Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Minister for Broadband: How much 'evidence' do you need?

Optus will participate in the government's ISP filtering trial. If I was an Optus customer, I wouldn't be now! Imagine knowing that your ISP was blocking your access to the Net? The Big Brotherness of the whole idea is just unpalatable.

According to the Minister for Broadband, the justification for the trial is to provide 'evidence':
"The participation of Optus will help ensure the government obtains robust results from the pilot, which will inform the evidence-based development of our ISP filtering policy"
Evidence-based policy, as the process is known in policy circles, is meant to provide a rational means for developing policy. It fits comfortably with the ideas of the rational, choice-making individual operating in a market economy. Yet not everyone agrees that policy-making can ever be a rational process.

But the problem is so irrational it must be poking the Minister for Broadband's eye out. How much evidence is needed to prove that ISP filtering is unwelcome in Australia's liberal democracy? Do you really need the statistics to prove that this policy deserves to be scrapped now? Has there been a single voice which supports the idea of ISP filtering? How much evidence do you really need to stop pushing this policy?

This feeble attempt at 'evidence-based policy' should be called what it is: nothing less than a sham.

This post was me exercising my right to free speech. Regrettably, Optus customers may have trouble viewing my post.

Creative Commons License Except where indicated otherwise, Le Flâneur Politique by Michael de Percy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License. Based on a work at politicalscience.com.au. Background image ©Depositphotos.com/ @redshinestudio