Australian Government scraps internet filter plans

Federal government abandons plans for mandatory internet filter in Australia; ISPs will instead be required to block Interpol-approved list of sites.

The Australian Government has scrapped controversial plans surrounding the implementation of a mandatory internet filter, first suggested by the Labor party five years ago.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

According to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, the decision to abandon the plan was prompted by a Law Reform Commission inquiry, which found that it was too broad to work.

Both the Coalition and Greens party have previously stated their opposition to the plan.

The initial proposal for a mandatory internet filter would have required Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to block sites deemed inappropriate for public consumption by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Examples of sites that would have been blocked under the proposed filter include those related to child pornography, bestiality, sexual violence, drug use, and sites relating to terrorist activity.

Instead of the filter, the federal government will now order ISPs to block around 1,400 websites that is currently being monitored by Interpol and is related to child abuse and child pornography.

Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull told ABC Radio today that the federal government's backdown on the mandatory filter is a sign that the plan would not have worked.

"[The filter] would have been quite ineffective in the battle against child pornography, because people who trade child pornography and other material of that kind do so through peer-to-peer networks; they're not posting it up on websites," Turnbull told ABC Radio.

According to ABC Radio, the Interpol's process for blocking sites requires the website to be reviewed by authorities in two countries before it can be added to the blocked list and can only be blocked if the children depicted on the site are, or appear to be, under 13 years of age.

The Australian Greens party welcomed the decision, with communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam saying that the new plans represented a return to "evidence-based" policy.

"I congratulate the many people who campaigned hard against proposals to censor a wide array of material on the government's 'Refused Classification' list," Ludlam said. "The government's move to require ISPs to block against the Interpol list answers most of the criticisms levelled at its much broader policy."

Written By

Discussion

26 comments
LusterSoldierGS
LusterSoldierGS

And how is this even related to video games?  Not one mention of video games showed up in this article.

DesertLynx83
DesertLynx83

Good for them! Though they're still blocking stuff, it's better than before at least.

Ayzed
Ayzed

i thought that died when kevin rudd got kicked the f out?

eric_neo3
eric_neo3

For all those that missed it

 

"ISPs will instead be required to block Interpol-approved list of sites."

 

IS

 

A mandatory internet filter.

Ground_Zero
Ground_Zero

How much money did they waste on this? 

sepir
sepir

So surprised that common sense prevailed for once. And I mean, really, really surprised.

CyhortI82
CyhortI82

Wow, a country where bad ideas by the government are protested by most of the population and the government actually backs down instead of forcing it through for "their own good"? Wow, didn't think that still happened anymore. Nice to see Democracy still works somewhere.

FlamingFury
FlamingFury

Good compromise, glad to hear they're cracking down on child pornography.

Amorphis2k
Amorphis2k

Wow, I'm glad this didn't take off. I can't believe all of the petitioning and campaigning actually worked for a change to thwart poor government policy. If only this had worked for the carbon tax. A great day for democracy! 

towny_
towny_

Thank god for this. There has been a worry in the back of mind about this for ages.

Aramantha
Aramantha

But how far does censorship go and when will they choose to stop

xlord121
xlord121

Who the fuck voted for these idiots to run our country?

36Chambers93
36Chambers93

If only my taxes were put into getting NBN setup in my area quicker instead of being wasted with this sham.

Predwarrior
Predwarrior

It's nice to see that fascism is alive and well in the 21st century. Also nice to see that not everyone is falling for it.

joel_c17
joel_c17

this guy is a grade A doucher

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

Yeah F.U dont filter our internet.

Just set up parental controls if u dont want kids going on certain websites!

Dont ruin it for everyone else!

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

 @CyhortI82

 It is all lies.. Australia is not free anymore. There are many rules and more and more rules.. You would never find one clean public toilet anywhere in Australia. Everything is and will be vadalized. we can't even have a BB gun.. 10 years ago it was much easier- even to get a full car License. The ONLY GOOD thing about this country is it will pay you if your not working and the variety of alcohol and drugs practically leak of most house roofs..

eric_neo3
eric_neo3

@GH05T-666

For all those that missed it

 "ISPs will instead be required to block Interpol-approved list of sites."

 IS

 A mandatory internet filter.

BludshedX
BludshedX

 @SIDEFX1  @CyhortI82 Most of it's true. Been here for 30 years and it's not what it used to be. Spoken to a lot of people that feel exactly the same way too. Australia is hardly a democracy. You just either have views that are inline with changes or you don't. Australia souled out.