THE US has weighed into the row over the Rudd Government's plan to censor the internet, saying it has raised concerns about it with Australian officials.
The Obama administration wants to encourage an open internet to enhance global economic growth and security and is mounting a diplomatic assault on threats to the open web around the world.
The US State Department, America's foreign office, has publicly aired concern about the internet filtering plan championed by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.
Responding to questions about the filter from commentary website The Punch, US State Department spokesperson Noel Clay said: "The US and Australia are close partners on issues related to cyber matters generally, including national security and economic issues. "We do not discuss the details of specific diplomatic exchanges, but can say that in the context of that ongoing relationship, we have raised our concerns on this matter with Australian officials."
The Rudd Government has faced increasing criticism over internet filtering in recent weeks after it released submissions by companies including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft on how to improve its policy.
Many of the submissions were highly critical of the filtering plan. Concerns included that the scope of content to be censored was too broad, that the filter would be ineffective or slow internet speeds, and that the list of banned material could be leaked to the public.
Under the plan, Australian internet service providers like Telstra, Optus and iiNet would be forced to block access to a secret list of webpages containing refused classification material.
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