EFA's new filter campaign lead to target offline community

Netizens will be urged to make their opposition to the Federal Government’s controversial Internet content filtering scheme heard in the offline community, under a new campaign planned by an Internet lobby group.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) law lecturer, Peter Black, has been hired by the Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) to coordinate a campaign against the content filtering scheme.

Black told Computerworld the EFA plans to have a widespread online and offline campaign aimed a broadening the scope of the issue – “beyond the digerati” – and encouraging Internet savvy people to spread the word.

“At the moment, the people who understand what’s a stake are concerned by the government’s proposal and people who don’t understand it aren’t because it sounds reasonable enough [to them],” he said.

“It’s only when you give people all the information that they’re able to realize some of the problems with it.”

The EFA will aim to create a campaign hub for the various protest activities taking place, and generate mainstream media attention with high-profile Australians speaking out against the issue. However, the new EFA campaign leader acknowledged the lack of cohesion in existing protest plans and did not provide any other specific measures that are to be taken.

“One thing I think we’re all aware of is that there are a lot of very interested and passionate people when it comes to this sort of issue, and there’s a lot of different groups that have sprung up…” he said. “What we want to be able to do is to provide some sort of hub for the activity, so that it’s centralized and the various different people, from various different states on various different platforms are all talking to one another.”

Black, who is on leave from QUT, will be working for the EFA for at least three months, is aiming to get the online campaigns up and running by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, a Facebook-driven protest that originally planned to organise a protest for January 30 has delayed the event until March 6 "because many permits were impossible to get during the holiday season, and a few states lack the volunteers to hold a protest during January" according to its Facebook page.


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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