Australians Can't Entirely Opt Out of Internet Filters

SYDNEY, Australia - Network engineers are reporting the government-back Cyber-Safety Plan in Australia will not let Internet users completely opt out of the content filtering process.

The Cyber-Safety Plan, which was first announced by the Australian government in 2007, was designed to block "illegal" content as well as pornographic material inappropriate for children.

The plan is now in the testing stages, but Ars Technica reports that network engineers involved in the program have said users only can opt out of the "additional material" blacklist, but not the main blacklist. The additional material blacklist targets content inappropriate for children, while the main blacklist filters any content the Australian government deems "illegal." There were no guidelines presented on what content would be considered illegal, however.

A spokesperson for the Australian Communications Minister reportedly confirmed the news by telling news media the filters would be required for all Australian citizens.

Despite world-wide studies and reports that show Internet filtering can be costly and ineffective, and despite public outcry against the plan from Australian citizens, the government has budgeted more than $189 million to fund and promote the Cyber-Safety Plan.