Media Release

Recent claims by the Opposition’s new shadow minister for communications Malcolm Turnbull that ISP-level filtering of Refused Classification material will “slow down the internet” are wrong and reflect a disturbing lack of knowledge on the issue, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said today.

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said that ISP-level filtering is far too important an initiative to be turned into a political football and he urged Mr Turnbull to stick to the facts when commenting on the issue.

“Even the internet civil libertarians leading a misinformation campaign against ISP filtering have stopped claiming it will slow the internet down as this is so clearly wrong – with official trials showing the initiative would slow the internet by only 1/70th of a blink of an eye,” Mr Wallace said.

“It is concerning that someone with Mr Turnbull’s obvious credentials in the IT industry would seek to perpetuate such myths and we urge the Coalition to rethink their position on this issue.”

Mr Wallace said that Australia has a responsibility to block the overseas-hosted webpages or images of child sexual abuse which are currently accessible on the open internet, as well as other Refused Classification material which is already banned from Australian-hosted websites.

“No one has ever pretended that ISP-level filtering will solve everything but it is clearly a vital part of a number of measures to better protect children online.

“The Opposition and other ISP-level filtering opponents need to get beyond the idea that the Internet should be ‘a law unto itself’ and understand the crucial need to put safeguards in place to protect children.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan on 0408 875 979.