Aussie internet censorship delayed

Aussie internet censorship delayed

March 18, 2010.

The highly controversial and much criticised attempt by Australia's Labour government to introduce a statutary body-controlled blacklist of Internet websites, effectively censoring the Internet, has been delayed, according to reports in the Australian mainstream media.

Apparently the legislation remains mired in the drafting process and the earliest it is expected to emerge for parliamentary discussion is June 2010.

Stephen Conroy, the Australian Communications Minister, had planned to introduce the changes to parliament mid-March, but now says that delays have been occasioned by the drafting process and by negotiations with ISPs and other intersted parties.

"Discussions with ISPs and owners of high traffic sites on the implementation of ISP filtering are ongoing. The Government is also considering the responses to the consultation paper on improved transparency and accountability measures which will feed into the legislative framework," a spokesperson for Conroy said this week.

Given the legislative load presently in the parliamentary pipeline, and the controversial nature of the changes, the debate on implementation could be further delayed, some observers opine.