But yesterday Senator Coonan's spokeswoman said "the Government has not ruled out ISP-based filtering and is currently undertaking a trial in Tasmania in conjunction with the internet safety agency NetAlert".It looks like Australians' days of free unfiltered internet access are numbered, and soon they will have to sign a "perverts' register" to get access to things not deemed suitable for children (which would not merely mean hardcore porn, but any sites that do not restrict themselves to themes suitable for children; for example, Boing Boing would almost certainly be blocked, as it is in the United Arab Emirates and such). And, with the infrastructure of censorship in place, chances are access to content not deemed suitable for Australians (such as parodies of government web sites) could be blocked to everyone.
Of course, the national firewall isn't law yet, though given the amount of pressure there is on all parties from the wowsers and religious conservatives (who have become very well organised, as in the U.S.), it stands a good chance of becoming so unless those who believe in an open internet stand up and be heard. Electronic Frontiers Australia is one group opposing this scheme.
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