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News – Australia to censor internet

January 1970

Australia to censor internet

Australia’s new government is planning tough new rules to protect children from online pornography and violence by forcing internet providers to vet website content. The recently victorious Labour government wants internet service providers to filter content to ensure households and schools do not receive ‘inappropriate’ material.

Protesters say it will erode the freedom of the internet, but telecommunications minister Stephen Conroy said more needed to be done to protect children. Internet providers will be expected to stop the flow of pornography and other X-rated or violent content and ensure that children only have access to family-friendly websites.

According to a report from the BBC, the Australian government will compile a list of unsuitable sites, although at this stage it is unclear what will be deemed unsuitable. Thereafter, customers wanting unfettered access to the web will have to contact their supplier to opt out of the new, restricted regime.

Critics of the proposals have insisted they have no place in a liberal democracy but the government minister is unmoved. He stressed that if people equated freedom of speech with watching child pornography then he would always disagree with them.

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