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Australian Labor Party Wants to Block Porn Sites

Australian Labor Party Wants to Block Porn Sites
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Mar 20, 2006 2:00 PM PST    Text size: 
AUSTRALIA – Under a new Labor Party plan to protect minors from viewing pornography online, ISPs will have to provide a “clean feed,” excluding websites that show extreme violence or graphic sexual material.

Current Australian law, which bans domestic Internet pornography, only applies to Australian websites. According to government statistics, 85 percent of the offensive content in the country comes from sites operating abroad.

The new proposal will seek to limit access to all offensive sites by giving the Australian Communications and Media Authority the task of categorizing questionable sites. ISPs would then consult a list of banned sites before granting Internet access.

According to the Labor Party, adults would still be allowed to opt out of the “clean feed” by contacting their ISP. However, the aim of the proposal is to help the households that lack adequate filtering.

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley believes that nearly two-thirds of Australian homes have not installed filtering software because of a lack of technical savvy or cost. In the past, Beazley called upon the government to subsidize filtering software for families.

The Labor Party believes that its proposal will be both technologically feasible and economically viable. Although, Labor did concede that negotiations with ISPs would have to take place to insure that the added costs of enforcing the plan would not be passed along to consumers.

Details on when or how Labor plans to make its proposal law remain unavailable.

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