Australian government to censor the internet by 2011

The Australian Federal Government has announced today it will introduce an amendment to the Broadcasting Services Act, which by 2011 will require all internet service providers in the country to implement and activate filtering technology.

Following the introduction of the legislation during mid-2010, there will be then be a period of one year for the internet service providers to introduce and activate the technology.

According to ZDNet Australia, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy advises, "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 (Refused Classification)-rated material being placed on the RC Content list".

A possible contender for administration of the RC List is the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which manages a list of locally hosted illegal content, and issues take-down notices to local operators. Whether it is still uncertain if ACMA will be appointed to the role, Conroy advised the agency would be allocated extra funds to boost the security of the RC Content list.

The first ISP to respond to the announcement, Primus, which had been part of a trial, advised that the blocking of refused classification content had its "full support". Telstra have also been been swift to advise their support for the government's decision. In a statement, Telstra's Group Managing Director Public Policy & Communications, David Quilty, advised: "We support the fact that the government intends to legislate its approach, thereby ensuring that it applies across the industry, is clearly spelt out and is enforceable by law."

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