Australian 'Net Censorship Starts to Bite

The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has already received up to 10 complaints relating to offensive Internet content.

The complaints follow the introduction on Jan. 1 of the Federal Government's new Internet content legislation under which the ABA regulates, monitors and blocks what the government calls "pornographic, violent or other offensive" Internet material.

Donald Robertson, media and public relations manager for the ABA, said the complaints received referred to different Web sites, but were all related to material of a sexual nature.

"We are investigating the complaints. In some cases we refer the content complaints to the Office of Film and Literature Classification which will be providing us with classification of the content," Robertson said.

Depending on the classification and whether the content is hosted in Australia, the ABA may issue a take-down notice to the Internet service provider, he said.

Robertson said the ABA was expecting to receive complaints this early, given the publicity on the issue.

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