Public response to filter: Video

Public response to filter: Video

Summary: It's been just over three months since the Federal Government decided it would go ahead with its plans for internet service providers to block access to "refused classification" material on the web. asked the public what it thought of the plan.


It's been just over three months since the Federal Government decided it would go ahead with its plans for internet service providers to block access to "refused classification" material on the web. asked the public what it thought of the plan.

On December 15 Communications Minister Stephen Conroy gave his approval for the plan to proceed, saying tests had proved that internet service providers could filter websites without the filtering affecting the speed of the internet. There were issues, however, raised with blocking access to high-traffic sites.

On Monday night the minister defended his plan on ABC radio, saying controversial websites such as pro-euthanasia websites would not be blocked if that was all that they were discussing, but said that certain web pages on such a site would be blocked if they contained information on how to kill yourself.

The legislation required for the plan to be introduced has been delayed due to "issues" which had been raised in a public consultation period. Conroy had hoped to have the Bill heard in the autumn sitting, which has now passed. The implementation of the policy has been scheduled for 2011.

For transparency's sake, the questions we asked were:

  1. Would you trust a government body to decide what you can and can't see on the internet?

  2. The government is planning to implement a mandatory scheme to block people from seeing certain web pages (which could be child porn but could be information on a number of other topics such as euthanasia). How do you feel about that?

According to the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995, refused classification covers publications that:

  • describe, depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified; or
  • describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not); or
  • promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence.

Topics: Censorship, Government AU

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  • If you ask most people what they know about the internet filter, you will find they know nothing ! Why , because its not on the 6pm TV news ! not in the papers ! hardly on the Radio ! i would like to know why?
  • Seems to be only the online media are reporting this on the main. There have been little peices here and there but mostly online. This is not the audience that needs to be reached, they are already outraged.
  • It will take about 3 months before people start getting pissed off about how much stuff will be blocked. The stupid thing is, it took me 10 minutes to get around China's firewall, and it would take me 2 mins to get around this firewall, and I am no expert. I just know how to search google.
  • the lack of coverage might have something to do with Conroy giving the major networks a 250M tax break...
  • Your exactly right jerabek , the general public don't understand and the Government are relying on this to get this thing through. The minimal response to this article should be a pointer. I do think however their is a duty of care for us as technologists to explain to layman exactly what's what and how it will affect them.
  • I agree. I would also like to know why this abhorrent proposed legislation is not on the popular news broadcasts. The "secret list" of banned web sites is the most serious threat to freedom and the Australian way of life that I can recall. I have been wondering if Labor/Conroy has bought of the media with its 250 million tax relief to AUstralia's free to air TV and its significant support of the ABC.
  • All is going in that direction, I mean what will happen in Aus. It may be because of how much the Gov care about childrens or may be how much Ozie wants to make big money using the internet and doing nothing. For example can you imagine how many will be extremely happy when Google will leave Aus market?
    Nobody can fight and with the Gov. My background is in an Eastern Eu. country and I felt it on my skin.

    What is really stupid here is that they (the Gov) "care" do not teach somebody on the net how to kill myself but I see at least 14 movie/week on the TV in which I am told in very deep details how to kill others. I can just close a "criminal" website but I cannot avoit an idiot movies on TV. THAT' FUNNY!
  • You're right to notice that you're not seeing this on TV or in the papers. Now imagine that the government decided that discussing the internet filter in a critical manner constituted a controversial topic and decided to add any site discussing the filter in a negative manner to their unpublished blacklist of banned sites.

    Suddenly no-one has any access to any non government issued information on the filter. Game over
  • The most scary thing about this is the government deciding for us (we the people), which sites are to be filtered without disclosing those said sites under the pretext of child porn access, one must wonder which other sites the government does not want us to view.
    Big Brother wants to control us all and she is taking the first steps...
    peeples rytes