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Australia Plans Net Filters Amid Censorship Cries

Who gets to choose what to filter?

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[ Business]

Australian government denies mandatory censorship of pornography and violence equates what China does in terms of blocking web content.

Telecommunications Minister Stephen Conroy livened up the end of 2007 for the blogosphere in announcing a requirement for Internet service providers in Australia to filter out bad websites.

A report at ABC News noted Conroy’s announcement. He dismissed complaints about Internet freedom, saying it will serve to protect children in the country.

“If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd-Labor Government is going to disagree,” Conroy said in the report.

The Minister also said people will be able to opt out of the service to have unfiltered Internet access. The question of filtering figured on the mind of Kathryn Greenhill, who questioned the plan on her Librarians Matter blog.

She noted a lack of information on official government pages, Conroy’s pages, and the page for the governing Labor Party.

“What do you have that is unhackable that will only trap kiddie porn and violence and not other sites?” Greenhill asked. “Who gets to decide what is filtered?”

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Australia Plans Net Filters Amid Censorship Cries
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