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Australia Delays Plan for Internet Filter
Source: abc.net.au
Source Date: Friday, July 09, 2010
Country: Australia
Created: Jul 12, 2010

The Australian government has delayed the introduction of its mandatory internet filtering program.

Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy says the filter will not be put in place until an independent review can be carried out into what content would be banned. He says the review is likely to take about a year.

Senator Conroy has also announced measures to address concerns that the proposed list of blocked websites would go too far and lack transparency.

Among them, an independent expert would review the list every year.
Senator Conroy says the measures are not designed to appease international critics of the plan, including the US government.

"International companies and other governments don't determine Australia's classifications scheme," he said.

Several major internet service providers, including Telstra, Optus and Primus have agreed to block websites known to contain child pornography while the review is carried out.

The Government announced the filter two years ago as part of its cyber-safety program to protect children from pornography and offensive material. Last year it ran tests on the system.

Senator Conroy had intended to introduce the legislation in the first half of this year, but deferred it to later in 2010.

The plan has been criticised by internet users who claim it will slow download speeds and lead to unwarranted censorship.
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