Sat Jul 10, 2010 01:32
The Federal Government's controversial mandatory internet filter has been put on hold for a year while the proposed design is examined by an independent expert.
In the interim, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy announced three of Australia's largest internet service providers, Telstra, Optus and Primus, would voluntarily block a list of child pornography maintained by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Over time, the list will be expanded to include internet addresses maintained by organisations including the British-based Internet Watch Foundation.
Senator Conroy's backdown over the mandatory filter, which follows an extensive online campaign to scrap the filter completely, comes as speculation mounts that an election will be called in the next week.
He said that while the review was being conducted a suite of transparency and accountability measures, including an annual review of the refused content list and a clear appeals mechanism for content that has been wrongfully blocked, would be introduced to increase public confidence in the list.
Senator Conroy said the independent review would examine the current list of ''Refused Classification'' material which forms the basis of the voluntary filter list so that it correctly reflected community standards.
''The public needs to have confidence that the URLs on the list, and the process by which they get there, is independent, rigorous, free from interference or influence and enables content and site owners access to appropriate review mechanisms,'' he said.
Greens senator Scott Ludlam, who has helped lead the campaign against the mandatory filter, welcomed the announcement.
''Opponents of the filter should pause to reflect on a partial win. It may have seemed as though the minister hadn't heard a word we have said for the past two years, but some of it is obviously getting through,'' he said.
Like I said This Is not Going To happen With a election due Soon and the Governments low popularity This is just Going To drag on For A few Years And Fade away