Stephen Conroy hits back against content filter skeptics

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has hit back at Shadow Minister for Communications Nick Minchin's call for the Federal Government to end its ISP-level filtering farce, saying the shadow minister should explain why he doesn’t support using the latest technology to restrict access to child abuse content and other offensive material.

The trials are currently being conducted with the help of nine Australian internet service providers including Optus, and, iPrimus. While initial testing improved filtering technology they also revealed significant limitations. iiNet, one of the largest ISP’s to participate in the trial pulled out in March this year after criticising the government for being too vague with what is hoped to achieve through the trials.

Shadow minister Minchin has launched a renewed attack on the government's live Internet Service Provider filtering trials, saying they were running behind schedule and have unclear objectives.  He also said the current trials were too small to provide any useful data.

The proposed internet content filter would block a number of blacklisted websites from being accessed within Australia. While current participation in the trial is voluntary if successful the government hopes use a mandatory blocking of prohibited websites. The proposed filter has received harsh criticism from a number of anti-filtering advocates, who among other complaints predict the system will slow down internet speeds across the country.