Net filter legislation to go public by March

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Net filter legislation to go public by March

Senator's blog gives first indication of timing.

Australians will get their first look at the wording of the Federal Government’s proposed internet filtering laws in “late February or March”, according to Labor Senator Kate Lundy.

The timing was revealed as Lundy moved to clarify her views on the controversial policy.

“This is a question best answered by the office of Minister Conroy, however I expect it will be late Feb or March,” Lundy said.

“My understanding is that the bills are not going to be introduced this week, and next week is Senate Estimates, so it will probably be in the following sitting fortnight in February or later in March.”

A spokesman from the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy said the legislation would be introduced in the Autumn 2010 parliamentary sittings.

Lundy said the resumption of parliament this week had enabled her to continue to lobby her own party to amend the current proposal.

She believed the policy could be improved by allowing adults and businesses to ‘opt out’ of the regime - something she termed “mandatory choice”.

“I believe that the best path forward is one of mandatory choice where as part of their normal interaction with an ISP all subscribers are provided information about filtering so they can make an informed choice (to filter or to not filter), and at that point we have a fantastic opportunity to provide further information and resources about general Internet safety best practices,” Lundy said.

“This option ought to be changeable at any point and re-asked at subsequent service renewals.”

Lundy also moved to clarify suggestions the Government had shifted the goalposts on internet filtering from an opt-out clean feed to mandatory filtering.

“Most of the confusion stems from media reports of references by the Minister [Conroy] to adults opting out but these were in relation to earlier consideration of an additional aspect of filtering for X classified content, for which adult consumption is not illegal,” she said.

“The clarification by the Minister that the filter would only apply to RC removed the need to make a distinction of an adult opt-out component.”

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