Fran Foo
The Australian

March 23, 2010

FRESH from halting censorship of search results in China, internet giant Google says Australia's mandatory ISP filter is both unworkable and unwanted by parents.

The federal government plan will force ISPs to filter web pages that contain refused classification-rated content based on a government blacklist.

Labor senator Kate Lundy, Greens communications spokesman Scott Ludlam and a host of privacy advocates and child groups say they prefer an opt-in version of the filter.

Google was one of 174 submissions received by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, which had called for public feedback on transparency and accountability measures for the refused-classification list.

Google took the opportunity to comment on the broader proposal for mandatory filtering, saying parents would rather see more effort into cyber safety education than censorship.

"In considering the government's plans for mandatory ISP level filtering we have listened to many views, but most importantly those of our users," its 24-page submission says.

"We have talked directly with parents around Australia about their views on ISP level filtering. The strong view from parents was that the government's proposal goes too far and would take away their freedom of choice around what information they and their children can access.

"The importance of a better effort to educate parents and children about online safety was repeatedly highlighted as the area where most effort should be focused."

Full article here