Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Life Matters

This is meant to be a Digital Economy site but at the moment the Internet filtering project is the current only piece of policy substance so I think I'll keep talking about it.

For those interested there was a discussion about the policy on the ABC's Life Matters program. The participants were Jim Wallace and Mark Newton.

A very annoying discussion because Jim Wallace referred to "illegal content" which is not a current definition but went on to describe that as only "child pornography" - the stuff that it would be illegal to be in possession of. Mark Newton (perhaps justifiably because of the lack of clarity) relied upon the idea that the prohibited list equalled the mandatory blacklist; i.e. the "prohibited" material.

We had participants debating what the "clear intent" of the Government was - it might help if the Government was clear on its intent. Also a bit frustrating to have the facilitator putting Mark's arguments for him, though equally frustrating that the only "data" on the public interest remains the Newspoll data reported in the Australia Institute research.

Meanwhile Jim Wallace was elsewhere in the media responding to the US Government decision to change its stance on foreign aid and abortion, a stance that resulted in calls for Australia to do the same. I don't want to impose my values in this discussion, but note that for a person as Christian conservative as Jim to be clear that all he thinks should be in the mandatory ban is the RC stuff is something the libertarians should find comforting. Mind he is still specifying the opportunity that people should have the opportunity to "opt-in" for anything that is not "illegal" - the debate is then whether it is "opt-in" or "opt-out".

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