back to article Aussie opposition will scrap firewall

Joe Hockey, shadow treasurer, has told Australian radio that the Liberal Party will oppose the Australian government's planned compulsory net filter. Communications minister Stephen Conroy has staked his reputation on blocking content from the internet which would be censored if it were a film for cinema release. The …


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  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. lglethal Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    One question...

    Why have they waited so long to come out on the side of sanity?

    The debate has raged for months (the debate being Conroy saying we neeed it and the rest of Australia saying it wont work/we dont want it), and only now they come out and say they're against it!

    I'll withhold judgement on whether this is an actual scrapping of the firewall or a "re-imagining" until i see the detailed plan of the liberals...

  3. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
    Thumb Up


    Someone's thinking. Hopefully many more will follow suit.

    1. Throatwobbler Mangrove

      well, since you ask

      Hockey has waited so long to come out with a statement on this because the Liberals are a complete shambles: they have no consistent policies different from Labor, have just been through some bruising leadership contests, and are led by someone who can't shake off the image of a creepy clammy-handed religious zealot.

      The fact that this announcement is made by Hockey and *well after* the election policy statements have been made speaks volumes: it's not a party policy, it's a Hockey policy - it's a big FU to Abbott and the pretence that Tony's in charge. And if the Libs do win the election by some chance, either Hockey can kill it because he controls the money (another FU to Abbott) or the firewall goes ahead and Abbott catches the flak for breaking a promise and proceeding with a terrible idea (which just goes to put Hockey in a better position for another leadership challenge).

      1. Player_16

        And don't forget...

        ...the Libs will scrap the National Broadband Network (NBN) if they get in.

    2. Sead Alispahic


      Hockey was always against the filter. Just google it. This is the first "party" stance, but Hockey said he will vote against it on several ocasions.

  4. s. pam

    The Aussies are Mindless (pt 2)

    Look at the digital tele filtering article here and the same policies apply as they chose to live in their idiotic nanny state. It'll be deployed, a 4-year old will get around it, and much mumbling, name calling, and finger pointing will ensue until the Aussie press get bored and look for the next 1-2 week old international headline to wave their hands over.

    Repeat cycle.

  5. Ron Murray

    So if it worked they'd be all for it?

    The point, you nitwit, is not that it won't work (although, of course, it won't). It's wrong because it's censorship. It's wrong because we're not even allowed to know what you're censoring. And it's wrong because we trust neither you nor the other lot to resist the temptation to suppress anything you find "inconvenient".

    Glad I don't live in Australia any longer.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: So if it worked they'd be all for it?

      That's a possibility, but he didn't say so. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt. (It's something that decent, non-censorious people do.)

      As a politician, he knows full well that campaigning against the puritan tendency is a thankless task. He doesn't want to do that. Fortunately, he doesn't have to because he has (only just, apparently) noticed that he can campaign against the filter simply on the grounds of technical impossibility.

    2. iwebster

      RE: So if it worked they'd be all for it?

      Of course they'd be for it. They already tried a software filter previously, it didn't work either. I don't like the labor filter but it only takes 2 minutes to work around only God and the Mad Monk (abbott) knows what the liberals actual policy is going to say.

  6. P Zero
    Thumb Up

    Looks like they have my vote

    At least we'll have a ripper three seasons of Good News Week to look forward to.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Didn't read the digital TV article did we?

    The point in that article was that parents could chose to turn on a filter if they wished and obviously if you are not a parent you don't need it on.

    The firewall issue is completely different as it's mandatory for everyone.

    1. AndyS


      See the "reply to" button? Nah, didn't think so...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Top work

    I think it would be safe to say that the Lib's will be back in power shortly, Conroy needs to be taken out the back and re-educated as to what a democracy means*.

    *yes I know, it was meant to be ironic :)

  9. A B 3
    Thumb Up

    Salute Joe hockey...

    for sticking to his guns. On a show called Q&A one of the lady pollies for the government inferred he supported child pornography by opposing the filter.

    Seriously, get tough, but not by censoring the internet.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Aussie opposition will scrap firewall...

    No they won't.

    Because they aren't going to win this election, Labor will. Then when Labor loses the next election the Liberals wont scrap it. They've had three years to make some noise opposing this silly filter and just a few weeks before the election they decide to say something, too little too late and I guess some dumb Aussies seem to forget this what they wanted long before they went with the NetAlert junk. But dont worry guys in 2013 you'll be too distracted anyway, they'll have High Speed Rail on the agenda by then with a 2099 completion date and who knows what the status of the NBN will be by then, the only thing we can be certain of is that it will be filtered.

    1. Jon 85
      Thumb Up

      No but Labor won't have the numbers in the Senate

      The Greens will almost certainly have the balance of power in the Senate and they are long-standing opponents of this nonsense, so Labor simply won't be able to get the legislation through.

  11. Combat Wombat

    I see what you did there Mr Hockey..

    He is opposing it because it doesn't filter enough!

    He is not against the filter for reasons of principle or free speech, but because the filter doesn't filter everything!

    Good god porn and scams are coming through the email portals as well !!!!oneone!!

    I am so glad I moved out of that backward assed country.

    Hey Reg, any chance of a maple leaf icon ?

    We need a "screw this, I'm moving to Canada" Icon.

    Unlike most people.. I actually did. :)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Good point...

      ... alternatives to Australia are welcome if the gov continues on it's present totalitarian heading.

    2. Wizard of Oz
      Thumb Down

      Narrow minded view

      Oh no, not another "I left the country cause I'm smarter than everyone else, and all Australians are "backward assed" (American lingo wannabe), nationalistic types.

      All countries needs their citizens to stick around and vote accordingly. Thank you for your departure though.

  12. A B 3

    Here you go from my ISP

    Prohibited activities include (but are not limited to):

    (a) posting, disseminating, or in some cases accessing, content which is unlawful, including:

    (i) content that is or would be classified by the Classification Board as RC rated or X rated and that is or would be classified by the Classification Board as R rated where a restricted access system is not in place,

    Does restricted access system mean national internet filter?

  13. Michael Hoffmann
    Thumb Down

    What a choice...

    NBN with filter under Labor or no NBN but unfiltered under Libs.

    Can't believe that for the first time in my life I may end up voting something like Greens...

    What a choice. :(

    1. FozzyBear Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      and that is why

      I will be going the Australian Sex party or an independant for my area Labor or Liberal it doesn't matter which you vote for they are essentially the same. There are no defining policies that clearly show they are thinking for themselves

      The more the non-debate of the great firewall continues the more I realise it will go ahead and I will be thinking about moving overseas it's friggin' embarrassing to be in the same bucket as North Korea and China on these censorship issues

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    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The big picture

      Faster broadband is inevitable, whether the NBN goes ahead or not.

      Removing an entrenched censorship regime is a great deal more problematical.

      Patience, grasshopper.

    2. Mark 65

      @jay pigot

      "This election in 2 weeks, will see plenty of people vote for one thing they hate (great aus firewall) in order to realise a significant infrastructure investment..."

      Unless of course there's a fair number of luddites in the populous who don't have a clue about any of it and will just carry on voting along the same political lines anyway.

      This election in 2 weeks will see people even less interested in politics but forced to vote anyhow.

    3. John Angelico

      Nope - more different than that...

      The current policy positions are

      a) Labor (yes, with 'merkan spelling) installing the NBN - an uncosted white elephant to run 100Mb FTTH for most but not all people (satellite for the remoter parts of the continent, and offshore territories)


      promising this technological / political white elephant the Great Aussie Firewall (GAF and a big gaffe I believe it will be)

      b) Conservative Coalition (Liberals and Nationals) scrap the NBN to save gigabucks (let free enterprise operators risk their own funds if they reckon there's a quid in it)


      abandon the GAF probably by substituting parental level controls as they did last time (and like the set-top box add-in reported elsewhere).

  15. Richard Freeman



    Did the Coalition just announce a policy???

  16. Chezstar

    Of course he opposes the filter....

    He has to oppose the filter, in order to make people look away from the fact that they will also scrap the NBN if they get into power.

    At which point, we won't need the filter, because our connection speeds will be so low, that kids will get up off their couches, and go outside to play.

    At which point, the dodgy, trenchcoat wearing neighbour will be free to take pictures over the fence, without the government knowing!

    See, Joe Hockey is promoting backyard paedophilia, why isn't this being reported in the news!!!

    And this is how Australian elections are won, not on good policy making decisions, but bad smear campaigns.

    Mine is the trenchcoat with the telephoto lens in the pocket....wait....

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    wasn't the Filter a Liberal Party incentive?

    Wasn't the filter a Liberal Party incentive under the 2nd or 3rd Howard government?

    I seem to recall that was part of a deal to flog off Telstra with the Senate.

    Now Hockey has come out saying that *he* opposes it. As 'Anonymous Coward

    Aussie opposition will scrap firewall... ' said, that's not a Liberal Party promise - but a Hockey Opinion. Thus not Policy - not even a non-core promise.

    Personally I think both the major parties have less of a clue than Paris.

    My Vote is for the Australian Sex Party. They oppose the Filter completely. Porn for all (adults)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is actually a sane reason for all this

    For those wondering what the hell the Oz gov't is thinking when it comes to this filter, there is actually a logical reason driving them. The Labor party doesn't hold a majority in the Senate, and thus needs to bargain with minority parties to ge some stuff through. Senator Fielding, of the Family First party, is a raving social conservative, and it is because of him that Labor are playing this game. You will note, that after many years in power, the filter is still in partial trial, and still under review. If Labor no longer need Fielding's vote after the next election, then the filter will be scrapped, end of story. If they win the election, but do need his vote, the "trial" and "review" will continue for another 3 years. Make sense now?

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Possibly keep NBN and no filter

    By the sounds of it, the election may well be a close run thing and could be a re-run of the UK election, but with the Greens holding the balance of power. If Labour win they won't be able to push through the filter as both the Greens and now the Liberals are against it. They will however continue with the NBN as they've gone too far to stop without loosing face (long way still to go though).

    Me, I'll probably vote Green. They place the Australian Sex Party ahead of both Liberals and Labour in their preferences in WA, so at least they've got a sense of humour.

  20. D. M
    Big Brother

    That's Lib lie

    They started it. With a mad monk as their leader, there is no way they will oppose it.

    They just say this because it will bring more vote to them.

    And I couldn't agree more with Ron. Listen carefully, they don't really oppose it at all. If there is any real reason they don't want it now, is because it won't work.

  21. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Beware of idiots bearing gifts...

    Hockey is a complete plonker. Don't trust the man. The Libs may well vote against the filter, but they will put something else in place + no NBN.

    Abbott is another mad religious type. Like Howard, he would rather we all lived in the 1950's. Ladies with nice hats and gloves, work for all (men) and Sundays reserved for church.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    NBN sigh

    I would like to have a NBN but the cost is just too high. Its not the $45B for the NBN. Its all the other crap you have to put up with. I know people who built up a good professional insulation business over 25 years, who these nobs have sunk, they were just thankful they wernt screwed over as badly as those in the solar industry.

    The transitional awards are unworkable. Back in surplus by 12/13 but when will the debt really be paid off?

    And wost of all that Goose Gillard, treating as all as if we belong in primary school. Watch the hands. When she says anything, it's got to include slagging off the other guys, she cant help it.

    A nasty bit of work, and the basis of so much of the stuff up over the last three years.

    I guess I'll have to vote for the rabbot!

  23. Aussie Brusader

    The True Gillard

    I like how our PM said that the rule book has been thrown out and we'll see 'The Real' Gillard.

    Two nights later, she's brought back KRudd (who she stabbed in the back) and he's doing all the talking while she sits there like a nice lady and lets him run the show.

    I've never encountered an election this pathetic (from both sides).

  24. Anonymous Coward

    But they won't turn off the surevellance, or the collection of the data people send and recieve...

    Don't be FOOLED by the idiots: This is not about a filter at all, it is about censorship and sureveillance, big brother having access to ALL your data and private information.

    Richard Alston + Amanda Vanstone + Helen Coonan = A massive ConJob run by vested interests...

    (The above equation represents 15 years of total and complete stupidity; the work of 3 Liberal ministers and the current telecommunications puppet, Stephen ConBoy)

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