[LINK] Progress of Industry/Group representatives in trying to stop the Governments ISP Filtering proposal

Eric Scheid eric.scheid at ironclad.net.au
Tue Oct 14 11:29:06 EST 2008

On 14/10/08 11:00 AM, "Skeeve Stevens" <skeeve at skeeve.org> wrote:

> I'd like to know from the different industry groups and consumer
> advocate groups that represent us, what their progress/plans are for
> stopping the governments ISP Filtering proposal.

Saw this in my morning news... so it seems everyone (opt-in and opt-out) are
going to suffer speed problems, apart from the issues of wrongly blocked
content (and potentially political censorship .. didn't the PM and cohorts
get into a moral panic about certain artworks recently?)


> No opt-out of filtered Internet
> Policy to be set after trial
> Darren Pauli (Computerworld) 13 October, 2008 15:10:00
> Australians will be unable to opt-out of the government's pending Internet
> content filtering scheme, and will instead be placed on a watered-down
> blacklist, experts say.
> Under the government's $125.8 million Plan for Cyber-Safety, users can switch
> between two blacklists which block content inappropriate for children, and a
> separate list which blocks illegal material.
> Pundits say consumers have been lulled into believing the opt-out proviso
> would remove content filtering altogether.
> The government will iron-out policy and implementation of the Internet content
> filtering software following an upcoming trial of the technology, according to
> the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
> Department spokesman Tim Marshall said the filters will be mandatory for all
> Australians.
> ³Labor¹s plan for cyber-safety will require ISPs to offer a clean feed
> Internet service to all homes, schools and public Internet points accessible
> by children,² Marshall said.
> ³The upcoming field pilot of ISP filtering technology will look at various
> aspects of filtering, including effectiveness, ease of circumvention, the
> impact on internet access speeds and cost.²
> Internet Service Providers (ISPs) contacted by Computerworld say blanket
> content filtering will cripple Internet speeds because the technology is not
> up to scratch.
> Online libertarians claim the blacklists could be expanded to censor material
> such as euthanasia, drugs and protest.
> Internode network engineer Mark Newton said many users falsely believe the
> opt-out proviso will remove content filtering.
> ³Users can opt-out of the 'additional material' blacklist (referred to in a
> department press release, which is a list of things unsuitable for children,
> but there is no opt-out for 'illegal content'², Newton said.
> ³That is the way the testing was formulated, the way the upcoming live trials
> will run, and the way the policy is framed; to believe otherwise is to believe
> that a government department would go to the lengths of declaring that some
> kind of Internet content is illegal, then allow an opt-out.
> ³Illegal is illegal and if there is infrastructure in place to block it, then
> it will be required to be blocked ‹ end of story.²
> Newton said advisers to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy have told ISPs
> that Internet content filtering will be mandatory for all users.
> The government reported it does not expected to prescribe which filtering
> technologies ISPs can use, and will only set blacklists of filtered content,
> supplied by the Australia Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
> EFA chair Dale Clapperton said in a previous article that Internet content
> filtering could lead to censorship of drugs, political dissident and other
> legal freedoms.
> ³Once the public has allowed the system to be established, it is much easier
> to block other material,² Clapperton said.
> According to preliminary trials, the best Internet content filters would
> incorrectly block about 10,000 Web pages from one million. 

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