March 15, 2010
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has hit back at a new report listing Australia as a potential internet enemy.
Press freedom advocacy group Reporters without Borders released their Enemies of the Internet report last Friday, to coincide with World Day Against Cyber Censorship.
It found Australia should be kept ‘under surveillance’ for signs that internet freedom may soon be curbed.
The federal government wants all internet service providers to ban refused classification material hosted on overseas servers.
Senator Conroy said listing Australia as a country that may be an ‘enemy of the internet’ – alongside South Korea, Turkey and Russia – showed Reporters without Borders were seriously mislead about what Labor wanted to do.
‘What we have indicated we will block is refused classification content,’ he told parliament on Monday.
‘Material that is not currently available in a newsagent, in a bookstore, on a DVD, at the movies or on television.
‘Material like child pornography, pro-rape websites, pro-bestiality websites and material of that nature.’
Senator Conroy disputed that he ever dismissed critics of his plan as advocates of child pornography.
He said the material cited by Reporters Without Borders had been supplied by the group Electronic Frontiers Australia who had been challenged publicly to produce a quote where that was said.
‘I challenge each and every one of you to come up with such a quote, because it does not exist,’ he said.
‘Electronic Frontiers Australia have one of the most disgraceful misinformation campaigns and have misled Australians.’
© 2010 AAP