The Opposition Has Backed Down From An Internet Filter Policy

Photo: Getty/S.Postles

Yesterday evening the Coalition was forced backtrack on a last-minute policy document which said Australian internet providers would be forced to censor adult material.

According to Fairfax, the Coalition released its $10 million “Policy to Enhance Online Safety for Children” on Thursday afternoon.

The document appeared to support a filter on “adult content” which Australian users would be forced to opt-out of.

Coalition communications spokesperson Malcolm Turnbull issued a statement shortly after the document was released, saying the policy had been changed so that users would be able to opt in if they chose to.

Turnbull had earlier defended the opt out clause on radio station Triple J.

‘‘I read the policy for the first time when it was released this afternoon,’’ he said, according to Fairfax.

‘‘I defended it as best I could and then as soon as I had an opportunity to ensure that it was withdrawn and corrected I did.’’

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott also signed-off on the policy, and clarified the party’s stance after the document was amended.

“I read the policy last night, quickly it has to be said, and I thought it was a reference to the ability of people to get PC-based filter that’s what I thought it was,” Abbott said.

“I’m sorry it was badly worded.”

The chairman of the Coalition’s online safety working group, Liberal MP Paul Fletcher, had told Fairfax the policy was ‘‘about protecting children’’.

Read more here.

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