AFP, November 8
Sydney — Australia on Friday scrapped a controversial plan to filter the Internet, saying it will instead block hundreds of websites identified by Interpol as among the worst child abuse sites.
The centre-left Labor government had pushed since 2007 for a mandatory Internet filter to protect children, to be administered by service providers, despite criticism it was impractical and set a precedent for censorship.
But Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the government had now reached an agreement with Internet providers that they would block “the worst of the worst” child abuse material that is available on the web to the public.
“We’ve actually reached agreement with the industry to block child pornography and we think that is a significant step forward,” he told ABC radio, adding that about 1,400 sites monitored by Interpol would be barred.