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US and Conroy 'agree to disagree' on filter

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has said that he and the United States Government were "going to agree to disagree" on the issue of a mandatory internet service provider level internet filter.
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Written by Ben Grubb on

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has said that he and the United States Government were "going to agree to disagree" on the issue of a mandatory internet service provider level internet filter.

Conroy has reportedly made the statement for an episode of ABC1's Four Corners program, which airs tonight at 8:30pm and entitled "Access Denied".

US State Department spokesperson Noel Clay said in March that the US had raised concerns on the matter with Australian officials.

Later, US ambassador Jeff Bleich said a filter was unnecessary to stop child pornography, and that the US had "other means". He believed the internet needed to be unfettered.

"It needs to be free the way we have said skies have to be free, outer space has to be free, the polar caps have to be free, the oceans have to be free. They have to be shared. They're shared resources of all of the people of the world," he said at the time.

Although Conroy had previously hoped to have necessary legislation for the filter passed by parliament's autumn sittings, now passed, the minister's office has said that it's unlikely any legislation will even be introduced in parliament in its next sitting. At 29 April, legislation required for the filter was yet to be drafted.

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