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In 2006, Richard Neville published a "spoof" website that had a fictional transcript of John Howard apologising to Australians for the Iraq War.
While the stated reason for the bill was to prevent people accessing child pornography by examining the blocked sites, this bill exempted whole documents from FOI, many of which did not reference prohibited content at all.
EFA state that the bill was designed to prevent further public scrutiny of web filtering proposals.
The content is deemed to be "prohibited" where it is (or in ACMA's judgement likely would be): Where content is deemed to be prohibited, the ACMA is empowered to issue local sites with a takedown notice under which the content must be removed; failure to do so can result in fines of up to $11,000 per day.
If the site is hosted outside Australia, the content in question is added to a blacklist of banned URLs.
The Green Left Weekly stated these were Melbourne Indymedia and S11 websites, and that the Australian Broadcasting Authority (the predecessor to ACMA) cleared them of breaching government regulations on 30 October 2002.
Also in 2002, and under the terms of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, the Federal Court ordered Fredrick Töben to remove material from his Australian website which denied aspects of The Holocaust and vilified Jews.
In 2009, the Open Net Initiative found no evidence of Internet filtering in Australia, but due to legal restrictions ONI does not test for filtering of child pornography or cyberbullying.
In October 2008, a policy extending Internet censorship to a system of mandatory filtering of overseas websites which are, or potentially would be, "refused classification" (RC) in Australia was proposed.
While the Australian constitution does not explicitly provide for freedom of speech or press, the High Court has held that a right to freedom of expression is implied in the constitution, and the government generally respects these rights in practice.