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 Australia delays Internet filter to review content

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Date posted: 11/07/2010

Australia's widely criticized proposal to mandate a filter blocking child pornography and other objectionable Internet content has been delayed at least a year so the government can review what content should be restricted.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said Friday a 12-month review would begin this year into the filter, which would force all Australian ISPs to block a regularly updated list of websites.

If a mandatory filter is passed into law, it would make Australia one of the strictest Internet regulators among the world's democracies. Some critics have said the proposed filter would put the nation in the same censorship league as China.

While child pornography was the main target, the filter also seeks to ban sites that included bestiality, rape and other extreme violence, as well as detailed instructions in crime, drug use or terrorist acts.

"There are some sections of the community that have expressed legitimate concerns that the (restricted content) category ... does not accurately reflect current community standards about what type of content should be refused," Conroy told reporters in Melbourne.

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