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Government scraps major trial on internet filtering.

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MEDIA RELEASE SF/161. Tuesday July 24, 2007


The news that the Federal Government has quietly scrapped plans for a major industry trial of internet filtering shows its lack of commitment to protecting children from Internet Pornography.

It was reported today that the Government has walked away from what would have been Australia’s only live commercial internet content filtering trial, which was to have been conducted in Tasmania.

“The Communications Minister Helen Coonan trumpeted this trial in June last year during an announcement about ‘Protecting Australian Families Online’,” FAMILY FIRST leader Steve Fielding said today.

“So much for protecting Australian families. And so much for protecting our kids and ensuring their minds are not polluted by filth.

“More than a year after the Government's big announcement, Australian families are still waiting for free filtering software, libraries still do not have access to free filtering software and now another major project has been abandoned.”

Telstra and Optus have reportedly refused to participate in the trial, which would have investigated filtering content at the Internet Service Provider (ISP) level.

For almost two years FAMILY FIRST has been campaigning for mandatory filtering at the ISP level, which a Government report found was “feasible” and which is the only way we can help protect all children from pornography.

“The Government does not support ISP-level filtering which is disappointing,” Senator Fielding said. “PC-based filters are important but if they are not installed, children are not protected from violent and pornographic content.”

For media enquiries phone Chief of Staff Felicity Dargan on 0409 550 446