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Don't review filter blacklist: Christian group

Family Voice Australia said in a submission on suggested transparency measures for the government's planned internet filter that regular reviews of material judged to be Refused Classification would be "overly bureaucratic".

Family Voice Australia said in a submission on suggested transparency measures for the government's planned internet filter that regular reviews of material judged to be Refused Classification would be "overly bureaucratic".

The group stated that "the majority of material that was likely to be considered to be Refused Classification will be straightforwardly so". Refused Classification content should therefore be determined by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) with "no good reason to refer such material routinely to the Classification Board".

The group did qualify these statements, suggesting that the Classification Board be consulted when "it is unclear whether the material should properly be classified as Refused Classification, or the website owner or non-vexatious third-party queries the inclusion of the material on the Refused Classification blacklist".

In the Family Voice submission paper, the group agreed to the government's discussion paper, which proposed that material from overseas hosts should be automatically added to the Refused Classification list without reference to the Classification Board, as long as the material had been referred by "highly reputable overseas agencies".

Finally, the group argued that "there is no need to add additional layers of accountability such as independent reviewers or industry group review".

However, many other submissions, such as Yahoo and Google, believed that additional reviews were necessary and that what should be deemed Refused Classification was at this point a grey area.

Family Voice is a Christian group that promotes itself as "a Christian voice for family, faith and freedom". The group has previously voiced concerns about sexual content, protesting the new television code of practice, which was introduced late last year, believing they would allow broadcasters to air "explicit pornography" before 9pm.

According to the ABC, ACMA upheld the group's explicit content complaint in December last year, against Channel 10's Californication, which aired at 9:30pm.

There has been widespread opposition to the government's internet filter, with many groups arranging rallies and protests to speak out against the scheme. One group even carried out distributed-denial-of-service attacks on the government.