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OPTUS customers in Sydney and Newcastle will be asked to take part in the Federal Government's controversial test of internet filters. In a boost for the Government, the nation's second-largest internet service provider said yesterday it would take part in a six-week trial. The Government made an election promise to offer households a family-friendly clean internet service but has struggled to deliver the pledge in the face of severe criticism from some sectors of the internet industry that it was censorship that would block legitimate sites and dramatically slow internet download speeds. The Broadband and Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, said Optus's decision to participate would ensure the Government received "robust results" to inform the development of the filtering policy. He said the Government was testing the feasibility of a filter to block material that had been "refused classification" such as images of child sexual abuse, bestiality, sexual violence and material that advocates committing a terrorist act.
Testing has already begun on systems that will slow our internet by up to 87%, make it more expensive, miss the vast majority of inappropriate content and accidentally block up to 1 in 12 legitimate sites. Our children deserve better protection - and that won't be achieved by wasting millions on this deeply flawed system.
# Amnesty International Australia
# Australian Lawyers Alliance
# Australian Network for Art and Technology
# Civil Liberties Australia
# Human Rights Coalition
# Human Rights Council of Australia
# Human Rights Law Resource Centre
# National Arts and Cultural Alliance
# Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance
# Public Interest Law Clearing House
# Somebody Think of the Children