Rudd: We won't apologise for filter

Rudd: We won't apologise for filter

Summary: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd this morning threw more wood on the fiery debate about the government's internet filtering plans, saying it wouldn't apologise for pushing ahead with the initiative.


Prime Minister Kevin Rudd this morning threw more wood on the fiery debate about the government's internet filtering plans, saying it wouldn't apologise for pushing ahead with the initiative.

Kevin Rudd

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
(Credit: Commonwealth Government)

The politician took several strongly worded questions from a viewer of Channel 7's Sunrise program, who asked why the government was implementing a plan that he claimed would fail in its objective to protect the children, and whether Rudd could guarantee business would not suffer a loss in productivity from decreased internet speeds.

In response, Rudd pointed to the Refused Classification material the filter aims to block. "What does it involve? Acts of child abuse. Acts of sexual abuse against children, including material which also provides 'how to' kits in terms of conducting terrorist acts," he said.

"I think this stuff is filthy, I can't stand it. I think these are the right measures. You're running a business, we're pro-internet, but we don't make apologies for this."

The news came as efforts have stepped up within Rudd's own party to push an amendment to the legislation to implement an "opt-out" option for Australians who don't want their internet to be filtered. Labor Senator Kate Lundy is hoping to gain the support of other Labor MPs and senators in the days before the legislation is tabled in Federal Parliament.

However, some have criticised even Lundy's moderated proposal.

Australia's Pirate Party last night said the opt-out idea was "censorship lite" and a hollow response to community concerns that the filtering project could lead to legitimate online information being blocked off from Australians.

On Sunrise, Rudd also responded to growing concerns about offensive material being posted on social networking site Facebook related to several traumatic events in Queensland, such as the death of schoolgirl Trinity Bates.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has written to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg to express concern about the issue. News Ltd commentary site The Punch today reported the company was planning to respond, but would not consider a policy change to address online material.

Rudd said he would investigate an idea being promoted by Sunrise and Independent Senator Nick Xenophon to set-up an online ombudsman to deal with such complaints. He said it was obvious which material went too far, and rejected any criticism that it was draconian to address offensive online material.

"This is where we get into this really stupid debate, with what I describe as extreme civil libertarianism, which says any such move in that direction means soviet communism, a'la 1980," he said. "Look, it's not like that. People out there, mums and dads, they know where the balance lies."

Topics: Censorship, Social Enterprise

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  • I smell some good old fashioned Manure.

    "What does it involve? Acts of child abuse. Acts of sexual abuse against children, including material which also provides 'how to' kits in terms of conducting terrorist acts,"

    What about euthanasia, harm reduction/minimisation, abortion discussions and other "Socially and Politically Contreversial" materials covered by the RC classification?

    "People out there, mums and dads, they know where the balance lies."

    Really Mr Rudd? If they know it why dont you trust them to judge it for themselves?
  • Good Bye!

    Well Mr. Rudd I won't apologise for not voting for your party at the next election....that's coming up soon isn't it?
  • crap

    these guys are pathetic. im voting against them now. No more labor for me.
  • goodbye kevin

    we are sick of your BS lies Kevin....your filter is the death of the Labor party...... Australians will vote on it shortly and we all get the chance to send Conroy and Rudd back to under the rock where they came from.

    the filter will not stop anything they planned for it stop. Google have already told the Australian Government it WILL NOT censor its sites...what will the Australian government do...start to censor the biggest sites on the web,,,,i think not!! Oh, and what about the 1,000,000 new pages that appear on the web EVERYDAY. Is the Australian Government so delusional that it thinks it can ever monitor .00001% of these.

    and lets not ignore the single biggest elephant in the already censors all links to child porn and content they feel is law breaking....i challenge ANY person to get on the web and find child porn through normal http:// requests.........thats right everybody, you why is the Australian government moving forward with a technology that does not do what it states.......

    what is the real reason for this filter - CENSORSHIP!!!
  • Someones a shill

    People HAVE been saying "where the balance lies." it was pretty clear when they said HANDS OFF MY INTERNET.

    I dont think Kev understands what hes talking about at all, hes not just blocking child porn or bestiality. Hes blocking any references to material that is RC... that includes a VERY WIDE range.

    Also hes mixing issues, the facebook hack has nothing to do with the filter, and the filter would not help it in any way.

    The filter should NEVER be used to block something that was hacked because removing things from the filter is next to impossible. Once the hack has been cleared the filter remains active.

    I think people's concerns are justified when the Minister for BCDE references China's filter when justifying our own.
  • How is this message NOT getting through ?

    I am virtually speechless. Well one vote he won from me at the last election is gone. This is a totally disgraceful way to ignore opposition and criticism and return to the "its for the children" rubbish. Shame on you Mr Rudd.

    It takes a lot to get me to take to the streets but the next protest will see me there, I haven't protested since I was a student in the 80's but I damm well will again now.
  • The Facebook thing

    The Facebook thing is actually pretty funny when you think about it. Facebook have a whole "abuse" department, where you make complaints about abusive content and they take it down. That's EXACTLY how the government's filter is going to work: people complain about a site, and ACMA adds it to their blacklist.

    How can the government complain that Facebook aren't working hard enough, when they're doing EXACTLY THE SAME THING that the government's filter will do?

    What will they stop at? Porn, Music sites? Download sites? Next it will be our NEWS they are censoring

    We never asked for this filter, it was never put to the Australian people.

    It is not the governments job to censor our media, thats a communist action, or have we exchanged our southern cross for a red flag?
  • Hobgoblins

    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace in a continual state of alarm (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing them with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
    — H.L. Mencken
  • The filter

    If the filter was actually going to work, there would be no reason to keep the list of RC sites secret. When the cost of implementing this easy-to-get-around filter gets passed on to the customers of the service providers, I hope everyone remembers who is responsible. And if an innocent web site ends up on the list, the government will be financially liable. That could cost the taxpayers squillions.
  • Attitude...

    His responses to questions and his general behavior and treatment of the Australian population show that he considers the population to be beneath him.

    Considers us children who are not able to make our own decisions about right and wrong.

    Treats us like gullible fools again and again for not recognizing his patronizing behavior when he talks and continues to not deliver on promises. Or go "Oops, I miscalculated (read didn't calculate at all) and what I promised is a lot harder/more-expensive/challenging."

    Considers us uneducated enough to believe that black is white if he keeps on smiling paternally at us and repeating it.

    All thats missing is him patting people on the head and telling them to run off and be good boys and girls and leave ruling the country to King Kev.

    The election can't come soon enough for me!
  • Chinese doctrines

    When Mr Rudd learn Mandarin language, he was indoctrinated by Chinese politics at the same time. Now he is dreaming that socialist system and dictatorship can be imposed on people in Australia. I am not apologizing for this and that.... these are most popular slogans he is using. His new electorate coming on the boats but he is ignoring Australian people... Shame on you Mr Rudd

    Its plain to see that this government is completely out of touch with the Australian public.
    Its a Governments job to keep the majority of Australians happy, however they seem to have their own agender which does not consult the main stream of Australians.
    Listen or get voted out.. simple
  • goodbye kevin

    Hit the nail on the head, it is all about censorship.
  • Internet Censorship

    Don't worry. Rudd and his merry band of fellow retards will be gone after the next election. We will be well rid of his way of forcing his views on the majority.
  • RC Content / Material Furphies

    Kevin Rudd Lies blatantly to Australians on National television.

    RC content or Refused Classification material is material that has been submitted by the:
    Film-Makers/Authors/Publishers/Film distributors/Video-game distributors etc , To The Australian Classification Board,
    and has subsequently been Refused Classification.

    Child Pornographers and Paedophiles do not submit their material to the Classification board.

    Child Porn -Child Sexual Abuse/Molestation images/video- Cannot be classed as Refused Classification material because it never was submitted to the Classification Board by it's original Producers / Makers.

    Child Porn is Illegal and Criminal content.

    The Lies and Half-Truths being told initially by Conroy and now Repeated Verbatim by Rudd to try to Blur the Lines between Legal and Illegal material in order to sell the Internet Filter are Appalling, and a Blight on Australian Democracy.
  • What century are we in Mr Arthur Huxley ?

    Censorship, banning materials.

    Lets start re writing history while we are at it !

    It's the world according to the red wine sipping silk suit wearing lawyers who pretend to be labour politicans.
    They don't listen to anyone who doesn't agree with them.
    Go back to your warm office and personal assistants Mr Rudd, back to that ivory tower - let me go back to driving my bongo van delivering crap for 10hrs a day for mimimum wage. Because you and your Labour Party can't solve the real problems that concern us - jobs, unfair taxes and general living expenses that drain us.

    HUH? You are a communist Comrade Rudd - while you control what we can see and read, while you are exempt from the very laws you will enAct. I am suprised.

    You dont trust us to determine what is right and wrong Mr Rudd.
    I do not trust you to do what is right and maintain the liberties the ANZACS fought to keep people like you from burning books, banning websites or doing what our forefathers decided were "our liberties."
    Censorship is a wartime occupation , and we haven't been in a war needing it for some 40+ years now.
    Or are we at war and you didn't tell us Mr Arthur Neville Chamberlain ? ...I mean Rudd

    This needs to go to a Referendum.
    Democracy is a great thing - try using it Mr Rudd.
  • Rudd: We won't apologise for filter

    KRudd and Conjob won't apologize for pushing ahead with it it's Nazi style information control and propaganda filtering of information despite the majority of taxpayers saying "WE DO NOT WANT IT".
    So I am sure the majority of voters won't apologize for tossing these dictators out on their arses at the next federal election, after all they ARE supposed to work for us the majority as it states under our (Alleged) Westminster system of Government.
    Bye Bye Kruddy and Conjob.
  • What's the point???

    Why have Internet filtering at the cost of millions upon millions of dollars of tax payers' money... when you can simply 'opt out'? Also, national Internet filtering would put us in the same boat as China, Saudi Arabia and Iran... you know, all the leaders of human rights. See you later Rudd - good luck when you're out of a job. Might be time to look for work in the roof insulation business. Oh, hold on...
  • No to controlling the Australian internet

    Didn't Rudd promise to build a FASTER internet? Now it is all about control, pandering to the Nation's foremost citizens, the Mums & Dads. A patronising attitude paired with scaremongering does not disguise that a filter should be optional or otherwise it is blatant censorship.