Internet censorship gets go ahead
Rudd Government Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has announced that he will be introducing internet service providers (ISP) filtering legislation in an effort to bring some form of censorship to the internet.
The decision follows the release of results from an Enex Test Laboratory pilot trial of ISP-level filtering could effectively block listed RC material with ‘100% accuracy and negligible impact on internet speed’.
The plan will mean that more powers and funding will be allocated to the Australian Communications and Media Authority to issue take-down notices for websites available to Australian internet users.
A discussion paper released by Senator Conroy’s office entitled ‘Measures to increase accountability and transparency for Refused Classification material’ states that all ISPs will be required to RC-rated material hosted by overseas websites.
“The Government will immediately undertake public consultation with the release today of a discussion paper on additional measures to improve the accountability and transparency of processes that lead to RC-rated material being placed on the RC Content list,” Senator Conroy said.
The discussion paper have been criticised for being flawed and vague by numerous associations such as Electronics Frontiers Australia (EFA), the Greens Party and activist group Get Up!.
EFA has specifically pointed to statistics within the report showing that while ISPs were ‘generally’ able to block RC-rated sites, there were unspecified costs associated with the filtering and that “several ISPs tested filtering beyond the government blacklist (found) they were only 84% accurate in the best case”.
The announcement comes as the company laying the Government’s national broadband network (NBN Co) has named former chief executive of telecommunications engineering group Service Stream, Patrick Flannigan, as its head.