After being as indecisive as a teenage girl choosing what to wear on prom night, Senator Conroy has settled on what classification category will be banned by under the mandatory filter (the one you can’t opt out of). According to IT News, Conroy’s office stated that ‘mandatory ISP-level filtering will only apply to RC content drawn from complaints made to the ACMA‘.

There’s two main problems with that:

  1. Refused Classification (or RC) is an extremely broad classification category which includes movies like Ken Park, adult pornography containing fetishes like spanking and euthanasia instruction material like The Peaceful Pill Handbook. It’s also legal to possess and view in Australia (with the exception of Western Australia and some indigenous communities in the Northern Territory and where not illegal under other criminal codes).
  2. If the Government intends for the filter to protect children online, relying on complaints to block RC content means the vast majority of it will remain unblocked and easily accessible.

Colin Jacobs from EFA agrees. He told IT News:

‘Filtering out a handful of RC-only sites won’t make the Internet any safer for kids, nor will it slow down the traffic in illegal material. Yet it still comes at a high cost, both financially and to our freedom of speech. It seems more about fulfilling an election promise than achieving any particular policy aim.’

For more information on what types of content are refused classification, please visit Irene Graham’s