FILTERING internet websites to stamp out paedophiles and web-based crime would be the equivalent of Australia Post opening every letter and parcel that passed through its doors to do the same, say concerned residents.
Teenage campaigner Andrew Donnellan said an internet censorship regimen proposed by the federal government was an “invasion of civil rights” and a “cost-redundant exercise” that would not catch offenders.
The St Columba Anglican School year 12 student handed a petition abhorring web constriction, signed by more than 60 residents, to Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott last week.
He said the government should pour its money into funding police networks to catch paedophiles and criminals rather than wasting it on a flawed monitoring program.
The filtering system is being trialled and already a blacklist of more than 2000 websites has been leaked on the internet, affirming it’s not watertight, 16-year-old Andrew said.
“Also, the trial doesn’t even include the top-five providers, including Telstra and Optus,” he said.
“Its own filtering blacklist has been exposed, so what does that tell you?
“Filtering should really target production, not distribution.
“And as far as blocking sites, where do you draw the line?”
Mr Oakeshott said he backed Andrew’s drive to scrap filtering and would put the petition forward at the next sitting of Parliament in May.
“Firstly, we have a government filter already in regional areas,” he said.
“Secondly, we don’t need anything that will slow internet speed by, say, even 5 per cent, as it will have a significant impact on business and community life on the Mid-North Coast.
“Thirdly, it is not the government’s role to be a ‘net nanny’. It is the role of every single household.”
Andrew will have censorship banned.
His petition is at Mr Oakeshott’s office at 219 Victoria St in Taree.