The US Weighs in on Australia’s Proposed Internet Filter

We’ve been waiting for the US to comment on the Australian government’s proposed Internet filter (aka “Rudd filter”). For months now we have seen a variety of Australian tech types, social media mavens and online publications make their opinions known — but what does the nation that makes the most about freedom speech have to say?

Today’s Australian reports that the Obama administration finds the idea to filter out unsavory content like child pornography to be “contrary to the US’s foreign policy of encouraging an open internet to spread economic growth and global security.”

The news is a blow to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, who is defending the plan for internet companies to mandatorily block illegal and abhorrent websites — for instance, child pornography — but faces growing opposition…. That the US government joins a widening coalition of agencies with concerns about the plan is sure to turn up the political heat on Senator Conroy.

It follows criticism from Google — in the midst of a high-profile battle in China over political censorship — that Australia’s plan for mandatory filtering of blacklisted websites may prevent the free flow of information and would probably be ineffective in curbing the spread of child porn.

Read more.

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