According to internet broadband comparison site Compare Broadband, 75% of Australians would switch service providers should they elect to implement the Government’s voluntary filter.
This comes at a time when three of Australia’s largest ISPs, iPrimus, Optus and Bigpond, have agreed to filter out child abuse and child pornography as part of the Government’s system.
Whereas the official list is more wide-ranging, subjects that fall into legal and/or moral grey areas, such as abortion, drugs and terrorism, have not been addressed by the three ISPs.
The outcomes of the survey suggest that Australians bristle under government censorship.And this is something that the ISPs seem to be only too aware of.
The general manager of Compare Broadband, Scott Kennedy, said in a statement to media:
“It is not surprising that Australians do not want to be told what they can and can’t access online. If, as the poll suggests, 75% of people start to leave their ISP due to the filter being applied it is hard to see the ISPs continuing with the voluntary trial. The government may well need the co-operation of all ISPs in order for this voluntary scheme to be a success, unless they choose to enact the mandatory internet filter anyway.”
If the 75% hold true to their word, any adoption of a censorship scheme could see an exodus from the listed ISPs to less restrictive providers such as iiNet, Internode, TPG, or Exetel.
A year-long delay in execution of the possible mandatory filter has been implemented by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy in light of these and other findings. The Government will endeavour to review the RC classification to regional Ministers, pending this weekend’s election outcome.
Stefan Abrutat is an award-winning freelance writer, blogger and editor in a wide variety of fields, from sports to science, the philosophy of science, humourism, history, travel and food. Image by celebdu