Australian gamblers and other internet users hoping to see draconian plans to filter the internet fading away as a new Prime Minister took power have been let down. New PM Julia Gillard has announced her intentions to press on with the plan, protecting Australians from what she calls the “dark side” of the internet.
Gillard expressed her views during an interview on ABC’s Darwin Radio: “Clearly you can’t walk into a cinema in Australia and see certain things, uh and you know, we shouldn’t on the Internet be able to access those things either.” This odd comparison between the internet and the cinema has many stumped, but Gillard’s intentions remain clear.
“It’s not my uh intention that we in any way we jeopardize legitimate use of the Internet, but I think all of us would share a repulsion for some of the things that can be accessed on the Internet.”
Apparently, Gillard feels this ‘repulsion’ towards internet gambling in Australia. Just days ago a proposal to legalize online gambling put forth by Australia’s Productivity Commission was absolutely rejected, suggesting that the current government has negative views of online gambling. Just how gambling will be involved in possible internet filters, however, is not yet clear.
Talks are now being held with major ISPs in Australia, and everyone is trying to decide who should be held accountable for illegal content. While the focus of the filter is child pornography, gambling has also been mentioned. Current Australian gambling laws are very restrictive when it comes to gambling online.
Despite the current state of affairs, players intent on accessing online gambling sites in Australia have no trouble doing so. If filters are put into place, things may change, but it is certainly not possible to block all incoming gambling websites. Time will tell how this situation will unfold, but one thing that Gillard should expect is this: Australian internet users won’t go down without a fight.