Compulsory Australian Internet Filter Coming Mid-2010

The government yesterday announced plans to introduce legislation requiring all RC-rated material online to be blocked by all ISPs, effectively declaring its trial of mandatory filtering a success.

Legislation to introduce the controversial proposal will be introduced into parliament in Autumn 2010, and is expected to take up to 12 months to implement. Once in place, all ISPs will be required to block any addresses on the official blacklist of banned sites.

While no-one is arguing that demonstrably illegal content such as child sexual abuse shouldn’t be blocked, the concern of many net users is that the list of banned content, which will be assembled through a public complaints mechanism, will end up being bombarded with submissions material which is entirely legal but which the complainant personally objects to. Another issue which is currently unresolved is how a site-based complaint mechanism would deal with torrents and other file sharing mechanisms.

One interesting twist: because of the current investigation into whether an R18+ regulation should be introduced for games, games content won’t be allowed onto the banned list until that issue has been resolved.

Measures to improve safety of the internet for families

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