Australia proposes nation-wide internet filtering

Somewhat tangential to recent discussions on internet filtering is the news circulating that the current Australian government has proposed a nation-wide Internet filtering system. All ISPs will be forced to work with the system, and there will be no absolute opt-out. As the Infoworld article notes, consumers and clients can choose whether they want to filter all illegal material, or just filer out content which might be inappropriate for children; they will not be able to turn the filtering system off.

This system would be created and maintained by the Australia Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which I presume to be an arms-length government agency, perhaps similar to the CRTC here in Canada.

Interestingly, when I think of nation-wide filtering systems, my mind immediately drifts to the government control of Internet content and access in China, a “totalitarian”, “communist” state. But here we have a proposal for the same from a “western”, “democratic” state, a state that has often fought on the side of “freedom” in the past couple years, too.

Other reports of this news can be found at Intergovworld.com, Broadbandreports.com, and itwire.com. A simple Google News search for “Australia Internet Filtering” will provide several hits to consider.


(n.b. I don’t doubt that China has some modified form of Communist government. I’m only making note of the gravitas of the words we use to describe both ourselves and the other at the national level.)