Rudd Retreats on Web Filter Legislation
KEVIN Rudd has put another election promise on the backburner with his controversial internet filtering legislation set to be shelved until after the next election.
A spokeswoman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said yesterday the legislation would not be introduced next month's or the June sittings of parliament.
With parliament not sitting again until the last week of August, the laws are unlikely to be passed before the election.
Labor promised before the last election it would force internet service providers to block access to illegal content such as child pornography and X-rated images.
But the US government, Google and free speech advocates have said any efforts to censor the internet would slow download speeds, stop the free flow of information and be ineffective.
Senator Conroy's spokeswoman said the government was not deterred by this criticism.
The government was still consulting with internet service providers and considering public submissions; once that process was complete, it would introduce the legislation into parliament, the spokeswoman said.
Australian Christian Lobby managing director Jim Wallace was disappointed.
"The minister has done an excellent job on this . . . and I would like to see it legislated because it was an election promise," he said.
Opposition communications spokesman Tony Smith said Senator Conroy should come clean on when he would release the legislation.
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