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MELBOURNE - A 16-year-old schoolboy has cracked the federal government's A$84 million ($93 million) internet porn filter.

Tom Wood, a Year 10 student, told News Ltd newspapers it took him about 30 minutes to break through the government's new filter, released on Tuesday.

Tom, who attends a Melbourne private school, can deactivate the filter after several clicks.

His method ensures the software's toolbar icon is not deleted.

He can leave his parents believing the filter is still working.

Tom, a former cyber bullying victim, fears a computer-savvy child could put the bypass on the internet for others to use.

"It's a horrible waste of money," he said. "They could get a much better filter for a few million dollars made here rather than paying overseas companies for an ineffective one."

Communications Minister Helen Coonan said the government had anticipated children would find ways to get around the NetAlert filters.

Suppliers were contracted to provided updates, Senator Coonan said.

"The vendor is investigating the matter as a priority.

"Unfortunately, no single measure can protect children from online harm and ... traditional parenting skills have never been more important."

Family First senator Steve Fielding, a cyber safety campaigner, said cracking the software highlighted the need for compulsory filtering by internet providers.

"You need both. You need it at the ISP and at the PC level," Senator Fielding said. "The Government has not listened to common sense and it leaves kids exposed."