Filter sparks launch of Safer Internet Group

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Filter sparks launch of Safer Internet Group

Google, iiNet, SAGE-AU, and Yahoo come together.

A new industry body that has formed over discussions of the Federal Government's ISP-level Internet Filter counts Google, Internode and the Internet Industry Association as members.

The Safer Internet Group launched on Friday, announcing plans to "work with the government to make the internet safer".

Members include the Australian Library and Information Association, System Administrators Guild of Australia (SAGE-AU), Yahoo!, the Inspire Foundation, iiNet and Australian Council of State School Organisations.

According to Safer Internet Group spokesman Laurel Papworth, the "like-minded" member organisations spent the past few months working on the group's "five-point plan".

Instead of an all-encompassing filter, the plan recommends more effective education, policing, a choice of user tools, dialogue and research to improve cybersecurity in Australia

The group first came together to discuss issues with the Internet Filter. However, Papworth denied that opposing the filter was its primary concern.

"This is not anti-filter in any way, shape or form," she told iTnews, describing hopes of "building a connected Australia that's not limited in any way.

"It's clear that there are issues with the filter; the filter has been a catalyst for bringing everyone together. We think it's brilliant that the Government has put this discussion on the table."

Besides electing Papworth as spokesperson and conducting weekly conference calls, the Safer Internet Group has established no formal structure.

It has, however, "made representations" to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, but has yet to receive a response.

"This is an intelligent Government; we want to be prepared to engage with them, and we hope that they would look at our five-point plan as well," Papworth said.

"This is an extension of what the groups had already been doing in smaller working groups ... It's way overdue that like-minded organisations, not-for-profits, government agencies, pull together like this."

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