Oz to scrap mandatory filtering

Public opposition to the Australian government's plan to mandate Internet filtering has been growing, but this week the plan "has effectively been scuttled," the Sydney Morning Herald reports. after a senator withdrew support for the scheme. "The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has consistently ignored advice from a host of technical experts saying the filters would slow the internet, block legitimate sites, be easily bypassed and fall short of capturing all of the nasty content available online." Among those opposed to his plan were consumers, lobby groups, ISPs, corporate IT people, Save the Children, the political opposition, and "even the conservative Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, who famously tried to censor the chef Gordon Ramsay's swearing on television." A national survey unveiled this week found that "only 5% of Australians want ISPs to be responsible for protecting children online and only 4% want Government to have this responsibility," the Morning Herald added. [For background, see "Oz filtering update," January 2.]

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