Aussie opposition divided over web filter

While the Aussie government finds itself blasted on all sides over its attempts to censor the internet from images of women with small breasts, and  sites written by people who disagree with it,  the opposition is curiously divided.

One would think that coming up to an election with a hot potato like web filtering on the agenda the opposition would be taking advantage to press a contrary case.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald opposition groups are divided about whether it is a good idea to fight for internet freedom.

Coalition leader Tony Abbott or his communications spokesman Tony Smith have failed indicate whether they would support the censorship bill. However they have not come out against it either.

While the Greens are opposed to the filter it will be up to the Liberals as to whether the plan goes through.

What appears scary is that the Liberals appear to have seen some advantages in web censorship from their own perspective. After all if they got back into power it will be them who can use it to prevent groups getting information on things that the government does not want them to see.

Abbott trotted out a line about seeing a need to protect kiddies which is straight from the Stephen Conroy hymn book. After all you can justify any atrocity if you claim you are protecting a child.

However Abbott said he did not want the internet destroyed by a filtering system that won’t work.

He wondered out loud if it was possible to have a filtering system that is effective, that doesn’t lull parents into a false sense of security, and which doesn’t, in the process, make the internet ineffective as the kind of marvellous research tool and educational device as it is?

He wanted technical assurances from the government that the filter will not break the internet. Abbott said he would see that in the final legislation which is yet to be released by the federal government.