[emphases are mine]
“The government’s $128.8 million Cyber Safety policy includes forcing internet service providers to block access to a secret blacklist of website pages identified as ”refused classification” by the Australian police. Web pages will be nominated for blacklisting by Australian internet users who come across illegal or ”unacceptable” websites.
”This is a policy that will be going ahead,” Senator Conroy said. ”We are still consulting on the final details of the scheme. But this policy has been approved by 85 per cent of Australian internet service providers, who have said they would welcome the filter, including Telstra, Optus, iPrimus and iinet.”
One of Iinet’s recent statements on censorship contains the following:
I’m very keen to clear something up. It’s been recently reported that we’re (and when I say “we”, I mean iiNet as a company) supportive of the Federal Government’s plans to legislate the introduction of ISP internet filtering. We are not.
What we did welcome was the Government’s announcement in December, because it was a vast improvement on what they were originally proposing. But that’s all we welcomed. We welcomed that their plan was better, but still not something we support or endorse.
So let’s be clear. We don’t support the Government’s proposal. We never have. […]
If the Government continues to proceed with their ISP filtering plan we will continue to oppose it and seek to make their bad idea better by suggesting improvements. But we’ll hold fast in our view that it will still be a bad idea that simply won’t work.
“We are not able to reconcile participation in the trial with our corporate social responsibility, our customer service objectives and our public position on censorship,” iiNet managing director Michael Malone said.
“It became increasingly clear that the trial was not simply about restricting child pornography or other such illegal material, but a much wider range of issues including what the Government simply describes as ‘unwanted material’ without an explanation of what that includes.”
Iinet’s opposition to government censorship even goes back as far as the 1999 Censorship Bill. Iinet’s information page on internet filtering links to the EFA, the No Clean Feed campaign, and GetUp’s anti-censorship campaign.
Conroy is just plain lying. That’s something you can’t say in parliament, but I’ll say it here: assuming Conroy has been quoted accurately, Conroy. Is. Lying. Iinet does not support or welcome the proposed filter, and it is a lie to say that they do.
The SMH continues:
Yet Senator Conroy said ”blocking material is not considered to be censorship”.
”This filter is really not changing much, except that the blacklist of website pages will be mandatory.””
1. The use of state or group power to control freedom of expression, such as passing laws to prevent media from being published or propagated.