Conroy's Internet filter gets a new date

The timing was outlined in briefing documents provided by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) to Conroy

Legislation supporting Labor's mandatory internet filtering project may not hit parliament until mid-2013, according to advice provided to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy by his department -- a timeframe which may make it an issue in the next election.

The timing was outlined in briefing documents provided by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) to Conroy, outlining the current state of affairs and the action he needs to take on significant matters, following the Federal Election. The contents of the documents was first reported by iTNews.

In the documents, DBCDE noted that the Government had postponed the legislation while a review of the Refused Classification category of content (which the filter is intended to block) was carried out by the Minister for Home Affairs for the consideration of federal and state Attorneys-General.

The attorneys-general are slated to meet this month to confirm the review -- and then, DBCDE noted, they would be likely to consider the scope of methodology of the review in March 2011, with recommendations to then be presented back to the attorneys-general in early 2012.

"It may then take [the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General] a number of meetings before it reaches consensus on any recommendations from the review," wrote the department. "This suggests legislation for mandatory filtering may not be able to be introduced into Parliament before the middle of 2013."

In mid-October, a departmental official told a Senate Estimates Committee hearing in Canberra that DBCDE was not working directly on the filter project. "At this stage, the work is all elsewhere," they said. However, in the briefing document, the department noted there were actually several initiatives currently ongoing regarding the filter.

For starters, the department noted it would work actively with the Internet Industry Association and the Australian Communications and Media Authority on a new industry code to support voluntary filtering of child abuse material -- which ISPs like Telstra, Primus and Optus have already pledged to implement.

Although it's unclear whether it's actively working on the matter, DBCDE discussed the issue of how reviews could be carried out by an independent expert on the processes for compiling the voluntary list -- including legislation required to provide that expert with immunity from criminal proceedings for doing their job checking the list -- as well as being given standing to seek review of classification decisions.

In addition, the briefing documents noted DBCDE had been allocated $840,000 in funding over the next three years to develop a software tool to assist small and medium ISPs to meet their mandatory filtering obligations.

Money has also been allocated to the Attorney-General's Department -- $1.5 million in 2010/11, $1.8 million in 2011/12 and $1.4 million "ongoing" to undertake a review of ACMA's decision's to find an internet address to be refused classification. And $8 million has been allocated to encourage ISPs to offer customers filtering of additional material -- such as general pornography and gambling sites if a customer wanted such a service.

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

Renai LeMay

Good Gear Guide
Topics: internet filtering, Senator Stephen Conroy
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?