Australia and America are fighting similar battles at the moment to keep the internet free from filtration.

In the US, The Bush administration has announced that it is opposed to a 'free internet for all' service that would be funded by advertising and feature what is essentially a smut filter.

It is an idea that is being bandied round by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), where they have put together a plan to auction off some of the United States' airwaves to be used for free ad-funded wireless-internet access.

Filtering trial

Telecoms in Australia are also opposing a similar venture. The Australian government has put forward plans to filter all net traffic in the country, banning illegal websites and portals, which could be deemed unsuitable for children.

The filtering trial was due to start as soon as this month, but Telstra, Australia's largest ISP, has decided not to take part in trials.

Those who are opposed to both plans are citing similar reasons why the web should not be filtered: freedom of speech, and the fact that current filtering systems are well below a standard to be deemed workable.