Protest: 19,000 Australians petition against Internet filter

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Protest: 19,000 Australians petition against Internet filter

Petition tabled in the Senate.

More than 19,000 Australians have opposed mandatory internet filtering in a petition tabled in the Senate this week.

Launched in mid-January by Electronics Frontier Australia (EFA), the petition asserts that individuals - not the Government - should be allowed to determine how and what online content is blocked.

Printed and online signatures were collected nationwide, from Perth CBD to Sydney's Northern Beaches and Darwin suburb, Nakara.

Declaring that "mandatory internet filtering is censorship", the petition called for the Senate to reject the Labor Government's $23.8m ISP-level internet filtering proposal.

Petitioners asked that the Senate reject any plan to filter the internet, and redirect funding to law enforcement agencies or education programs instead.

They further requested that the Senate disallow any legislation that compels internet providers to filter any Australian user's connection, unless expressly requested to do so by the user.

The petition was tabled yesterday by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, who has been a vocal opponent of the filter proposal.

"The only way to protect internet users from some of the worst elements is through a combination of law enforcement, education and optional filters, not a mandatory filter," Ludlam said today.

"The industry and many business and civil society groups have been demanding Communications Minister [Stephen] Conroy to abandon the net filter. It's time he listened to those voices."

Conroy's Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) has not yet responded to iTnews' request for comment.

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