The Australian Liberal Party has announced that the Coalition will not implement the controversial plan for an internet filter if it wins the August 21st election. Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said that a Coalition government would abandon Labor's flawed filter policy. The coalition would encourage parents to take more responsibility for monitoring their children's use of the web, a policy that was in place prior to their 2007 election loss.
I think this is excellent news, and now that The Liberal party has revealed its hand along with the knowledge the Greens whom mostly likely will hold the balance of power in the senate after the August polls it seems this policy is as dead as the dodo. I am not alone in this thinking and Electronic Frontiers Australia have also applauded Mr Hockey’s announcement.
“The Opposition are very welcome among the ranks of those many organisations and individuals that see the filter as a policy failure,”
The governments Communications Minister, Mr Stephen Conroy's office says Labor policy is unchanged and despite this news will still push ahead with its plan. Mr Hockey also indicated that the if unsuccessful at the August 21st polls that the collation would not support any legislation in the senate, ensuring that a second term Gillard government wouldn't have the numbers required to pass its legislation as the Greens have also shown an unwillingness to support this legislation .
As I have stated the current Australian Government and the Labor party have maintained that mandatory censorship still remains Government policy, however with The Greens and the coalition now both opposing the internet censorship scheme it passing the senate is improbable. One would hope that the government see the wisdom of abandoning this policy and show a real understanding of the issues involved in cyber security and leadership on this in the final weeks of the election campaign I however think the chances are slim.