Australian government puts internet filter on backburner

The Federal Government has deferred the introduction of its mandatory internet filtering program.Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy says the filter will not be put in place until an independent review can be carried out into what content would be banned.The review, which Senator Conroy says is likely to take about a year, will look at what makes up “refused classification” rated content. welcomes web filter retreat
Google has welcomed a delay in Stephen Conroy’s controversial mandatory web filtering scheme but maintains the plan is still too “broad” in scope.The federal government plans to force all ISPs to block web pages on a secret refused classification list. dodges flak on filter
As Julia Gillard clears the decks for an election that could be called as soon as next weekend, she has moved to limit the political fallout from Labor’s controversial plans to filter internet pages by putting the proposals off indefinitely.The politically motivated deferral — which the opposition immediately branded a ”humiliating backdown” — follows other recent policy reversals, softenings and adjustments as the government rushes to allay the concerns of various constituencies before the poll. delays controversial web filtering plan [AAP]
The Gillard government has succumbed to pressure and delayed the introduction of its mandatory internet filtering scheme.The government will wait until a review of refused classification requirements is done., Optus and Primus agree to block child porn [AAP]
Three of Australia’s largest internet service providers have agreed to voluntarily block online child pornography material ahead of the Federal Government’s planned internet filter.Telstra, Optus and Primus will block a list of child abuse URLs – internet addresses – compiled by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy announced. supportive of interim internet child protection measures [news release]
Telstra today announced it supported the introduction of interim child protection measures while the Australian Government undertook a review of the Refused Classification (RC) content blacklist.Telstra’s Group Managing Director, Public Policy and Communications, David Quilty, said Minister Conroy asked major ISPs to take a leadership position and voluntarily block a list of known child pornography and abuse websites compiled by ACMA while its RC review occurred.”Telstra is happy to do this and continue our strong industry leadership in Cyber-safety,” Mr Quilty said.Mr Quilty said, as Australia’s largest ISP, Telstra’s leading role in cyber-safety included supporting a wide range of consumer education programs, funding research, participating in global initiatives and providing its customers with relevant information, internet products and expertise.”Educating Australian kids, parents, teachers and carers about safe and secure internet and technology use is an integral part of our business and we are determined that our customers have the tools and the knowledge to help protect themselves and their children online.”Telstra’s cyber-safety measures also include:

  • the establishment of its Internet Trust and Safety Officer and Working Group;
  • active participation on various government advisory groups and in cyber-safety education and awareness programs;
  • offering the BigPond Security product, a comprehensive computer security solution made available especially for BigPond customers;
  • supporting a number of community initiatives through the Telstra Foundation’s Cyber-Safety program, which recently announced a further $3 million, three year commitment, taking its total commitment to $6 million since June 2007; and
  • supporting programs such as SuperClubsPLUS Australia, a safe and protected social network for six to 12 year olds and the Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s e-smart program which is now supported by the Federal Government with a $3 million grant for a recently completed pilot program involving 160 schools.

“We will continue to help our customers understand the steps they can take to make the online experience as safe as possible,” Mr Quilty said.”However, it is important for people to understand that there is no magic solution which will make the internet 100 per cent safe. As a result, we will continue to work closely with the Australian Federal Police, ACMA and other authorities to combat the abuse and exploitation of children.”Mr Quilty said Telstra understood the Government would ensure that ISPs would not be legally liable for voluntarily blocking child pornography and abuse sites as determined by ACMA and that a mandatory filtering regime would be put in place following the completion of the RC review.Please visit the Telstra Internet and Cyber-safety site for more information. backs down on net filters
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has capitulated to widespread concerns over his internet censorship policy and delayed any mandatory filters until at least next year.Academics, ISP experts, political opponents, the US government and a broad cross-section of community groups have long argued that the plan to block a secret blacklist of “refused classification” web pages for all Australians was fraught with issues, for example, that blocked RC content could include innocuous material.

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