Conroy brands EFA anti-filter campaign a disgrace

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Conroy brands EFA anti-filter campaign a disgrace

Questions hit raw nerve.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy yesterday attacked Electronic Frontiers Australia's anti-censorship campaign in Parliament, branding it misleading and a disgrace.

Conroy accused the EFA of supplying misleading material to Reporters Without Borders, which mentioned Australia in an report on "internet enemies" last week.

EFA has denied the allegation.

The allegations were provoked by Queensland Liberal Senator Sue Boyce after she quizzed Conroy on whether he had stifled national debate on internet filtering by "branding critics as child pornography advocates".

"Electronic Frontiers Australia have run one of the most disgraceful misinformation campaigns and have misled Australians," Conroy said.

"The material that has been supplied to Reporters Without Borders comes from Electronic Frontiers Australia, who have been challenged publicly on a number of occasions to produce a quote where I have ever said that.

"I challenge each and every one of you to come up with such a quote, because it does not exist.

The EFA republished two comments allegedly made by the Senator to that effect on its website overnight.

The activist group also said it stood by its assessment of the filter policy.

"We are aggressive in educating the public on the drawbacks of this and other policies that threaten our online freedoms, but take great pains to provide factual information and analysis to the Australian public," EFA vice chair Colin Jacobs said.

"EFA intends, as always, to stick to the facts. The many flaws of this [internet filter] policy require no exaggeration."

Jacobs challenged Conroy to produce "a solid defence of the policy that referenced any evidence, study, or reputable expert that demonstrated the filter will help Australian children."

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