The 2011-2012 Australian federal budget ends grants for the Voluntary Internet Filtering Grants Program to save $9.6 million over three years. Labor Party still plans to move forward with mandatory ISP-level Internet filtering.
The Australian govt has decided to scrap its Voluntary Internet Filtering Grants Program in the 2011 federal budget.’The Government will not proceed with the Voluntary Internet Filtering Grants Program,’ reads the budget. ‘This will provide savings of $9.6 million over three years.’The plan was intended to help give ISPs give consumers an additional filtering option for content that wasn’t Refused Classification (RC), but that they still objected to.The govt said, however that there was ‘limited interest’ among ISPs in the grants, and that consumers had a number of filtering options at their disposal.’The Government provided $9.8 million in the 2010‑11 Budget to establish the Voluntary Internet Filtering Grants Program to assist internet service providers (ISPs) to offer customers internet filtering options on a commercial basis,’ continues the budget text. ‘However, consultation with industry has identified limited interest in the grants due to the increasing range of filtering technologies readily available to online users, including browser and search engine filters, and the decision of the three largest ISPs, which account for over 70 per cent of Australian internet users, to voluntarily filter child abuse sites using a list compiled and maintained by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.’The problem for Aussies (pronounced ‘Auzzies’ by the way), is that the govt still plans to push forward with an involuntary, i.e. mandatory, filtering scheme that’s been in the works since 2007.Stay tuned. news tip? firstname.lastname@example.org“