Abbott torn on internet filter plan

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Abbott torn on internet filter plan

Technical feasibility and legislative wording seen as key issues.

Liberal leader Tony Abbott has reserved judgement on the Federal Government's proposal to filter the internet pending the introduction of legislation and resolution of some "factual" issues.

Speaking on the ABC's Q and A program last night, Abbott said he would "wait and see how things thing develop" before providing a clear policy statement.

"We haven't seen legislation from the Government," he said.

"We certainly haven't seen the kind of technical assurances that we'd need [to pass the legislation]."

He said he wanted "to see protections in place" but was wary of what impact that might have on the internet.

"I don't want to see our kids exposed to really terrible stuff on the internet," Abbott said.

"On the other hand I don't want to see the internet destroyed by a filtering system that won't work. For me it's a factual issue.

"Can you have a filtering system that is effective that doesn't lull parents into a false sense of security [and] which doesn't in the process make the internet ineffective as the kind of marvelous research tool and educational device that it is?"

"I don't know at the moment [what the answer is]."

The Opposition has faced criticism from several fronts over its reluctance to state policy positions on technology issues such as filtering and the NBN.

It recently said it would not support the NBN in its current form if it came to power in elections to be held later this year.

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