Government says yes to Internet filter, Google says no

Senator Stephen Conroy announces plans to push ahead with controversial ISP-level Internet filtering

The controversial Australian Internet filter has been given the all clear by Senator Stephen Conroy, with the federal Minister for Broadband revealing plans to enforce mandatory ISP-level filtering.

Releasing further details of Internet filtering trial results, Conroy said the filter will "improve safety on the Internet for Australian families."

The senator revealed the federal government will go ahead with plans to introduce mandatory ISP-level filtering of content that has been refused classification (RC), and will also provide a program to encourage the introduction of further optional filtering by ISPs at a user's request.

"Through a combination of additional resources for education and awareness, mandatory internet filtering of RC-rated content, and optional ISP-level filtering, we have a package that balances safety for families and the benefits of the digital revolution," he said in a statement.

According to the government, RC-rated material includes child sex abuse content, bestiality, sexual violence including rape, and detailed instructions for crime or drug use. Questions have been raised regarding the restrictions on access to controversial but legal information — such as educational content on drug use and euthanasia — as well as the possible impact on Internet speeds.

"The report into the pilot trial of ISP-level filtering demonstrates that blocking RC-rated material can be done with 100 per cent accuracy and negligible impact on internet speed," said Senator Conroy.

Google is a critic of mandatory ISP filtering and this morning released a statement saying, "our primary concern is that the scope of content to be filtered is too wide."

"Google, like many other Internet companies, has a global, all-product ban against child sexual abuse material and we filter out this content from our search results," said Iarla Flynn, from Google Australia's policy team. "But moving to a mandatory ISP filtering regime with a scope that goes well beyond such material is heavy handed and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information. We believe that government should not have the right to block information which can inform debate of controversial issues."

The government has also released a discussion paper on additional measures to improve the accountability and transparency of processes that lead to material being placed on the RC content list.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags censorshipMandatory ISP filteringisp filteringISP filtering trialSenator Stephen Conroy

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?