[LINK] Exetel trial records 20,000 hits on filtered URLs
brd at iimetro.com.au
Mon May 4 16:34:53 EST 2009
Exetel trial records 20,000 hits on filtered URLs
By Ry Crozier
4 May 2009 03:57PM
Mandatory ISP filtering would cost internet users about $6 a year to
implement, according to the results of a five-day trial of the
technology by ISP Exetel.
Exetel reported in a forum post yesterday that it had completed its
trial of a content-filtering system from New Zealand's clean-feed
service provider, Watchdog.
An Exetel spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Watchdog is contributing hosted technology to the first round of the
Federal Government's filtering trials through its partnership with
Adelaide clean-feed ISP Webshield.
Watchdog's website listed it is testing Marshall 8e6, NetClean and its
own s tunnelling technologies.
The Exetel trial, which is separate from the Government's, looked only
at Netclean WhiteBox technology.
Exetel reported about 20,000 hits against a filter list of 198 website
addresses, known in internet parlance as uniform resource locators or URLs.
They are "allegedly part of an IP range that do contain child
pornography", Exetel chief executive officer John Linton said in a blog
"The figure of 20,000 doesn't represent that there were 20,000 hits on
the actual child-pornography IP [addresses in that range]," Linton said.
"If you consider that Exetel has only around 1 percent of internet users
in Australia then you might, as I was, be more than a little surprised
at how many paedophiles that implies there are in Australia - not 20,000
... but perhaps 100-plus."
He said that blocking ranges was a flawed policy because of the "ease of
which it can be got round".
In its forums, Exetel said there was "no measurable impact on any Exetel
router" or on the speed of internet access to sites that weren't blocked.
But it didn't stop 56 Exetel customers from reporting problems that they
attributed to the filters. Exetel said they were not related to the trial.
Exetel said that by early Wednesday, four customers reported that the
filter had resulted in slow internet connections but the technology had
not been turned on at that stage.
A further 11 reports of poor or degraded performance were received in
the first day of the trial.
"All the reports were for sites not in the filter list or reports of
general degradation of performance that could not be related to the
filter trial," Exetel said.
Exetel disengaged the filter at 11pm on Wednesday and did not bring it
back up until 9.45am the next day.
"Over that time, seven more reports of degraded service attributed to
the filter trial were retrieved," the ISP said.
Three customers said they would cancel their Exetel services because of
the trial, Exetel said.
One of those is Melbourne search engine optimisation business, Stewart
Media. Its founder and chief executive officer, Jim Stewart, indicated
his intention to shift his customers away from Exetel.
"I've got a fundamental opposition to the Government's filter plan,"
said Stewart, an anti-filtering advocate who recently appeared on ABC's
Q&A episode on the issue.
"I'm not going to sit back and spend money with a company that's putting
something in place I don't agree with."
Exetel concluded the trial by revealing the cost to implement a
mandatory, non-optional filter system "would be in the order of $6 per
year, per user".
It flagged the possibility to offer content filtering to users for an
additional $5 charge, which would see Exetel follow the lead of
participants in the Government's trials.
iPrimus revealed it may pre-empt the Government by subscribing
businesses to a monthly product.
Participants such as OMNIconnect indicated this could be a commercial
path they would follow.
brd at iimetro.com.au
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