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The Internet Industry Association has called for bipartisan support for the National Broadband Network – currently opposed by the Liberal-Nationals coalition – as part of a manifesto on Internet policy and regulation.

It also wants, among other things, training in e-security risks for school pupils; better training of traditional police on dealing with cyber crime; changes to the Copyright Act; a ban on signing any concluded Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) text without public consultation and debate; and a public debate on the Government’s data retention plans.
The 51-page IIA manifesto – titled Digital Economy Political Guide 2010 and aimed at canvassing a number of Internet-based issues in the run-up to the federal election – was published yesterday.
It does not take a line on the Labor Government’s controversial plan for compulsory Internet filtering by ISPs – which has now been shelved until late 2011, and possibly 2012.
It does urge the Government to sponsor local research into online risks and to fund cyber-safety education programs in schools.
The IIA says it does not favour an online ombudsman to investigate and act on cybersafety issues, at least until it can be established that the move would add value to online safety and avoid delays.
On data retention, it draws attention to the huge cost, privacy and security problems surrounding a universal scheme that requires the capture, storage and on-request retrieval of population-wide transaction data.
The IIA believes a data preservation approach for “certain identified individuals” – presumably crime suspects – would be preferable to a universal approach.
The association says political parties must commit to reforming the Copyright Act to extend safe harbour protection beyond ISPs to content hosts, universities, auction platforms, user-generated content sites and other online services.
The manifesto will come under discussion today at a debate in Melbourne organised by the IIA, and featuring Gov 2.0 taskforce chairman Nick Gruen, National Innovation Review chairman Terry Cutler, and Queensland University’s Prof. Bill Caelli.
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