A rally to protest the federal Government’s proposed mandatory internet filtering scheme will be held in Melbourne this weekend.

The controversial scheme would block sites containing criminal content, however, opponents say the filter greatly impinges on civil freedoms.

“[We want] to give a public face and a voice to the majority of Australians who oppose Senator [Stephen] Conroy’s attempts to align Australia with countries like China and Iran in regards to censorship on the internet,” Stop The Filter spokesman Peter C Hayward said.

“We understand people are rightly concerned about internet safety, protecting children from inappropriate material, and allowing the Government to stop the spread of illegal and harmful material on the internet.”

Hayward said the rally was also about educating the public about online censorship issues.

Confirmed speakers include representatives from the Australian Greens, the Australian Sex Party, online freedom of information advocate Electronic Frontiers Australia and euthanasia organisation Exit International.

“They won’t listen to the experts, the advocates, or the business community, so maybe if the Australian public speaks up loudly enough, they’ll stop to listen before they railroad this through,” Hayward said.

“It’s vital that people come out on Saturday to speak up, ask questions, or just to find out more.”
The federal Government is expected to introduce legislation this month.

info: The Stop the Filter rally will be held on Saturday, March 6, noon-3pm, outside the State Library.

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