Politicians complain about parliament filter

Politicians complain about parliament filter

Summary: Politicians have complained about an overly zealous web filter installed in Canberra's Parliament House, with one Liberal senator saying its glitches didn't bode well for the planned mandatory internet service provider level filtering.

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Politicians have complained about an overly zealous web filter installed in Canberra's Parliament House, with one Liberal senator saying its glitches didn't bode well for the planned mandatory internet service provider level filtering.

Liberal Senator Scott Ryan told a Senate Estimates Committee yesterday that the parliamentary web filter had blocked some "odd things" over the past few months, including News Ltd's commentary website The Punch in February.

"You may know that for those of us who live in Melbourne, it is relatively common that our trains do not seem to work in late January, once it gets over 32 degrees," he added. "At that time the filter was blocking the train timetable website," he said.

Ryan added the rogue filter had also blocked a travel website, an article about Apple's new iPad tablet device, and another "commonly used website across Melbourne".

Ryan said he had started a folder of "printouts" when a website had been blocked, adding the problem "does not fill us with a great deal of faith in a proposed national internet filter".

Department of Parliamentary Services deputy secretary David Kenny told Ryan the filter had been replaced in 2009 and that it blocked a list of sites. If members of parliament had complaints, he said, they should contact parliamentary official the Usher of the Black Rod as a first step.

"Getting individual sites unblocked is a particularly laborious process. If you need to use a website, you often do not have time to do that," Ryan said. "How do you oversee what this thing is picking up?"

Kenny said he was "not suggesting" that The Punch should or shouldn't be on the list. "I have not heard, prior to your comments just now, anybody having concerns," he said, but noted the department would look into the issue.

The Federal Government is planning to introduce legislation regarding its controversial internet filtering scheme in late February or early March. The legislation will introduce mandatory filtering of the internet for Australians at the internet service provider level, with the aim of screening out objectionable content that has been refused classification on our shores.

Topics: Censorship, Government AU

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5 comments
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  • Hahahaha

    Hahahahahahahahaha.

    Is all i have to say...

    Ohh and Proxy server :)

    Signed,

    Life Long..... Ex-Labor Supporter!!

    Final Throught: A Govenement should serve the people.... Not rule them.
    anonymous
  • But the government knows best....

    "Think of the children!"

    Think of the all knowing and patronizing smiles we often see. They are only doing what they want...I mean thinks is best for the masses who voted them in so they didn't have to think. All those promises and I am sure more yet to come!

    Promises can get you elected. Broken promises can get you unelected. And the smiles...its the same kind I give my children when they say or do something silly and I am about to pat them on the head and tell them they are wrong.

    Better get used to it....
    anonymous
  • internet filtering

    Conroy's department has blocked its officers from gaining access to the Australian Sex party's website. The Sex Party is a registered party and there have been plenty of cases in the High Court that have found that there are implied rights to political free speech in the Constitution. Surely Conroy's ban on access to a registered political party is a breach of these rights. One letter and a phone call to Conroy's office have yielded silence on the issue but no undoing of the ban. If he bans registered political parties from his own department what is he capable of with a national filtering regime?
    anonymous
  • I'm tired of corrupt australian authorities

    If australia chooses this path i will be forced to start spending money overseas on a VPN to be able to see 'the internet' in its entirety
    anonymous
  • Ye reap what ye sow

    And like the DOS attack does not, repeat not, inspire confidence in the mandatory filter.
    anonymous