Freelancing Gods 2015

09 Jan 2009

A Guide : Internet Filter Action

  1. Meet with your local ALP MP or Senator.
  2. Have a conversation with them about the internet filter, ideally focusing on The Message (below).
  3. Add the meeting details in a comment – the post will be updated accordingly (please comment if you’ve already met with a politician about this issue).
  4. Spread the word, and encourage others to do the same.

The Goal

To meet with as many ALP MPs and Senators, and share the message below. If you don’t have an ALP representative, then visit a Senator for your State instead. A face-to-face meeting is highly recommended, as it’s far more effective than an email or letter, and you’re more likely to have a sensible discussion, rather than getting a form letter response. If pressed for time, a phone call may suffice, but do everything you can to speak to the politician in question, not one of their staff members.

Even if your member is already listed below as having had someone else meet with them, another meeting with another concerned citizen will help solidify the message that there are serious problems with the Government’s proposed legislation.

I recommend using the message below – obviously some peoples’ opinions will differ, and I sympathise (and agree) with the concerns of censorship and grey lines of what the filter will and will not block. However, we need to find some common ground and try to direct their attention to what we feel is a better approach.

When you have a meeting organised, please add the details in a comment below, so we all have some idea of which politicians have been met with, and which still need a visit.

Don’t forget: both houses return to Parliament in February, so try to organise a meeting before then!

The Message

The goal of the Government’s Internet Filter is laudable. We have no argument with wanting to stop child pornography, and make sure children aren’t exposed to the darker corners of the internet. The problem is with the approach: an opt-out internet filter will not work.

  • There are plenty of legal tools that route around filtering: those who want to seek out such material will be able to.
  • The filter trials have been focused on HTTP traffic, with no attention given to peer-to-peer file sharing or instant messaging.
  • Filtering BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer traffic is not feasible – an analogy is monitoring every single phone call in Australia.
  • It gives the impression the internet will now be safe for children, ignoring situations where children are groomed by pedophiles via chat rooms and social networks, and may potentially meet face to face with these people.
  • It will slow the internet down to some extent.

That doesn’t mean there are no worthwhile solutions that should be investigated, such as the following:

  • Opt-in filter for those who desire it – whether offered by ISPs or as a downloadable tool.
  • Education for parents – via TAFE courses and similar.
  • Compulsory education for children in schools on what to be aware of when using the internet.
  • Increased funding for the AFP.

The Government’s current approach is a waste of money – particularly worrying in these financially uncertain times. We encourage the Government to change their tact for making the internet safer for Australians to use, and hope they employ some of the more effective ideas as suggested above.


(Alphabetical by Surname)

  • Dick Adams (Lyons)
  • Anthony Albanese (Grayndler)
  • Arch Bevis (Brisbane)
  • James Bidgood (Dawson)
  • Sharon Bird (Cunningham – NSW)
  • Chris Bowen (Prospect)
  • David Bradbury (Lindsay)
  • Tony Burke (Watson)
  • Mark Butler (Port Adelaide – SA)
  • Anthony Byrne (Holt)
  • Jodie Campbell (Bass)
  • Nick Champion (Wakefield)
  • Darren Cheeseman (Corangamite)
  • Jason Clare (Blaxland)
  • Julie Collins (Franklin)
  • Greg Combet (Charlton)
  • Simon Crean (Hotham)
  • Yvette D’Ath (Petrie)
  • Michael Danby (Melbourne Ports – VIC)
    • Steve Hopkins – Nothing Yet Scheduled
  • Bob Debus (Macquarie)
  • Mark Dreyfus (Isaacs)
  • Justine Elliot (Richmond)
  • Annette Ellis (Canberra – ACT)
  • Kate Ellis (Adelaide – SA)
  • Craig Emerson (Rankin)
    • Ashley Angell – Nothing Yet Scheduled
  • Laurie Ferguson (Reid)
  • Martin Ferguson (Batman – VIC)
  • Joel Fitzgibbon (Hunter)
  • Peter Garrett (Kingsford Smith – NSW)
  • Steve Georganas (Hindmarsh)
  • Jennie George (Throsby)
  • Steve Gibbons (Bendigo – VIC)
  • Julia Gillard (Lalor – VIC)
  • Gary Gray (Brand)
  • Sharon Grierson (Newcastle – NSW)
  • Alan Griffin (Bruce)
  • Damian Hale (Solomon)
  • Jill Hall (Shortland)
  • Chris Hayes (Werriwa)
  • Julia Irwin (Fowler)
  • Sharryn Jackson (Hasluck)
  • Mike Kelly (Eden-Monaro)
  • Duncan Kerr (Denison)
  • Catherine King (Ballarat – VIC)
  • Kirsten Livermore (Capricornia)
  • Jenny Macklin (Jagajaga – VIC)
  • Richard Marles (Corio)
  • Robert McClelland (Barton)
  • Maxine McKew (Bennelong – NSW)
  • Bob McMullan (Fraser)
  • Daryl Melham (Banks)
  • John Murphy (Lowe)
  • Belinda Neal (Robertson)
  • Shayne Neumann (Blair)
  • Brendan O’Connor (Gorton)
  • Julie Owens (Parramatta – NSW)
  • Melissa Parke (Fremantle – WA)
  • Graham Perrett (Moreton)
  • Tanya Plibersek (Sydney – NSW)
  • Roger Price (Chifley)
  • Brett Raguse (Forde)
  • Kerry Rea (Bonner)
  • Bernie Ripoll (Oxley)
  • Amanda Rishworth (Kingston)
  • Nicola Roxon (Gellibrand)
  • Kevin Rudd (Griffith – QLD)
  • Janelle Saffin (Page)
  • Bill Shorten (Maribyrnong – VIC)
  • Sid Sidebottom (Braddon)
  • Stephen Smith (Perth – WA)
  • Warren Snowdon (Lingiari)
  • Jon Sullivan (Longman)
  • Wayne Swan (Lilley – QLD)
  • Mike Symon (Deakin)
  • Lindsay Tanner (Melbourne – VIC)
  • Craig Thomson (Dobell)
  • Kelvin Thomson (Wills – VIC)
  • Chris Trevor (Flynn)
  • Jim Turnour (Leichhardt)
  • Maria Vamvakinou (Calwell)
  • Tony Zappia (Makin)


Australian Capital Territory

  • Kate Lundy

New South Wales

  • Mark Arbib
  • Doug Cameron
  • John Faulkner
    • Elias Bizannes – Nothing Yet Scheduled
  • Michael Forshaw
  • Steve Hutchins
  • Ursula Stephens

Northern Territory

  • Trish Crossin


  • Mark Furner
  • Joe Ludwig
  • Jan McLucas
  • Claire Moore

South Australia

  • Don Farrell
  • Annette Hurley
  • Anne McEwen
  • Penny Wong
  • Dana Wortley


  • Catryna Bilyk
  • Carol Brown
  • Kerry O’Brien
  • Helen Polley
  • Nick Sherry


  • Kim Carr
  • Jacinta Collins
  • Stephen Conroy
  • David Feeney
  • Gavin Marshall

Western Australia

  • Mark Bishop
  • Chris Evans
  • Louise Pratt
  • Glenn Sterle


This was inspired by the work of Geoff McQueen and Matthew Landauer. Originally planned as a Google Document, but that doesn’t allow editing by everyone, so this blog post will have to do.


15 responses to this article

09 Jan 2009
Ross Hill said:

Alright I’m onto it – I’ll get back to you when I have something set up :)

11 Jan 2009
Elias Bizannes said:

Thanks for posting this Pat – it’s what we need to do for a more constructive dialogue with the Government.

Hopefully when I speak to one of the NSW senators, I can pick their mind on what they think we need to do to allow Labor out of this tight position and in a workable solutions for all parties.

I’m going to try to meet up with Senator Faulkner – might be difficult, but that’s my goal :)

12 Jan 2009
Steve Hopkins said:

Hi all,

I’ll organise a meeting with Michael Danby, my local member, within the next couple of weeks. Let me know if you’re interested in coming along.


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