Australia moves forward with web filter plans

    Date16 Dec 2009
    Posted ByAlex
    The Australian government is looking to expand its controversial web filtering platform, forcing internet service providers (ISPs) to install content filters to block out "refused content" from overseas. Material classified as "refused" includes anything depicting sexual abuse and child pornography, along with instructions for criminal activities and drug abuse. All items on the list are already illegal to distribute within the country. The Australian government also plans to offer a grant programme intended to help ISPs integrate further filtering features at the service level which can then be offered as optional protections to users.

    The move is the latest in a filtering campaign that has become global news. Citizens and lawmakers have protested against the plans, which have been compared to the heavy-handed filtering practices used in China and Iran.

    Stephen Conroy, Australian minister for broadband, communications and digital economy, said that the government would welcome input from ISPs, and that the campaign is designed only to block illegal material and give parents a better option in protecting their children.

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