Federal Labor leader Kevin Rudd

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

The US government has raised concerns about Kevin Rudd’s internet censorship plan, saying it flies in the face of the Obama administration’s policy of a free and open internet.

The concerns come as the US State Department launches a “diplomatic assault” on the open internet in a bid to strengthen global economic ties and security, The Australian newspaper reports.

“The US and Australia are close partners on issues related to cyber matters generally, including national security and economic issues,” US State Department Noel Clay told The Punch website.

“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.”

Under the plan, Australian ISPs would be forced to block access to websites which have been refused classification. The list of websites will be top-secret.

Recent reports by Microsoft, Yahoo and Google criticised the plan, saying it might slow internet speeds or that the list of blacklisted websites could be leaked to the public.

Online activists Anonymous last month launched attacks on several government websites, including the prime minister’s, because of the censorship plan.

The operation — dubbed Titstorm — flooded the websites with so many requests that they crashed.

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