Australian government plans state website blocking system to tackle illegal content


Australian government plans state website blocking system to tackle illegal content

Antony Savvas

The Australian government is planning a state website blocking system designed to prevent illegal content reaching its citizens.

There are concerns, however, that such a system could slow web speeds in Australia and eventually be used to filter out "alternative" content that is not necessarily illegal.

The main target for the proposed filtering system is a list of child porn and terrorist sites, but there are concerns in Australia that the government may come under pressure to expand the list to cover other areas.

Despite the concerns, web security firm Finjan supports the Australian move.

"The game plan is for Australian ISPs to be mandated to block access to websites containing illegal content such as child pornography or terrorist materials," said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, Finjan CTO.

"I would also recommend the Australian government includes in this plan actions against ISPs and other web hosting companies that allow cybercriminals to host their command and control servers and distribute malware," said Ben-Itzhak.

He cited a recent example in the US where global spam levels dropped by as much as 75% following the government shutdown of a US web host, which is said to have provided the backbone for most of the world's spam.

Since that move, however, spam levels have crept back up as a result of new spam botnets kicking in.


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