[LINK] Net filter at test phase

anthony hornby anthony.w.hornby at gmail.com
Wed Feb 27 13:23:01 EST 2008

Hi Everyone,
I have a couple of questions for the group.

Does anyone know how this will affect AARNET members if at all?

Is there likely to be any impact on universities?

Any information appreciated, however I gather from the discussion so far
information about how it is all going to "work" is pretty thin on the ground


On Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 10:16 AM, Bernard Robertson-Dunn <brd at iimetro.com.au>

> Net filter at test phase
> Fran Foo
> February 26, 2008
> Australian IT
> http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,23274585-15306,00.html
> The federal Government's plan to have internet service providers filter
> pornography and other internet content deemed inappropriate for children
> is going full-steam ahead.
> Trials are to be conducted soon in a closed environment in Tasmania.
> Today is the deadline for expressions of interest to Enex TestLab, the
> Melbourne company evaluating internet service provider content filters
> on behalf of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
> ISP-based filters will block inappropriate web pages at service provider
> level and automatically relay a clean feed to households.
> To be exempted, users will have to individually contact their ISPs.
> The trial will evaluate ISP-level internet content filters in a
> controlled environment while filtering content inappropriate for
> children, Enex said.
> "We invite vendors of all types (hardware appliances, software -
> proprietary or open-source) of ISP-based internet content filters to
> participate.
> "Vendors will be involved in the installation and configuration of their
> filters to ensure their correct deployment," Enex said in a newspaper
> advertisement.
> The testing is slated for completion by July and will be followed by
> live field trials.
> Enex was selected more than six months after ACMA closed a tender for an
> organisation to test ISP-based content filters.
> "The contract has been let. It will be completed by June 30, as we
> originally planned," Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said at a
> Senate Estimates hearing last week.
> "We have indicated that there will be a field test to follow."
> The tender was awarded to Enex on January 16, ACMA spokesman Donald
> Robertson said.
> The tender closed in July and evaluation was conducted late last year,
> but ACMA decided not to let the tender until after the federal election
> caretaker period, Mr Robertson said.
> Privacy advocates have long argued that ISP-based filters are too
> onerous and web users should be free to choose what they want to access
> online.
> They also say several measures, including PC-based filters, would be
> more effective in protecting children online.
> The internet sector has consistently voiced concern about the
> Government's ISP filters.
> Internet Industry Association chief executive Peter Coroneos has said
> any clean feed policy would have to be balanced against the likely
> financial and performance costs, and ACMA's first annual report to
> Senator Conroy confirmed his fears.
> On the performance impact of filters, ACMA said: "In the case of
> personal computers the cost of upgrading processing power may be modest
> (although significant in terms of household income).
> "However, for ISPs the cost of upgrading or augmenting the expensive
> hardware that they typically deploy may be substantial, particularly for
> small providers."
> The report, released last week, also conceded that Web 2.0 technology
> poses the greatest threat to the younger generation.
> "The risks to Australian youth are primarily those associated with Web
> 2.0 services - potential contact by sexual predators, cyber-bullying by
> peers and misuse of personal information," ACMA said.
> The rise in popularity of social networking websites such as Facebook
> and MySpace, coupled with a dive in the use of email, has made it
> difficult to filter content.
> "Filters are currently unable to sift the content of communication
> between users using instant messaging or chat services," ACMA said.
> The agency concluded that education was the most effective way of
> addressing risks associated with illegal contact online.
> --
> Regards
> brd
> Bernard Robertson-Dunn
> Sydney Australia
> brd at iimetro.com.au
> _______________________________________________
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