[LINK] Rudd online porn-free plan questioned
brd at iimetro.com.au
Wed Jan 2 10:02:03 EST 2008
Rudd online porn-free plan questioned
January 02, 2008
A Rudd Government plan to censor internet pornography and violence could
undermine another of its election promises - to speed up our internet
Kevin Rudd promised before the election to force internet service
providers to supply a clean feed to households and schools free of
The Internet Industry Association has warned the downside of censoring
access could be a reduction in the speed of access to websites.
Mr Rudd promised before the election to force internet service providers
to supply a clean feed to households and schools free of "inappropriate"
Australians who want uncensored access to the web will have to contact
their provider and opt out of the service.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says the clean feed will be
achieved by getting the Communications and Media Authority to prepare a
blacklist of unsuitable sites.
Internet Industry Association spokesman Peter Coroneos said the industry
is working closely with the Government on the policy to be trialled
later this year.
But he warned it could never be completely successful in blocking access
to all pornographic sites, just the ones on the blacklist.
If new sites were launched that were not included on the blacklist the
clean feed would not restrict access to them, he said. "You've got to be
aware of the fallibility of the approach," he warned.
There were millions of pornographic websites and if all of them were
included in the blacklist "there is a potential for slow downs in access
to occur", he said.
"The more sites you attempt to block the greater the effect on the
network performance and speed," he said.
This is because every time you type a request into your search engine it
will have to be checked against all the sites on the blacklist, he said.
In Britain where a clean feed policy is being pursued, only between 200
and 1000 child pornography sites have been included on a blacklist.
But if Australia insisted on including millions of general pornography
sites and others that include violence it could undermine internet
users' speed of access to websites, Mr Coroneos said.
A 2005 pilot study carried out by the former Howard government found a
clean feed approach could cut down speed of accessing the internet by
between 18 to 78 per cent depending on what was being blocked.
The Rudd Government campaigned on a platform promising to speed up
Australians' access to the worlwide web by rolling out broadband around
Mr Coroneos said any clean feed policy would have to be carefully balanced.
He said households that really wanted to block out pornographic material
would be better off investing in a home based filter system.
brd at iimetro.com.au
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