Labour’s Agenda: To implement Chinese internet censorship policies

On 21 March 2006, the Federal Labour Opposition announced in a media release that a Labor Government would require all Internet Service Providers (”ISPs”) to implement a mandatory Internet filtering/blocking system.

This proposal was retained as policy by the Rudd Labour government elected on 24th November 2007 (see Media Release by Stephen Conroy 19 November 2007 – Federal Labor To Lead On Cyber-Safety). Further information about the policy is in Labour’s Plan for Cyber-safety released prior to the election. Few concrete details have been announced since the election, but early in January 2008 Minister Conroy confirmed that the policy remained in place. EFA and other concerned groups are currently attempting to obtain additional information ( EFA: Electronics frontiers of Australia ) .

Australia stands 26th in the developed world in terms of internet speed. Internet speed in the USA is far better than in Australia. Adding filters to the internet will slow it down even further. So rather than improving the internet connectivity and adding a competitive advantage to Australia, the Rudd government is taking the hardline approach to censor the internet content like China, North korea and Iran. It is believed that the Kevin Rudd is highly influenced by Chinese policies. He was the foreign diplomat to China for many years.

…… More updates will come soon on this topic.

-Himanshu Dogra