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Australian Internet Filter Legislation Delayed

Written by:
Greg Tingle
Published on:
Mar/17/2010
Australia Internet Filter

Australian Internet filter legislation proposed by what many believe to be an overzealous politician would have blocked a number of online gambling sites.  Now comes word that these efforts are now being delayed.  Our man on the scene, Greg Tingle, has the update down under.

Readers, you've heard and read about it for over a year now...

Media Man and Gambling911 give you the update of what is the ongoing saga that is the proposed Aussie internet filter, in this filter and censorship-free report.

The Rudd Government's controversial internet filter legislation, with add on "blacklist" on the side, is still being drafted and is unlikely to be debated in parliament until at the middle of June and might be pushed back even further.

Internet lovers, gamers, media - journalists, entrepreneurs and lovers or freedom of expression have been rejoicing and see the latest development as a victory of sorts in the internet control "war". Fortunately the rumor of a riot in protect never occurred (but there's always tomorrow... satire).

Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy had originally planned for the  filter to be debated this week, but his office confirmed the drafting of the legislation was still not finalised and discussions with ISPs and other stakeholders on outstanding issues were still taking place.  Perhaps some words of wisdom were picked up by media and new media kings Rupert Murdoch and James Packer.  News Corp including News Limited and Crown Limited (and Melco-Crown) are certainly interested, as are Fairfax, and these firms will be looking to adapt to the legal aspects that follow the legislation.

The (current) Government has a backlog business with quite a few headaches and fires to put out, so its likely the matter of the darn filter will be sorted circa June - July... Christmas is coming.

"The Government will take the time to ensure that it gets the legislative framework right," advised a spokeswoman for Senator Conroy.

"Discussions with ISPs and owners of high traffic sites on the implementation of ISP filtering are ongoing.  The Government is also considering the responses to the consultation paper on improved transparency and accountability measures which will feed into the legislative framework."

Media Man suspects that quite a few companies and individuals will have more of their websites hosted overseas - offshore, so they don't come under Australian law.  A Media Man insider was overheard saying "This is great, it gives us more time up our sleeves to get sorted. Pity the delay in the legals is costing many Australian ISP's money and stress, but the internet is a global medium after all.  No one country owns the net. We're more than happy to support ethical and quality ISP's and business partners in the U.S, Canada, Europe and beyond. Gibratar, Alderney, Malta, Guernsey, Costa Rica, the Virgin Islands and those kind of places are looking like better options all the time. Still, in the early days we got rooted in Australia so let's hope the Aussie government finally gets the right solution in place so we can still support the little Aussie battler".

Spin or news?...

"The Bill will be introduced when these processes are completed," the spokeswoman said.

It is currently unclear whether the internet filtering plan has a hope in hell of getting through the Senate. The Greens are opposed to the scheme, and the opposition says while it supports in principle measures to protect children online, it has reservations about mandatory ISP level filtering.

Shadow communications spokesman Tony Smith said the coalition will wait until the draft legislation is tabled before it formalises a policy on the issue.

Media Man thinks its quite likely that Senator Conroy and his team have been reading the news media reports, including our beloved Gambling911, and realise that quick fixes won't work and that an intelligent, well thought out solution is required... one that the majority of Aussies (journos, poker players, igamers, business entrepreneurs and adult consumers included) will accept.  Australian casino king James Packer himself said "Internet is like electricity" and Gambling911 and Media Man have made true believers out of the Labour government if they we not already convinced.  

We thank our loyal readership for your support, and we promise to keep up the good fight to keep the internet a place for everyone who supports freedom of expression and human rights.  Party time!  The games has only just begun. Let's hear it for our passionate campaigners the world over... Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi  Aussie Aussie Aussie USA USA USA Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company.  Founded in Australia in 2001, and now with a global audience and focus with over 20 niche website portals. iGaming and gaming is just one of a bakers dozen of sectors covered by the company.

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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