EFA disappointed at Conroy's announcement

Electronic Frontiers Australia today welcomed the delay in the Gillard Government’s internet censorship policy but expressed disappointment that it is still on track to be implemented in the Government’s next term.

In an announcement today, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy indicated that the filter will be delayed until a 12-month review of the “Refused Classification” category is completed in conjunction with the states.

“While we welcome a review of the RC category, this is just tinkering around the edges of the filter’s problems,” said EFA Chair Colin Jacobs. “Applying a classification scheme designed for books and movies to the internet was never going to work. Altering the definition of one category won’t change the fact that the government will never, ever, be able to review enough web pages to make any difference to anyone.”

The Minister also announced that Australia’s 3 largest ISPs will be implementing a voluntary filter targeted only at child abuse material. “The industry has been trying to engage with the Minister for a long time, and we’re glad he finally decided to listen. It’s still not clear who will be helped by taking the next step to a compulsory government filter,” said Jacobs. The Minister also announced several measures designed to improve transparency, but indicated the blacklist would remain secret.

“The Minister had an excellent chance today to let the filter die a natural death. Instead they’ve left the ailing policy on life support for another year. We still urge the Government to listen to the experts, drop the filter, and focus on improving broadband access for all Australians,” said Jacobs.

– Ends –

Below is:

– Background information
– Contact details for media


* Minister’s Media Release
– http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/media/media_releases/2010/068

* Electronic Frontiers Australia
– http://www.efa.org.au/

* EFA’s Open Internet campaign
– http://openinternet.com.au/

About EFA:

Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. (EFA) is a non-profit national organisation representing Internet users concerned with on-line rights and freedoms. EFA was established in 1994, is independent of government and commerce, and is funded by membership subscriptions and donations from individuals and organisations with an altruistic interest in promoting online civil liberties.

Media Contacts:

Mr Colin Jacobs
Phone: 0402 631 955
Email: [email protected]

Mr Geordie Guy
EFA Vice-Chair
Phone: 0415 797 142
Email: [email protected]