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Friday, November 09, 2012
Australia Drops Plan To Filter Internet

Australia has scrapped a controversial plan to filter the Internet. Instead, the government will instead block websites identified by Interpol as among the worst child abuse sites.

Australian Minister for Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has announced that Australia's major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are required to block child abuse websites on the INTERPOL 'worst of' child abuse list.

"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," Senator Conroy said.

The Australian 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. Internet providers would be 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.

"Given this successful outcome, the Government has no need to proceed with mandatory filtering legislation," Stephen Conroy added.

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