The No Internet Censorship site, run by the Australian Democrats, has an interesting article about this problem: ‘Taking control of the campaign against internet censorship‘. It clearly addresses the problem with having multiple bodies trying to run the campaign from different angles.
Although, it makes me think of Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Here is my adaptation of The Colosseum skit:
Brian: Are you the Internet People's Front?
Reg: F*ck off.
Reg: Internet People's Front. We're the People's Front of the Internet. Internet People's front, caw.
The article mentions that there are 3 political parties involved in opposing the filters: The Australian Democrats, The Greens, and The Australian Sex Party. And it asserts that one of these would be best to lead the campaign.
Brian: I hate Stephen Conroy as much as anybody.
PFI: Sssh. Ssssh, sssh, sssh, ssssh
Judith: Are you sure?
Brian: Oh. Dead sure... I hate Stephen Conroy and his Internet filters already.
Reg: Listen. If you really wanted to join the PFI, you'd have to really hate Stephen Conroy.
Brian: I do.
Reg: Oh yeah? How much?
Brian: A lot!
Reg: Right. You're in. Listen. The only people we hate more than Stephen Conroy are the f*cking Internet People's Front.
The underlying message of this article is good, but it also looks like political posturing. With The Democrats having no members in parliament since the last federal election.
My take on it all
In my opinion these political parties should take a back seat on pushing the issue. The Democrats are seen as irrelevant to current Federal politics; The Greens polarise people with their other politics; and The SEX Party is seen as representing that which Conroy is telling the public is bad about the Internet.
Their article also forgets to mention of the two non political party groups that are involved in the campaign: the Electronic Fronteirs Australia (EFA) and GetUP. Both of whom have had an important role in delivering the message to the public.
In my opinion the EFA has the best mandate for being the focus for the campaign. The EFA is an organisation ‘independent of government and commerce‘ and formed in 1994 ‘representing Internet users concerned with on-line freedoms and rights‘.
There are many sites that are campaigning against the filters. There needs to be one central hub, that people link to and that provides a clear direction to the campaign.
Conroy already has the jump on the anti censorship people. The anti filter folk don’t have time for a long Darwinistic evolution to find the best candidate, the creationists are currently on their crusade against the Internet. And a divided campaign will be easily swept aside.