GetUp! has published an article on mandatory filtering from Aussie censorship expert Irene Graham.

Irene writes:

While the Minister frequently refers to “illegal”/”prohibited” material on ACMA’s blacklist, this terminology is highly misleading. In fact, “prohibited content” includes material that is lawful to publish/distribute/obtain offline in Australia, (some is also lawful to exhibit in cinemas), and which is not illegal for Australians to view on the Internet. Material unsuitable for children is termed “prohibited content” in Commonwealth Internet censorship legislation enacted in 1999 (which Labor voted against).

Unlike Australia’s offline censorship regime, the Internet censorship regime is secret and unaccountable.

While on this topic, I’ve noticed on a few forums that many people don’t realise it’s legal in most parts of Australia to view and possess content classified RC (Refused Classification). There’s obvious exceptions like child pornography, and you can’t exhibit or sell RC content (here’s a have a map here showing state and territory laws), but generally it’s legal.

Back to Irene’s article:

Moreover, ACMA’s blacklist may include overseas hosted content that ACMA staff incorrectly thought “would be” prohibited if classified. In FY2007, the Classification Board found that 11 of the 28 items submitted by ACMA (presumably content hosted in Australia which ACMA is required to have classified before issuing a final take-down notice) were not “prohibited content”. In FY2008, 7 of 14 were classified not “prohibited”.

Also ACMA’s 2007 – 2008 annual report (table 25) shows the number of completed investigations in which prohibited or potentially prohibited content was located. Roughly 55% was child pornography related, with the rest mainly websites containing ‘actual sexual activity’ (X 18+) material or depictions of ‘sexual fantasy’ and ‘sexual fetish’ (RC).

In other news: Check out this blog post from John Linton (Exetel). Time To Join The Torch Light Parades…