Gay businesses have voiced renewed fears they may fall victim to the federal government’s proposed mandatory internet filter ahead of a soon-to-be-released report on a trial filter.
Lucrezia De Sade owner Wayne Nicol was unsure whether his fetish store’s website would be affected and said there’s a lot of confusion for businesseses.
-œI’ve read as much as I can on it, it just all seems so terribly vague, he told Southern Star. -œIf someone decides the theme of what we do, which is obviously adult and specifically to do with alternative sexual practices, [our site] could easily be wiped off over night.
Eagle Leather owner Brian Mier said it was a waiting game to see if his site was banned.
-œIt’s hard to know, our [site] is advertising products and they’re not usually attached to a body, Mier said.
-œWe just don’t know and we’ll find out after the event, when sales drop off or people ring us … this is the thing, it’s all being done by stealth.
Abode fetish club operator The Colonel said he was concerned his website would inadvertently become tangled up in the filter when linked to other adult sites.
Last week lobby group GetUp launched the controversial Censordyne advertisement which fiercely opposes the filter.
Senator Conroy defended the government’s position saying only already illegal sites, such as those containing child pornography, bestiality and pro-rape would face ban.
He said there had been scaremongering about the scope of the ban and sites would only be prohibited in line with the Broadcasting Services Act.
Concerns, however have been fueled in part by a leaked alleged -œblacklist of sites in March this year which contained many gay adult and BDSM websites.
GetUp! director Ed Cooper told said he had major concerns about the scope of -œinappropriate material affected by the filter in years to come.
-œWe’re concerned about the creep of content [the ban] may apply to … a lot of groups in the community are justifiably anxious about that, he said.
-œIt really is up to the whim of the government of the day, with no proper transparency or scrutiny of these processes, and any changes to the scope of content can be done through regulations that wouldn’t have to be passed by parliament.
-œWhen you’re talking about something as spurious as censorship you really need to balance it with proper systems and processes that make those decision-makers accountable.