The US has claimed that it is concerned about the proposed internet filter that the Australian government is planning to install.

According to World News Australia, the US State Department has discussed the filter with its Australian counterparts, stressing the strength of the bilateral relationship and claiming that a filtered internet could stop the spread of economic growth and global security.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed in her January address on internet freedom that ‘information has never been so free'. She said: “The internet is a network that magnifies the power and potential of all others. And that's why we believe it's critical that its users are assured certain basic freedoms. Freedom of expression is first among them.

“This freedom is no longer defined solely by whether citizens can go into the town square and criticise their government without fear of retribution. Blogs, emails, social networks and text messages have opened up new forums for exchanging ideas, and created new targets for censorship.“

US State Department spokesman Noel Clay told World News Australia: "The US and Australia are close partners on issues related to cyber matters generally, including national security and economic issues. We are committed to advancing the free flow of information, which we view as vital to economic prosperity and preserving open societies globally."

The filter has had a number of critics, namely the Anonymous group, whose spokesperson Fourth Chan told SC in February that ‘all this filter will do is drive the content onto these resources [P2P file sharing sites], causing more cost to law enforcement in tracking down the criminals'.

The Australian government has said that the filter is necessary to stop the spread of obscene material, such as child pornography.

SC Magazine online news editor Dan Raywood appeared on BBC World News this week to discuss the subject.