The proposed laws aren't just enforcing the banning of already illegal stuff under the crazy Howard laws that make the Simpsons into "child abuse material" when watched on the internet, but they are suggesting that legal "refused classification" media become illegal. Previously it was just labellled as a warning, but legal.
It doesn't really matter whether they are making up reasons about protecting children or their personal religion, what matters is that they are turning a labelling system into a censorship system, and starting to enforce a law Howard enacted which was so silly that nobody enforced it for his whole 11 years of government. Making the internet rated G while free to air TV is R rated, is against community standards. The community is happy TV networks are self-policing, and there is no law against nudity or the Simpsons. The new laws are about extending power for the sake of extending power.
Censorship violates the basic human right to freedom of speech, which includes a wider freedom of information. The fascists who will be enpowered to read things that they can stop us reading, and say things that they can stop us saying, will have powers that have only been used and desired by despots in human history.
There is no evidence provided by the government that any of the huge list of media they want to ban are causing harm to any children at any time. There is no evidence that if they could prove that an open internet gave children some kind of distress, that the laws would in any way prevent this unproved distress.
Why did the government give special private acccess to the Australian Christian Lobby for consultation on the drafting of the censorship laws, but not spend ANY time with child psychologists?
The government wouldn't dare openly censor TV in the same way. And yet TV and the internet have started converging as many people now stream content from the free-to-air networks straight to their televisions, with suggestions that all TV content will be delivered by internet in very few years.
So the laws are being pushed for a fake solution to a fake problem. Mr Rudd, what is your real reason, or is the answer restricted?
Western Liberal Democracies around the world protect freedom of speech, but many have made an exception and enpowered the government to censor child pornography, depending on the age of consent in their country. Only in Australia so far has that one exception to freedom of speech been abused to extend to a general power to censor anything and everything. This abuse of power is the first argument I've seen to revoke the ban on child pornography. If making an exception to free speech leads to the denial of free speech, then we can only protect our rights by denying any ban whatsoever. The government has abused our trust, we can't allow them to continue with these authoritarian powers.