The Australian government decided to postpone the entry into force of the Internet filter for one year, which promised to make the network more secure in the country. The reading was from the Government, but it generated many doubts and mistrust with civil society and some opposition, especially from industry.
Following the criticisms, which were mostly related to the scope of the filter and the content targeted by «censorship», the measure is suspended for further studies. The main objective of the Australian filter would be to combat child and online pornography, but this type of content would not be the only target.
Today Stephen Conroy, minister of communications, was the spokesman for the decision that puts the filter under study for a period of 12 months. It is recalled that the measure provided that all ISPs in the country were obliged to block a list of sites previously defined and periodically updated.
The sites in question would have content related to child pornography, violence and other content considered offensive and inappropriate, such as content related to the use and preparation of drugs, for example.
The main doubt of the opponents is at the level of the decision process that will lead to the filling of the list of sites to block. There are fears that the selection is not impartial, that it may serve unclear interests and limit freedom of expression.
However, three of the main Internet access service providers (Telstra, Optus and Primus) have already assured the Government that they are available to block child pornography content, even without imposing a filter. The same companies have already responded to the Government’s decision and are satisfied.
It should also be remembered that, if it came into force, the system would make Australia one of the countries with the most regulated Internet in the world.