Web Filters in Australia Will Embarrass Government

Written by:
Alistair Prescott
Published on:
Australia Web Filtering

An Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) chief has said the Australian government will "embarrass itself" if it pushes ahead with plans to install a national Internet content filter, according to a report filed by Darren Pauli of Sex Party.org.

ICANN board chair Peter Dengate Thrush said national Internet content filters are ineffective at law enforcement.

"The government has set itself up for embarrassment," Thrush said.

"I have no problems with the principle behind it [but] censoring material outside the country is difficult and the tools to do it cost a lot."

Behind Australian web filtering is one Communications Minister Stephen Conroy (pictured).

In his effort to block a few porn sites he also managed the filter out a dentist's website and a few online poker rooms.

On 19 March 2009 it was reported that ACMA's blacklist of banned sites had been leaked online, and had been published by Wikileaks.  Conroy described the leak and publication of the blacklist as "grossly irresponsible" and that it undermined efforts to improve "cyber safety". He said that ACMA was investigating the incident and considering a range of possible actions including referral to the Australian Federal Police, and that Australians involved in making the content available would be at "serious risk of criminal prosecution".

Wikileaks replied that they will refer any matter to discover their sources to the Swedish Constitutional Police (under whose jurisdiction Wikileaks is published) and pursue extradition charges if it is found such persons have breached their sources' fundamental rights to anonymity.

"The internet censorship issues is about to ramp up in Australia again," said Media Man Greg Tingle.  It's ok to look, but no touching. ... As for online gambling and online porn, I'm an adult and if I want to gamble on the web or look at porn, and no one gets hurt, I should be allowed to, despite what political party is in power, and what's their religious or otherwise beliefs may be."

Alistair Prescott, Gambling911.com


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