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Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Page: 127


Mr Robert asked the Minister representing the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, in writing, on 25 November 2008:

(1)   How many websites are currently on the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) blacklist.

(2)   For each month from November 2007 to November 2008, how many websites were on the ACMA blacklist.

(3)   In the current move to force Internet Service Providers to censor content, is the Government proposing to use the ACMA blacklist as the central list for filtering out inappropriate material.


Mr Albanese (Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government) —The Minister representing the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

(1)   At 30 November 2008, the ACMA blacklist comprised 1,370 URLs relating to prohibited content or potential prohibited content that is hosted overseas. URLs that no longer provide access to prohibited content or potential prohibited content are periodically removed from the list.

(2)   As noted above, URLs notified to filter software providers correspond to specific web pages, images or other items of content. At 30 November 2008 the blacklist comprised 1370 URLs. URLs are notified to providers of filter software products in accordance with the arrangement set out in Content Code 3 on a weekly basis. The list is reviewed periodically to remove URLs that no longer provide access to prohibited content. The number of URLs on the list at the end of each month for the period November 2007 to November 2008 is set out below:

Year

Month

Number of URLs at end of month

2007

November

1013

December

1069

2008

January

1103

February

1228

March

1319

April

1346

May *

860

June

923

July

1055

August

1216

September

1291

October

1339

November

1370

* Note: In May 2008 URLs which no longer provided access to prohibited content or potential prohibited content were removed from the list by ACMA.

(3)   Details of the Government’s ISP filtering policy will be determined following the conclusion of the Pilot. The ACMA blacklist is based on the provisions of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. The Government has no plans to expand the scope of prohibited material. The Government has stated that it will seek international co-operation to share lists of known child abuse imagery URL’s with agencies including the Internet Watch Foundation, Europol and Interpol.