Net Censorship Move a Smokescreen: Expert

One of Australia’s top communications experts says the Government’s internet censorship trials were designed to succeed from the outset, presented no new information and are now being used by the Government to further its political agenda. His comments came after Communications Minister Stephen Conroy yesterday announced he would introduce legislation before next year’s elections forcing ISPs to block a secret blacklist of refused classification (RC) websites for all Australian internet users. Separately, a report into the scope of content that will be caught up in the net filters concluded that the Government’s policy might lead to a wide range of innocuous material disappearing from Australians’ computer screens. Commentators in Australia and overseas have interpreted Senator Conroy’s policy as pushing the country towards being like repressive regimes such as China and Iran. University of Sydney associate professor Bjorn Landfeldt said the Government had still failed to address serious issues such as whether the internet filtering scheme would result in any meaningful reduction in harmful content and whether it was worth the effort, given the risk that the scope of blocked content could widen significantly

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