Australians Plan Demonstrations Against Net Filters

Tod Hunter
CANBERRA, Australia — Australia's Digital Liberty Coalition has planned rallies in state capital cities nationwide on Saturday to show opposition to the government's Internet censorship plans. Demonstrations are planned for Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart, Perth and Canberra.

"The problem is not with the concept of protecting children. In fact [Communications Minister Sen. Stephen] Conroy has been adamant at dismissing all criticisms of his filter by alluding that the critic clearly has a stash of child porn hidden away," said Jasmine, one of the DLC's national organizers. "But in fact it is mandatory, restricts adults to material only suitable for MA15 audiences and filters out political communication of whatever is deemed 'hate' literature by the government in power at the time. There are no checks or balances in place in the legislation to prevent future abuses of this filter to infringe more on the human rights of all Australians."

The DLC said that turnout is expected to exceed 15,000 nationally. Speakers scheduled to appear at the rallies include members of Amnesty International, academics from various state and national Universities, board members from Electronic Frontiers Australia, and Fiona Patten, CEO of Australian adult industry trade group The Eros Association.

"The opposition to the filter is growing daily here," Patten told XBIZ. "Unfortunately what I think will happen is that they will relax parts of the filter, but adult X-rated material will still be lumped in with child porn and blacklisted. To me this weakens sanctions on child porn, as people will be asked to consider child porn on the same level as 'Debbie Does Dallas.' This argument goes for that ludicrous decision on the Simpsons 'child porn.'

"Our decisions regarding electronic media in Australia are becoming embarrassing."

For more information about the protests, visit