Conroy will 'shortly' release filter report

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy late yesterday said he had received the report from Enex Testlabs into trials of ISP-based internet filtering technology, and would release it "shortly" as part of a public consultation process.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy late yesterday said he had received the report from Enex Testlabs into trials of ISP-based internet filtering technology, and would release it "shortly" as part of a public consultation process.

Answering a question from a Senate committee (of which Shadow Communications Minister Nick Minchin is a member) yesterday afternoon, Conroy said the government would release the filter report to the public "as soon as is practicable".

He said the government expected to conduct a public consultation process into ISP-based internet filtering after the report's release, with a period of about a month being appropriate.

If the Rudd Government's policy is implemented, Australian ISPs will be forced to implement mandatory filtering of illegal internet content, based on a list of sites administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The policy is highly controversial and has stimulated both illicit internet attacks and political activity aimed at the government.

For example, public objection to the policy has acted as a spur to the registration of the Pirate Party in Australia, which champions issues such as intellectual property rights, free speech and data privacy.

And in September, a loosely associated coalition of online activists attacked the websites of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and ACMA, taking the PM's site down for a short time with a glut of traffic.