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Internet censorship: Australia seeks to emulate China, Iran; is the US next?

According to news reports, the Australian federal government is planning to introduce a costly internet filtering plan that would “make internet censorship compulsory for all Australians” and would block illegal sites and others deemed undesirable by the government, but would be ineffective as it does not cover file-sharing sites.

“Australia’s level of net censorship will put it in the same league as countries including China, Cuba, Iran and North Korea, and the Government will not let users opt out of the proposed national internet filter when it is introduced.”

Critics have said that the Labor government’s plans are stricter than those of Iran:

“Colin Jacobs, chair of the online users’ lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia said: ‘I’m not exaggerating when I say that this model involves more technical interference in the internet infrastructure than what is attempted in Iran, one of the most repressive and regressive censorship regimes in the world.'”

The Australian government’s plans apparently go far beyond the filtering systems implemented by other Western nations, such as Britain, Sweden, Canada and New Zealand, where participation by ISPs and customers was optional and the filtering was limited in scope.

More discussion here and here.

HT2 David Bruggerman


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