Outrage over Oz govt's plans to hand control of internet to moral minority

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Canberra, Dec. 16 (ANI): Australian internet users and industries have expressed outrage over the federal government's controversial plan to firewall the country's internet, saying that filtering will hand the control of the internet to the moral minority.

Critics claimed that ISP filter's introduction will strangle internet speeds, curb free speech and be used by the government to ban content it deems "undesirable".

Advocacy organisation GetUp's petition against the proposal has garnered more than 120,000 signatures.

"It's shocking. This great firewall of Australia is going to hand control of the internet to the moral minority," News.com.au quoted GetUp acting national director Oliver Maccoll, as saying.

The criticism comes at a time when the Australian Government is pushing forward a plan to introduce a national internet filter, saying that illegal material such as "child sex abuse content, bestiality, sexual violence and the detailed instruction of crime and drug use" can be blocked "with 100 per cent accuracy and negligible impact on internet speed".

"Most Australians acknowledge there is some internet content which is not acceptable in any civilised society. It is important that all Australians, particularly young children, are protected from this material," Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said.

The proposed scheme will place Australia with 15 other Western democratic nations that have or are preparing to implement ISP filters.

Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands operate similar ISP filter systems that operate from blacklists which contain child abuse material.

However, in those cases the filters are voluntary, while Australia's is mandatory.

In March, the proposed trial came under fire when a list of about 1000 sites secretly banned by ACMA was leaked online, revealing that harmless sites, including YouTube links and gambling sites, had also been blacklisted. (ANI)

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