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.