Australia drops internet filter plan

2012-11-09 07:22
Australia has scrapped a controversial plan to filter the internet.

Australia has scrapped a controversial plan to filter the internet. (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Sydney - Australia on Friday scrapped a controversial plan to filter the internet, saying it will instead block hundreds of websites identified by Interpol as among the worst child abuse sites.

The centre-left Labour government had pushed since 2007 for a mandatory internet filter to protect children, to be administered by service providers, despite criticism it was impractical and set a precedent for censorship.

But Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the government had now reached an agreement with internet providers that they would block "the worst of the worst" child abuse material that is available on the web to the public.

"Blocking the Interpol 'worst of' list meets community expectations and fulfils the government's commitment to preventing Australian internet users from accessing child abuse material online," Conroy said in a statement.

"Given this successful outcome, the government has no need to proceed with mandatory filtering legislation."

Censorship

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd pledged to introduce a mandatory filter in 2007, with internet providers required to block all sites as identified by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

The idea was that the filter would bar access to material such as rape, drug use, bestiality and child sex abuse.

But web giants such as Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft slammed the initiative as setting a precedent for censorship, while cyber activists likened it to firewalls operating in China and Iran.

The plan, which had also drawn concern from the US State Department, was put on hold pending a content review in July 2010 as national elections loomed.

Under the new agreement, Australia's major internet service providers (ISPs), accounting for some 90% of internet users, will block child abuse websites on Interpol's "worst of" child abuse list.

Australian Federal Police will make contact with the remaining ISPs to help them meet their obligation under the new plan, which is similar to the approach adopted in Britain, Canada and Scandinavian countries, said Conroy.

The Internet Industry Association chief Peter Lee welcomed the initiative.

Unwholesome material

"Blocking the Interpol 'worst of' list is a positive step in preventing Australian internet users from committing the offence of accessing child abuse material," he said.

Online rights campaigners also welcomed the decision as "a win for common sense", but said most child abuse material was not readily available on the open web.

The Australian Christian Lobby told the ABC a filter was needed to protect children from pornography and other unwholesome material.
Read more on:    australia  |  internet
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Power and leadership are emphasized today. It is important to strategize and delegate well otherwise you may end up with too much...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.