Australia delays web filtering plan

Australia's government has shelved its controversial internet filtering plan for a year to allow for an independent review of what content would be blocked by the scheme.

Australia's government has shelved its controversial internet filtering plan for a year to allow for an independent review of what content would be blocked by the scheme.

But the move is widely seen as an attempt to side-step the controversy surrounding the plan as the government prepares to call a General Election, according to US reports.

Australian communications minister Stephen Conroy said the review was necessary because of concerns about whether the classification scheme reflects current community standards.

Conroy said the mandatory filter would not be imposed until completion of the review, which could take up to a year.

Australia's plan to block access to sites featuring material such as rape, drug use, bestiality and child sex abuse has drawn criticism from global giants including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

Google has warned that the plan could damage Australia's reputation as a liberal democracy and set a dangerous global precedent.

Conroy has hit back at Google, accusing the company of committing the greatest breach in the history of privacy by collecting private Wi-Fi data using its Street View vehicles.

Google has officially apologised to Australians after an investigation by the Australian privacy commissioner found that the practice was a breach of local privacy law.

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