Coonan's PC porn filter six months late

Summary:Australians are not likely to get government-provided free online content filters for their PCs until June this year at the earliest, some six months after initially stipulated. In June 2006, Communications Minister Senator Helen Coonan responded to a high level of community concern about offensive content available online (particularly pornography) by launching the National Filter Scheme -- a three-year, AU$93.

Australians are not likely to get government-provided free online content filters for their PCs until June this year at the earliest, some six months after initially stipulated.

In June 2006, Communications Minister Senator Helen Coonan responded to a high level of community concern about offensive content available online (particularly pornography) by launching the National Filter Scheme -- a three-year, AU$93.3 million initiative to provide free PC or ISP-based content filtering and to enable public libraries to set up child-safe Internet terminals.

Helen Coonan

At that time, a spokesperson for the minister told ZDNet Australia the first free filters should be available for download from a government portal within six months.

However, tender documents published yesterday revealed the government does not expect to start evaluating the market for such software until April at the earliest.

"A request for tender for PC content filters is expected to be released in early April 2007," the documents stated. "Tenders, including copies of proposed ISP-level filtering products or services, are expected to be received by the middle of May 2007."

In addition, while Coonan in June said the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) would be responsible for testing the filters, the government has now gone to market for a third-party consultant to carry out the work.

The consultant will provide final reports at the end of May for the PC filters being evaluated, and mid-June for the ISP-level filters.

A spokesperson from Coonan's office could not immediately comment on the matter today.

The department is expecting to evaluate approximately 20 PC and 10 ISP-level content filters.

Topics: Browser, Broadband, Censorship, Government : AU

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.