The Government Has Axed Voluntary Internet Filter Scheme Funding

In last year's budget, the federal government introduced a $9.8 million program to assist ISPs in offering voluntary filtering measures. In last night's budget announcement, that program was scrapped. Turns out, nobody actually wants internet filtering...

According to the Government's Budget site:

The Government will not proceed with the Voluntary Internet Filtering Grants Program. This will provide savings of $9.6 million over three years.

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. 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.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

This isn't an indication that the Government has decided to can its own mandatory internet filter though - ultimately, we're still waiting for the review of the classifications system to happen before we hear any more on that front. But at least now we know that a heap of money won't be wasted on something nobody wants or needs.

[Federal Budget]

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