Cracks emerging in the filter facade

The federal government’s internet censorship announcement is only three days old but already dissent is emerging from some unexpected places. Perhaps also not emerging from some expected ones. I’ve been following the story for ZDNet.

New South Wales upper-house member Penny Sharpe railed against the filter in her blog. Yes, she is from the Labor party, but the NSW and federal arms aren’t exactly best buddies right now.

Three younger Liberal parliamentarians – MPs Alex Hawke and Jamie Briggs and Senator Simon Birmingham – have also come out against the filter, although this is mainly confirming their previous positions. Most interestingly, Hawke says he has advised the Christian lobby against the filter proposal, even though he is himself a Christian.

As I mentioned the other day, Senator Kate Lundy has been painfully fence sitting. Despite her well known and vociferous opposition to internet filtering while she was in opposition, Lundy wouldn’t say much at all when I spoke to her. Subsequently she posted a lengthy piece on her blog, the gist of which was that she opposed filtering but it was Labor policy before the election, we voted for them and she can’t speak against party policy.

Although there is still an open question about whether Labor’s pre-election policy made it clear the filter would be mandatory – the language was pretty fluffy.

While these small brushstrokes begin to paint of picture of widespread opposition to the filter, no one seems to have an overall idea of how the anti-censorship movement might achieve its goals. Stay tuned…

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