Aust voluntary Net filter to start mid-2011

Australia's Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy says work is in progress to identify undesirable sites and to securely share these domains with Internet service providers.

The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) under Stephen Conroy's charge has said voluntary filtering of the Internet by three of Australia's largest Internet service providers (ISPs) is on track to kick off in the middle of this year.

In July last year, Telstra, Optus and Primus revealed an agreement with the Australian Federal Labor Government to voluntarily implement filtering technology to block any of their customers from accessing child pornography online, while the government conducted a review into the Refused Classification category of content, which its much broader mandatory filtering project would block.

On Tuesday night, DBCDE deputy secretary for its Digital Economy & Service Group, Abdul Rizvi, told a Senate Estimates committee hearing that the voluntary filtering was slated to kick off in mid-2011. The Australian Communications and Media Authority, he said, is currently developing a subset of Internet addresses that would only include child abuse content, and also trialing a "secure method" of transmitting that list to ISPs in the near future.

This article was first published at ZDNet Australia.