Australian Federal Government to introduce mandatory ISP-level filtering

Will block Refused Classification material

The Federal Government will introduce legislative amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act to require all ISPs to block Refused Classification (RC)-rated material hosted on overseas servers.

The introduction of mandatory ISP-level filtering follows the release of the Enex TestLab report which trialed the viability of ISP-level filtering among nine Australian ISPs.

“ISP filtering reduces the risk of Australians being inadvertently exposed to RC-rated material when they are online,” communications minister Stephen Conroy said in a statement. “The report into the pilot trial of ISP-level filtering demonstrates that blocking RC-rated material can be done with 100 per cent accuracy and negligible impact on internet speed.” The move is part of a raft of new cyber safety measures including a grants program to encourage the introduction of optional filtering by Internet Service Providers, to block additional content as requested by households.

The measures also include an expansion of the cyber-safety outreach program run by the ACMA and the Cyber-Safety Online Helpline aimed at improving education and awareness of online safety.

As part of the introduction of ISP filter, the Government has also released a consultation paper on how RC material is placed on the RC content list for the purposes of mandatory ISP filtering and how those decisions can be reviewed.

“Through a combination of additional resources for education and awareness, mandatory internet filtering of RC-rated content, and optional ISP-level filtering, we have a package that balances safety for families and the benefits of the digital revolution,” Conroy said in a statement.

“We welcome the constructive input of Australia’s four largest ISPs – Telstra, Optus, iiNet and Primus. These companies came forward to help inform the Government’s approach. Between them these ISPs account for more than 80 per cent of internet users in Australia.”

Email Computerworld or follow @computerworldau on Twitter.

Join the Computerworld newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Mandatory ISP filteringinternet content filteringEnex TestLabSenator Stephen Conroy

More about Australian Federal GovernmentEnex TestLabIinetOptusPrimus AustraliaTelstra Corporation

CIO
ARN
Techworld
CMO