The year is almost half over, as we scrape into the eighth month of 2012 I reassess the situation of Australia’s censorship including the Web Filtering system and the threat to internet freedom surrounding what briefly blew over.
It’s been a little quiet recently, but that’s not to say the Australian government has abandoned its determination to gain support for its mandatory national web filtering service.
The Mandatory Filtering System seems to be the government’s goal but campaigning for political support is the first step. According to a report we retrieved, the internet filter is still in discussion for the future (2013 Australian Mandatory Internet Filter.pdf via Disclosure Vault)
According to this report, a voluntary ISP filter was proposed and later introduced between 2011 and now:
This system is supposedly already in practice by Telstra, Optus and Primus and blocks domain names and URLs. Like the proposed national filtering system, it blocks access to content deemed inappropriate by the government such as child pornography and non-consensual acts of sexual abuse, rape, torture and S&M.
Bestowing on Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy, the proposal has been rejected by only one ISP – a name of which has not been revealed – with which the administration is still discussing.
This proposal uses the Telecommunications Act to block domain names and URLs by categorizing and arranging another list of online content for censorship – similar to the blacklists Wikileaks released in 2010 and the 2012 one acquired by the Research Team – PDF available here.
This is effectively mandatory censorship in which you don’t blame the government for – you blame the ISP.
We have contacted various senators for comment on the matter, including Senator Conroy, and we will follow up this story in a few weeks’ time.