The Australian Government has scrapped its voluntary internet filtering grants program.
The grants scheme was offered as one of the carrots to ISPs to offer internet filtering options on a commercial basis in December 2009 when the Government indicated its preference for a national mandatory filtering scheme of RC content.
The scheme was designed to give ISPs a response to consumer concerns about inappropriate content that was not of an RC nature.
Budget papers reveal that the Government provided $9.8 million in last year’s budget.
However, consultation with the ISPs and the industry found little interest in the grants due to the “increasing range of filtering technologies readily available to online users, including browser and search engine filters.”
The Government said a decision of the three largest ISPs to voluntarily filter child abuse sites using a list compiled by and maintained by ACMA was also influential.
The Government remains adamant it will proceed with its mandatory ISP filter scheme.