Australia Temporarily Backs Away From Censoring Internet

Some ISPs Now Agree to Voluntarily Block Some URLs, However

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Australia Temporarily Backs Away From Censoring Internet

Late last week, the Australian government announced that it would be delaying the introduction of mandatory Internet filtering until at least 2012 while a so-called "transparency and accountability measures" review is conducted, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The proposed review - which would make sure that the proposed filtering list meets community standards - will take about a year. The current plan is that after the review is completed, the government then would introduce mandatory Internet filtering legislation, with Internet filtering starting a year after that.

This, of course, all depends upon the current government winning the next election, which will likely be held before the end of this year.

However, three of the largest Australian ISPs, Telstra, Optus and Primus have also agreed to block a list of URLs compiled by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, beginning in the next couple of months.

For Telstra, this is bit of a climb-down. In December of 2008, the CEO of Telstra said filtering the Internet was like attempting to "boil the ocean."

Google, which has been critical of the government's Internet censorship plan, welcomed the delay, but still stated that it believed the government's revised approach was still going to prove unworkable, The Australian reported.

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