US concerned by Australian Internet filter plan

The United States has raised concerns with Australia about the impact of a proposed Internet filter that would place restrictions on Web content, an official said Monday. The concerns of Australia’s most important security ally further undermine plans that would make Australia one of the strictest Internet regulators among the world’s democracies. Internet giants Google and Yahoo have condemned the proposal as a heavy-handed measure that could restrict access to legal information. The plan needs the support of Parliament to become law later this year. Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says the filter would block access to sites that include child pornography, sexual violence and detailed instructions in crime or drug use. The list of banned sites could be constantly updated based on public complaints. If adopted into law, the screening system would make Australia one of the strictest Internet regulators among the world’s democracies. Conroy declined to comment on the U.S. concerns. Some critics of Australia’s filter have said it puts the nation in the same censorship league as China

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hdnek0nTUmnpmH1Y33p6QjloTzPQD9EO4DTG1

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