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Australia's Conroy Announces Mandatory Internet Filters

Telecommunications Minister Stephen Conroy says new measures are being put in place to provide greater protection to children from online pornography and violent websites. Senator Conroy says it will be mandatory for all internet service providers to provide clean feeds, or ISP filtering, to houses and schools that are free of pornography and inappropriate material. Online civil libertarians have warned the freedom of the internet is at stake, but Senator Conroy says that is nonsense. He says the scheme will better protect children from pornography and violent websites.

"Labor makes no apologies to those that argue that any regulation of the internet is like going down the Chinese road," he said. "If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd-Labor Government is going to disagree."

Senator Conroy says anyone wanting uncensored access to the internet will have to opt out of the service. He says the Government will work with the industry to ensure the filters do not affect the speed of the internet. "There are people who are going to make all sorts of statements about the impact on the [internet] speed," he said. "The internet hasn't ground to a halt in the UK, it hasn't ground to a halt in Scandinavian countries and it's not grinding the internet to a halt in Europe. But that is why we are engaged constructively with the sector, engaging in trials to find a way to implement this in the best possible way and to work with the sector."

News source: ABC News Australia

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