Updated: Conroy releases Internet filter trial report

Updated: Conroy releases Internet filter trial report

Net censorship plan given the nod

The Minister for Broadband, Senator Stephen Conroy

The Minister for Broadband, Senator Stephen Conroy

The Minister for Broadband, Senator Stephen Conroy, has released the results of the controversial Internet filter trial and has revealed plans to introduce legislation to enforce mandatory ISP-level filtering.

The live pilot was intended to test the use of Internet content filters to block out refused classification content such as child pornography but the trial caused a furore with fears the Government will use filtering technology to censor the Internet, similar to the situation in China.

Testing began in Q1 of 2009 and concluded several months later.

The Enex Test Laboratory was charged with overseeing the trial.

In October, Senator Conroy confirmed he had received the report from the testing firm but did not release the results.

Primus Telecom CEO, Ravi Bhatia, attended the Senator Conroy’s Cyber Safety press conference in Melbourne today where the long-awaited report was finally released to the public.

He told ARN that, according to the report, the trial went according to plan and there was no noticeable impact on broadband performance when filters were in place.

The report indicated 100 per cent accuracy when filtering RC-rated material on the ACMA blacklist.

According to a press statement released by Senator Conroy, the Government plans to bring in legislative amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act, which will require all ISPs to block RC-content hosted on overseas servers.

An RC-content list, independent from ACMA’s blacklist, will be the basis for the filter. The bill will be debated during the autumn parliamentary sittings next year.

To quell possible concerns of political censorship, the process of compiling the proposed RC list is open to public consultation.

The Government has proposed several options for the process, including referring all material to the Classification Board and an ACMA notification procedure.

Interested parties can weigh in on the discussion by submitting their responses by February 12, 2010, on

If the legislation is passed, there will be a 12-month implementation period.

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