Net filter to block only restricted content

Blocking political material "against tenants of Labor": Conroy

Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy

Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy

The national Internet content filter will block only restricted content, according to federal communications minister Stephen Conroy.

The revelations, while perhaps spoken off-the-cuff on a live ABC broadcast, are the latest in vacillating claims by the government regarding what content will be banned under the filters.

"It goes against the tenets of the Labor Party to block political [material]," Conroy said on the ABC's Q&A program.

"Restricted content is what I'm talking about, then parents can choose the level of filtering they want," he said in response to audience claims that the filters could be used to block additional material.

Only days ago, the minister refused to rule out banning content not classified by the government regulator, but simultaneously attempted to quash suspicion that the filters could be used to censor political content.

“The concept of creep is a legitimate political debate,” Conroy said. “If people say it might go further, that is a legitimate point to raise. Am I going to agree with what [Senator] Steve Fielding might want banned? Absolutely not.”

Fellow panelist shadow minister for climate change Greg Hunt agreed with Conroy that the leaked blacklists would advertise Web sites that promote child porn, rape and abuse.

"They are real crimes that we don't want to promote," Hunt said.

Conroy said earlier the publication of Web blacklists, the latest which he admitted to be close to that held by the regulator, will not impede plans to trial the Internet content filter.

“Does the [leaked blacklist] mean we are going to stop blocking access to the sites? No. People can continue to put up the lists if they are proud to do that,” Conroy said. "If people think [leaking the list] is a victory for free speech, to make available that sort of information, they have a perverse sense of free speech."

Conroy admitted the government blacklist had included "one mistaken" Web site from the 1300 banned sites.

-With Rodney Gedda

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Senator Stephen Conroyinternet content filterblacklist

More about ABC NetworksABC NetworksLabor Party

Show Comments