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Tech Talk Radio Show 28 of 2010
Transmission date: July 12, 2010
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Ep 28 of 2010
July 12, 2010

As Australians approach the next Federal election, touted for as early as next month, politicians are scurrying around the country like a plague of locusts spreading the word about their vote winning policies, and dousing the flames of those which could contribute to their demise. This week saw the controversial plans to filter the internet been shelved by the Gillard government for at least two years.

As the government clears the decks for the coming federal election and facing a strong backlash against the policy, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy yesterday ordered a year-long review into content that has been refused classification.

ConroyConroy said that the Government would recommend a review of RC guidelines to State and Territory ministers, following consultations with the Federal Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor, and a spokeswoman for Senator Conroy said the filter -- which was a 2007 Labor election promise -- would not be implemented until 12 months after the legislation was passed. The opposition said the delay was a "humiliating backdown".

Members of the parliamentary cyber-safety committee have criticised new Prime Minister Julia Gillard for standing behind her party's controversial internet filtering proposal. Representatives from Internode, Yahoo!7, the Australian Information and Industry Association (AIIA) and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), opposed the proposal, recommending the use of commercially available software and educational initiatives instead.

The delay comes after a fierce anti-filter campaign from activist organisation Get-Up! and criticism from internet companies such as Google, and the US government. They have warned that the filter will not be effective, could slow the internet and would set a dangerous precedent for web censorship.
Google Australia and New Zealand managing director Karim Temsamani said he was pleased the government had taken account of "genuine concerns" about refused-classification content.

The review was announced as three of Australia's largest internet service providers -- Telstra, Optus and Primus -- agreed to block a list of child abuse websites compiled by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Senator Conroy said the government's commitment to force ISPs to filter refused-classification content from the internet had not wavered. So it appears that the incumbent federal government which seems to have a “make policy on the go" approach, has struck yet again pushing the controversial internet filter to after the next poll, hoping that Australian's have a short memory. Hopefully that isn't the case, but unfortunately unless there's a change of government, it looks like we haven't seen the end of the great firewall of Australia.

This week on TTR

  • Austar, allows downloads of content to its customers over the web.
  • Adam wants a new high tech vacuum cleaner,
  • Conroy delays the filter,
  • VHA update mobile data plans,
  • NBN launch new sites, and
  • yet another newcomer to twitter - Conroy's department joins the Twitterverse.