Claims made by Opposition frontbencher George Brandis yesterday that ISP-level filtering would “slow down internet speed significantly” and could catch “completely anodyne references to children…no element of pornography whatsoever” are completely inaccurate and reflect a disturbing level of misinformation on the issue, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said today.

Senator Brandis made the claims during a debate with Federal Minister Craig Emerson yesterday on Madonna King’s Brisbane ABC radio program (click here for a transcript).

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace today said it had clearly been shown that ISP-level filtering would not affect internet speeds and that the Government has restricted filtering to Refused Classification material – meaning it wouldn’t capture the wide range of innocuous material Senator Brandis alluded to.

He said it is disappointing that the Opposition has decided to oppose ISP filtering and that in trying to justify their position they needed to stick with the facts.

“There’s so much important in this election that’s been reduced to simplistic PR grabs and of all the issues that are too complex to be treated in this way, the ISP filtering debate would be one of the top on the list,” Mr Wallace said.

“It suits the opponents of ISP-level filtering to raise claims about filtering slowing down the internet, but it’s not responsible for political parties to follow suit when they must know that Government-oversighted trials show it would slow the internet by only 1/70th of a blink of an eye.

“PC-based filters can have a place but the low take up of the previous Government’s initiative in this area, and the limited safeguards they provide for the community as a whole, clearly highlights the need for ISP-level filtering.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan on 0408 875 979.