and I might even reverse my voting against labour stance which I know so many people are joining me in doing. I just hope that Kate means that opting out actually means opting out unlike Conroys scam of a filter. We dont need to take on China's policy towards freedom of information.
  • I don't think that Kate really needs to understand the technical level, that's for the Department of Broadband and Communications, and her advisors. It should, however inform the policy.

    That being said, I believe we are all responsible for our actions and an opt-in approach is so much better. It will also allow people the freedom to use the internet to see whatever they like, and be responsible for their actions if they break the law.

    However, what I would also like to see is a coherent information campaign that makes people aware of what they are doing when using the internet, when giving personal information, downloading etc.
  • Kate would be howling the house down but she is being careful, as are many other Labor parliamentarians.
    When those Labor pollies, who stand to lose their seats because of the Resources Tax fiasco and many other total stuffups, finally dump the out-of-control madman they have as a leader I hope they replace that dill Conroy with Kate Lundy.
    She doesn't need to understand every last technical detail because she has commonsense - a rare commodity in Australian politics at present.
    All she has to do is listen to, and genuinely consult with, the industry and the voters.
    There are any number of IT and Telecomms experts she could employ to advise her on the detailed technical stuff.
  • The best option would be to use good quality Open-Source filters for end-users. If not readily available, the Government could sponsor the development of an Australian product.
    Give it to the ISP's to distribute and support to their clients. Possibly as a browser plug-in, or as a more comprehensive parental control system to be installed on the client PC.

    This would be leadership on several fronts and remove the fear and poison from the debate. It would be cheaper and more effective than the filter provided by the Howard government
  • Anyone who did understand it at a technical level wouldn't take the pay cut required to become a politician :)