Internet filter plan binned by Minister
After 5 years of talking, the Labor government’s controversial web filer plan has been ditched after loud protests from ISPs, the Opposition and other parties to the debate.
Instead, the Minister for Broadband, Stephen Conroy, has announced plan B – ISPs like Telstra and Optus are now required to block the “worst of'” websites on the Interpol’s child abuse list.
This means more than 90% of Australians on the Internet will have child abuse material blocked by their ISP.
This blocking “fulfils the government’s commitment to preventing Australian internet users from accessing child abuse material online,” Conroy insists, and means the Government has “no need” to proceed with mandatory filtering.
Telstra and Optus agreed to blocking child porn websites in 2010 but say customers aren’t denied access to ‘legitimate’ web content and has zero impact on Internet speeds.
Federal Police will now begin issuing notices to smaller ISPs and will work closely to assist them in preventing their services being used for illegal activities.
Australian internet users who attempt to access these banned sites will be redirected to a ‘stop page’.
The Internet Industry Association CEO Peter Lee, said he welcomed the Government’s blocking initiative.
“ISPs recognise their role in assisting law enforcement agencies and meeting their obligations under the law.
“Blocking the Interpol ‘worst of’ list is a positive step in preventing Australian internet users from committing the offence of accessing child abuse material,” Lee said.
Similar Internet blocking is already in place in the United Kingdom, Canada and the Scandinavian countries.