The WORST argument in support of internet filtering

There are many arguments that Senator Conroy has pulled out in support of implementing nationwide internet censorship on every Australian’s internet connection — all of them bad. But the WORST, in my opinion, is that the previous government’s “NetAlert” program, which provided government-funded PC software which filtered a home internet connection, was an abject failure due to low take-up.

In the last week or so I’ve noticed active participation in online forums with clearly pro-Conroy comments (such as one from “BTDT“, who I assume works for DBCDE in some capacity, but doesn’t declare it.) He makes the argument above.

The thing is, NetAlert was only an abject failure if your measure of success is widespread implementation of filtering onto people’s internet connections.

Why assume this is what the public wants? The NetAlert program was extensively marketed at a cost of millions of dollars to the government, with mailouts to every household in Australia, and so on. The fact that takeup was low doesn’t mean the program was a failure — it simply indicates that only a very tiny minority of people want their home internet connections filtered. Which is still the case now, given opposition to the government’s planned mandatory internet filter by literally everyone except christian lobby groups. I’m yet to hear from anyone who’s not affiliated with a christian lobby group who is in favour of the plan.


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