The Federal Government yesterday announced further plans to improve safety on the internet for Australian families.
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, unveiled new cyber safety measures, based on the Government’s trial of internet filtering and industry feedback about the most appropriate way to improve safety online.
The cyber safety measures include:
- Introduction of mandatory ISP-level filtering of Refused Classification (RC)-rated content.
- A grants program to encourage the introduction of optional filtering by Internet Service Providers, to block additional content as requested by households.
- An expansion of the cyber safety outreach program run by the Australian Communications and Media Authority and the Cyber Safety Online Helpline – to improve education and awareness of online safety.
Senator Conroy said the Government will work closely with telecommunication companies to ensure the new measures will bring the most benefit to web users.
“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 percent of internet users in Australia,” he said.
The ISP filter plan has attracted a chorus of criticism from industry and internet users, who claim its introduction will strangle internet speeds, curb free speech and be used by the Federal Government to ban content it deems “undesirable”.
Senator Conroy said the report into the trial of the internet filter demonstrated that “blocking RC-rated material can be done with 100 percent accuracy and and negligible impact on internet speed”.