New Australian government sits on website censorship inquiry

The new Australian government has had a draft discussion paper prepared on the controversial Section 313 powers granted to government agencies to force ISPs to block websites, but it has not acted on it since the election.The former Labor government was preparing to launch an inquiry into the controversial use of Section 313 of the Telecommunications Act that allows government agencies to force internet service providers (ISPs) to block websites, but the new government has not acted on it since the election.The use of the power had been relatively unknown until May this year, when it was revealed that the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) had accidentally blocked 250,000 websites in April when seeking to block websites associated with investment fraud, including the website of Melbourne Free University. It was revealed at the time that three agencies had been using the power with no oversight.

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