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Australian 'Net Censorship Collapses Under Weight Of Opposition

| 28 Feb 2009 19:18
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The proposal to censor Australian internet content has effectively been halted thanks to a coalition of political opponents.

Independent senator Nick Xenophon has thrown in with the coalition of the Green and Liberal Parties in blocking any legislation required to make the effective censorship of the internet in Australia legal. Xenophon, who had previously suggested that he might support a filter that blocked online gambling sites, withdrew his support from the idea, saying: "The more evidence that's come out, the more questions there are on this".

The proposals have come under fire from a variety of groups, including ISPs and some Child Welfare organizations, and recent polls have suggested that as little as five percent of Australians want their internet access regulated by the government.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy originally presented the idea as a way to block child pornography, and despite technical advisors suggesting that the plan was flawed and unworkable, has pushed ahead with the idea, conducting trials with many of the country's ISPs. Conroy recently commented that there was a case for blocking other, entirely legal content that had been refused classification around the same time that government sources suggested that the number of blacklisted websites might be increased to around 10,000, going far beyond the proposals original purpose.

Nick Xenophon commended the intentions of the government, but decried their methods, saying: "I think the implementation of this could almost be counter-productive and I think the money could be better spent."

Source: Boing Boing

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