Internet censorship plan gets the green light
December 15, 2009 - 11:13PM Comments 297
The Federal Government has announced it will proceed with controversial plans to censor the internet after Government-commissioned trials found filtering a blacklist of banned sites was accurate and would not slow down the internet.
But critics, including the online users' lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia and the Greens communications spokesman Scott Ludlam, said the trial results were not surprising and the policy was still fundamentally flawed.
The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, said today he would introduce legislation just before next year's elections to force ISPs to block a blacklist of "refused classification" (RC) websites for all Australian internet users.
The blacklist, featuring material such as child sex abuse, sexual violence and instructions on crime, would be compiled using a public complaints mechanism, Government censors and URLs provided by international agencies.
Senator Conroy also released results from a pilot trial of ISP-level internet filters, conducted by Enex Testlab, which he said found that blocking banned material "can be done with 100 per cent accuracy and negligible impact on internet speed".
"Most Australians acknowledge that there is some internet material which is not acceptable in any civilised society," he said.
"It is important that all Australians, particularly young children, are protected from this material."
He said about 15 western countries had encouraged or enforced internet filtering, and there was no reason why Australians should not have similar protection.