[LINK] Optus says 'yes' to internet filter plan

Jan Whitaker jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Thu Apr 23 11:22:59 AEST 2009

At 08:50 AM 23/04/2009, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:

>Optus said it would send an email to residential customers about the
>trial, which will begin on May 22. Its general manager for regulatory
>compliance, Gary Smith, said customers would be able to opt out even
>after it started and only content on the official Australian
>Communications and Media Authority blacklist would be blocked.
>Some observers questioned the timing of Optus's decision to co-operate
>with the Government on this issue and whether the company was trying to
>win favour in Canberra to secure a role in the plan to build the
>national broadband network.

Can anyone explain how this is going to prove anything? Does anyone 
know what the evaluation criteria are? Are those publicly available 
in order to know what the final results mean? Is this a properly 
designed research process or just a piece of crap work where 
something will be installed and a survey of users will be conducted?

I just did a search on www.australia.gov.au on the phrase 'internet 
filter' and the first result was NetAlert. I thought that was killed 
off???? Anyway, no mention on there about any filter trials that I 
could see. The News and Events page has two announcements: Safer 
Internet Day 2009 in February and a 2008 media release.
That led me to this right side link:
This is funny! You can see all of the Minister's releases out of 
order: welcome advances in internet filter technology in 2008, filter 
list publication irresponsible in 2009, budget for internet safety in 
2008, ACMA report on internet filtering 2008, and finally the Optus 

Unfortunately, there is no found links to info about HOW the darn 
study is going to be done!! [heads up, Jasmine. It would also be 
useful in advance search to have a date of publication option by year 
at least; and interestingly the links are ONLY to the Minister's area 
of the department website, and not even a secondary link on the right 
side list for more sites.]

I *finally* got to the info by going to the department website and 
finding this area:
Will get back on the list if I find anything that indicates a proper study.

The ABC story about Optus has some interesting comments, the first 
saying that speed is already being affected [wrongly perhaps, but the 
perception is there]:
This one was interesting too:
The AFP's Online Child Sexual Exploitation Team (OCSET) had a 2007 
budget of $7.5 million, which is not enough to do its job (see Daily 
Telegraph and Australian articles about investigations into known 
paedophiles being dropped, farmed our or delay for months due to lack 
of resources). An additional $2.8 million which was supposed to go to 
OCSET was instead redirected towards Senator Conroy's $44.5 million 
filtering trial.

and this:
Once in place it will also become a tool for industry, eg the coal 
industry supports the government and consequently clean energy 
sources are not given proper consideration if a new technology were 
to be developed, the concerned industry can simply request this 
information be blocked under threat of the government losing its support.

Looks like people are starting to think beyond the surface arguments 
from Senator Con.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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