ACL cannot understand why Liberal MP for the Sydney seat of Mitchell, Alex Hawke, would not want to support an internet filter that could block illegal child pornography, rape porn and bestiality porn hosted on overseas websites.

His media release today fails to detail any of the ‘evidence’ put forward to the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety, which ACL understands has been hearing from the same people who have been fighting the filter all along.

Certainly, Mr Hawke does not detail any new ‘evidence’ in his media statement that would cause ACL to withdraw its support for mandatory ISP filtering of Refused Classification content.

Mr Hawke’s statement that “the best way to protect internet users online is to train children and adults to learn to use the filter between their ears” is patronising, naïve and dangerous.

If this logic was applied across the board, we would discard our classification system for films, books and computer games.

The media would become a free for all, which is of course what the internet has become because overseas websites subvert the Australian community standards which are reflected in our classification laws.

ACL knows an internet filter is not a magic bullet and recognises that the Government has put forward a comprehensive cyber-safety plan which includes more police resources.

However, a filter which can block the purveyors of illegal material who remain outside the reach of our law enforcement agencies is surely worthy of bi-partisan support.