Communications Minister Stephen Conroy. (Credit: Sony)

For almost five years, Australia has had the spectre of a mandatory internet filter hanging over it. Sweet relief was finally granted overnight as Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said that the government would instead force ISPs into implementing the Interpol “worst of-” filter , rather than the mandatory filter on “refused classification” content that the government had previously proposed.

Josh Taylor, over on sister-site ZDNet, said that the filter was dumped for political expediency, but this isn’t the first time that the filter has failed to make it to an election. Back before the 2010 election, the filter was delayed as Conroy seeked to give the states time to conduct reviews into what Refused Classification content would be.

This time, though, it looks like the filter is truly dead.

Thanks to Conroy’s plans for a mandatory filter, Australia has been placed on the Enemies of the Internet watch list. Whether this new announcement changes that fact remains to be seen, as a new spectre, in the form of data retention, looms large on the horizon of internet freedom.

Telstra, Optus, and CyberOne have already implemented the filter