Saturday, October 18, 2008

'Net filters "required" for all Australians, no opt-out

Earlier in 2007 the Australian government announced that there would be a continent-wide network filter that would keep citizens from accessing illegal content such as pornographic material inappropriate for children and content that is potentially hazardous. Just recently it was released that Australians were not going to be able to completely opt out entirely from the Australian cyber safety plan as they were originally led to believe. The specific filtering requirement implementations, the government says, is going to cost AUS$189 million. These filtering requirements on ISP's would have to use the Australian Communication and Media Authorities Blacklist, which is a list of the restricted websites. They first began testing the system at the beginning of this year contrary contrary to the public outcry. At first the government stated that if the user wished they could obtain unfiltered connectivity by requesting it thus bypassing the filtering system in its entirety. It turns out now that the users will no matter what be able to bypass the internet blacklist which in addition to the basic filter, filters the content not safe for children as well as content deemed illegal. The public finds "illegal" to be a very broad definition and wonders how the government will classify its "illegal content". The government had run tests in 2006 which concluded that the ISP filtering was not cost not effective and very expensive. The government is ignoring their own test results and going through with it.


Patrick T said...

I just can't see this as "good" for the people. People will only be able to go to sites deemed appropriate by their government. And to get to a site that is blocked you have to ask permission from the government. So in a sense the Australian people are like children that have to go to the government to get permission to do something on the net.

patrick morrison said...

this seems like a first step down a slippery slope for australia. I doubt it will last.