Internet filter on track for July 2011: Conroy

Communications Minister says Telstra, Optus and iPrimus are on track to filter its customers by July 2011

Senator Stephen Conroy is interviewed by ARN's David Ramli

Senator Stephen Conroy is interviewed by ARN's David Ramli

Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, claims the voluntary Internet filter is on track for implementation by Optus, Telstra and iPrimus this year and has denied any suggestion it's on the backburner.

In an in-depth interview with <i>ARN</i>, the Minister defended how long the Internet filter was taking to implement and said it was still on track to be blocking child pornography by July 2011.

“We’ve demonstrated there is no impact on speed with a filter and that’s now unarguable,” he said. “[The companies] all said it would be within 6-12 months to revamp their systems and as far as I’m aware progress is still good.

“The voluntary filter is just about child porn so I would encourage all Australian ISPs to support it.”

Conroy said he understood why other companies had not decided to join the voluntary filter measure and that more would join up once the measure proved successful.

“With all the controversy around it I understand why they want to wait and see,” he told ARN.

Although the measure is described by the ISP industry as ‘voluntary’, individual customers will not be able to opt-out. Only Internet service providers will be allowed to choose whether or not to participate.

The original plan to force all Australians onto a mandatory Internet filter was all but scuttled after the Australian Greens and the Coalition declared it would oppose it in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Conroy said he was still keen to apply a mandatory filter on the Internet, but that he’d wait for the findings of a public enquiry into “refused classification” content.

“People have individual concerns about individual things that might be captured and every Australian has the opportunity to put their view forward about what should be included in the “Refused Classification” category,” he said. “I’m very relaxed about the outcome of that and I’m not seeking to impose my views on what should or shouldn’t be in RC.”

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Tags voluntary Internet filtercensorshipAustralian GreensiprimusMandatory Internet filterCoalitionoptusTelstra

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