The Australian government is implementing a national internet filter to protect its citizens from controversial websites that promote child pornography, certain "adult" content, euthanasia (suicide promotion) and anorexia promotion.
Information about the national internet filter has been revealed by US tech giants Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, and a coalition of human rights and other groups who have unveiled a new code of conduct that is aimed at safeguarding freedom of speech and privacy.
The Australian government passed a law forbidding the distribution of child pornography. The Australian government also passed a law forbidding suicide promoting websites.
The article concerning freedom of speech compares the measures taken by the Australian government to protect its citizens from predatory websites to the internet filters that have been implemented by the Chinese government. This is very inaccurate.
Link to the article from the Australian Herald Sun:
The fact is that Australia is one of several nations that are attempting to protect vulnerable citizens from suicide promoting websites. Korea, Japan and the UK are also known to be attempting by either by urging internet service providers to voluntarily block these predatory websites or to be moving to interpret the Criminal Code to enable the police to prosecute people who promote suicide via the internet or other communications medium.
I am convinced that blocking suicide promotion websites does not constitute a violation of free speech but rather a reasonable limit in the same way as protecting people from child pornography.
We must remember that people who live with depression and mental illness are often unable to effectively filter out the negative thoughts that are promoted by these websites. They will often commit suicide by following the instructions from these websites.
We need to protect people from the criminally irresponsible who continue to endanger the life and health of others by promoting suicide or suicide methods via the internet.
Link to article on the UK government blocking suicide promoting websites:
Link to article on the Korean government blocking suicide promoting websites:
Link to article on the Japanese government blocking suicide promoting websites: