The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has consistently ignored advice from a host of technical experts saying the filters would slow the internet, block legitimate sites, be easily bypassed and fall short of capturing all of the nasty content available online.Web censorship plan heads towards a dead end (Thanks, Alison!)
Despite this, he is pushing ahead with trials of the scheme using six ISPs - Primus, Tech 2U, Webshield, OMNIconnect, Netforce and Highway 1.
But even the trials have been heavily discredited, with experts saying the lack of involvement from the three largest ISPs, Telstra, Optus and iiNet, means the trials will not provide much useful data on the effects of internet filtering in the real-world.
Senator Conroy originally pitched the filters as a way to block child porn but - as ISPs, technical experts and many web users feared - the targets have been broadened significantly since then.
ACMA's secret blacklist, which will form the basis of the mandatory censorship regime, contains 1370 sites, only 674 of which relate to depictions of children under 18. A significant portion - 506 sites - would be classified R18+ and X18+, which is legal to view but would be blocked for everyone under the proposal.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.