[LINK] Rudd Government's internet filter to block up to 10, 000 'unwanted' sites

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Thu Nov 13 14:12:29 AEDT 2008

Rudd Government's internet filter to block up to 10,000 'unwanted' sites
By Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
November 13, 2008 10:44am
The Australian IT

AUSTRALIA'S mandatory internet filter is being primed to block 10,000 
websites as part of a blacklist of unspecified "unwanted content", 
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy revealed in Federal Parliament.

The 10,000 blocked websites would include 1300 websites already 
blacklisted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Senator Conroy revealed details of the Rudd Government's proposed web 
filter as he called for expressions of interest from internet service 
providers for a live trial of the technology.

As part of the trial, ISPs will test different methods of filtering the 
web with subscribers who volunteer. The trial is expected to last six 
weeks and will start before Christmas.

"The pilot will specifically test filtering against the ACMA blacklist 
of prohibited content, which is mostly child pornography, as well as 
filtering of other unwanted content," Senator Conroy told Parliament.

"While the ACMA blacklist is currently around 1300 URLs, the pilot will 
test against this list as well as filtering for a range of URLs to 
around 10,000 so that the impacts on network performance of a larger 
blacklist can be examined."

ACMA's laboratory trial of web-filtering technology this year found 
filtering technology could slow internet access by as much as 87 per 
cent and by at least 2 per cent.

Electronic Frontiers Australia board member Colin Jacobs says live 
trials of ISP-based web filters would be rushed, as they were scheduled 
to occur as internet companies geared down for Christmas.

Mr Jacobs said large internet providers such as Telstra and Optus would 
find it difficult to participate, while mid-sized providers might take 
part in the trial simply to prove the technology "unfeasible".

Mr Jacobs said the civil liberties group was also concerned at what 
would be deemed "unwanted content".

"It is unclear how ACMA will scale up their blacklist to 10,000 websites 
and what will go on the list," he said.

"Mr Conroy said the list would contain illegal and unwanted content but 
we still have to see what would end up on that list.

"Under the current mandate that includes adult material, which would 
mean most material that could be rated R and, in some circumstances, 
material rated MA15+."


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

More information about the Link mailing list