[LINK] ISPs clustered for filtering trials
brd at iimetro.com.au
Thu Jan 29 19:13:39 AEDT 2009
ISPs clustered for filtering trials
January 28, 2009
The Australian IT
Participants in the federal Government's controversial mandatory
internet filtering scheme will start live trials in batches, instead of
Sixteen expressions of interest for the trial have been received from
small, medium and large ISPs, and the Department of Broadband,
Communications and the Digital Economy is considering which providers
should be invited to take part in the test.
It is understood that since the size of the ISPs vary, they could be
grouped together in blocks; the start and end date for trials would
differ depending on the groupings.
Live trials will be conducted by Enex TestLab, the Melbourne outfit that
conducted the first laboratory, or closed, trials of internet filtering
products under the Howard regime.
Ideally, ISPs will participate in the pilot for a minimum of six weeks.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy hopes to introduce two forms of
content filtering: a mandatory scheme based on a blacklist of illegal
web pages, and an optional "clean feed" of links that would
automatically block certain types of content, such as adult material.
It would be up to individual ISPs to select customers for trials on the
blacklisted pages, collated and managed by the Australian Communications
and Media Authority (ACMA).
ISPs have the option of testing network performance against a list of
approximately 10,000 sites but without involving customers.
Optus, for example, has only chosen to trial the blacklist, which
comprises 1370 URLs based on 1125 separate domains. The list is compiled
based on complaints lodged with ACMA by members of the public.
According to ACMA, 864 web pages relate to content falling under the RC
classification, including 674 pages containing child sexual abuse content.
The RC classification restricts depictions of child pornography,
bestiality, excessive violence or sexual violence, detailed instruction
in crime, violence or drug use, and/or material that advocates terrorism
Labor's promise to censor the internet was a key election commitment.
However, details of Labor's censorship policy will only be developed
after the live trials and consultations with stakeholders, Senator
Conroy has said in answer to parliamentary questions on notice.
Access to search engine tools will not be blocked to prevent
circumvention of the filter, the minister said.
Child protection lobbyists want more engagement between Government and
children who are major stakeholders in the internet filtering debate.
As reported yesterday, Save the Children Australia and the National
Children's and Youth Law Centre have yet to be convinced of the
effectiveness of a mandatory filter and would wait until the
Government's youth advisory group was consulted.
"We're agnostic about the mandatory filtering trials," Save the Children
child rights adviser Holly Doel-Mackaway said. "If it's an opt-in filter
we would agree."
Following its election, the Government set up a youth advisory group
comprising 15 schools to guide it on cyber-safety policies.
Ms Doel-Mackaway called on the Government to take children's input
seriously when forming policy.
"We want the children's comments to be documented and made public," she
The department has yet to say when trials would kick-off.
Note: This story has been updated since first published. Actual sexual
activity between consenting adults falls under X18+ classification of
the films table of the National Classification Code and not RC
brd at iimetro.com.au
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