Since the Fraser years, I've supported Labor. I've voted for you and your father before you. Current policy reveals influences within the party that will prevent me doing so at the coming election.
Under the NetAlert program, the Howard government provided free Internet filtering software for Australian families. As far as I have been able to ascertain, the Rudd government stopped that provision at the end of 2008.
Media reports indicate that, in the first six months of the program's operation, approximately 150,000 copies of free filtering software may have been downloaded. If senator Conroy is to be believed, the children of families that relied on the software are now exposed to, inter alia, predatory paedophiles.
Your government's non-functioning, and by credible reports impractical, alternative is mandatory filtering at the ISP level. Would a government that is genuinely concerned for the welfare of children discontinue a program, the stated aim of which is to protect children, in the absence of a functioning alternative government initiative?
A child's best protection is a diligent parent. No filter is perfect. The presence of an unreliable filter will tend to lull parents into a false sense of security, leading to a reduction in that essential diligence. A reduction in parental diligence will increase the number of potential targets for predators.
Filtering will not prevent child abuse. Traditional policing that catches abusers, and those who support abusers by purchasing child pornography, stands a better chance of making a difference. Resources dedicated to futile attempts at mass filtering of the Internet will not be available for more effective policing.
The filter will thus tend to increase the number of potential targets for paedophiles while reducing, or at best failing to maximise, the probability that they will be caught.
In brief, this government has:-
removed from children, protection provided by the previous government, then
promoted a policy that potentially:
increases the exposure of children to harm and
diverts resources from measures that could apprehend those who harm children.
How could we have come to this unless there are people within the parliamentary Labor party who would benefit? Who could benefit but those who are involved in abusing children or trade in the resulting pornography? Bringing to account those in question is the responsibility of every Labor member of parliament.
As it stands, Labor will be my last preference at the next election. Evidence of your involvement in efforts to purge the party of its unsavoury elements and end their depraved policy might lead me to reconsider.
The text of this letter will be posted to my website: http://david.boxall.id.au/, as will that of any response.