ITnews

Mar 29, 2010 7:44 PM

Slams Google and opponents on ABC radio.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has rejected suggestions from ALP colleague Senator Kate Lundy that the Government offer an ''opt-out' for its plan for a mandatory ISP-level filter.

On the eve of the introduction of filtering legislation to parliament, Senator Conroy appeared on the 'Australia Talks' program on Radio National last night to battle an almost universal condemnation of the filtering scheme.

Conroy said Australian citizens should not be able to opt out of the filter as the Government does not allow the same liberties with other forms of media.

"We don't allow people to opt out of [not being able to buy] DVDs of child porn," Conroy said.

Conroy said that "some people want to elevate the internet to something special" - a medium outside the realm of Australian law. But in a pointed attack at critics within the internet industry, Conroy said they should not expect special treatment.

The Minister described Google, which has repeatedly opposed the filtering plan, of having a single agenda - the love of cash.

"When people say, shouldn't we leave it up to Google, I say, I'll back Parliament to stand fast on this issue better than Google," he said.

Denies US criticism

The Minister said he had received no official complaint from the US State Department about his plans to filter the Australian internet. The Australian newspaper reported that the State Department contacted the Australian Government to express its concerns over the filter.

"I've had no contact with them at all," he said. "My department has not been directly contacted. They [the US Government] may be talking to [the department of] Foreign Affairs and Trade, but was unaware until I saw news this morning."

Minister Conroy said he was yet to be briefed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the matter.

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