An Australian Politician has come out against Internet filtering in the country, while simultaneously indicating he is against the addition of an R18+ rating category for videogames.
Shadow Treasurer and Liberal Party member Joe Hockey (pictured) let his opinions be known in a speech entitled “In Defence of Liberty,” which he gave to the Grattan Institute, an Australian public policy think tank.
What we have in the government's Internet filtering proposals is a scheme that is likely to be unworkable in practice. But more perniciously it is a scheme that will create the infrastructure for government censorship on a broader scale.
Protecting liberty is about protecting freedoms against both known and future threats. Some may argue that we can surely trust a democratically-elected government in Australia to never try to introduce more wide-spread censorship. I am not so sure!
The Shadow Treasurer called Michael Atkinson’s unsuccessful attempt to censor bloggers and online comments earlier this year “ham-fisted and unsuccessful,” before offering his take on an R18+ rating category for games.
Hockey, who IT Wire called “the most senior Coalition parliamentarian to address the issue directly,” expressed concerns over a link between violent games and violence in society before stating:
What concerns me about these games is that they, at the most benign end, make us immune to violence or, worse still, encourage us to think of violence as a legitimate tool.
Fundamentally, the loss of respect for human life and dignity that these games encourage becomes a threat to the respect we have for individual liberty.