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Australia unbans the internet

Delays compulsory filters

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Australia's minister for broadband, and censorship, Stephen Conroy has delayed the switch-on of its Chinese-style national firewall until after the election.

Conroy's moves have been criticised on technical, practical, economic and moral grounds to no avail. But it seems the danger of losing votes has focused his mind.

Trials of the initial system, which claimed only to block child sex abuse images, hit controversy when the secret blacklist of sites was leaked and found to contain a variety of other content - from vanilla porn to a site for a Tasmanian dentist.

Conroy said the filter would be delayed until a proper definition of Refused Classification could be found.

He said: "Some sections of the community have expressed concern about whether the range of material included in the RC category ... correctly reflects current community standards," according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Aussies are already partial to a fair bit of censorship - American Psycho is banned in parts of the country and only available for over-18s elsewhere.

Adult video games are also currently refused classification and cannot be sold anywhere in Australia.

Conroy also promised to introduce a route to appeal if your site is unfairly included on the list which will be reviewed annually.

Conroy's own website, which has been a victim of hackers before, is unavailable at the time of writing. ®

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