In the campaign against mandatory ISP-level filtering, much has been made of comparisons with Iran, China and Saudi Arabia.
In truth, much of this rhetoric is over-blown. If the mandatory ISP-level filtering is implemented it is unlikely to be as heavy handed or as arbitrary as these regimes.
On the other hand, these regimes still serve as a useful marker - try to name another Western democracy that is attempting to impose a mandatory ISP-level filter against such a broad range of material, and you will be hard pressed to find one.
Australia may not be marching to exactly the same place as Iran, China and Saudi Arabia - it may well stop before it gets there. But let's be clear - there is no other Western democracy standing between Australia, where it wants to go and where Iran, China and Saudi Arabia already are.
If it goes there Australia will be leading other western democracies down a path of increasingly authoritarian interference in online media consumption. This is not healthy, especially when the Government has yet to demonstrate any social utility whatsoever for the mandatory filter.