Telstra not playing with Conroy’s Web filter

I’m sick of everybody calling it an internet filter when it’s only a Web filter for a start, so my own little blow for public understanding that the Web is not all of the internet starts here. A filter that doesn’t block USENet groups can hardly be said to be approaching an “internet” level of filtering.

The Age: Telstra shuns internet filtering trial

Telstra’s BigPond said yesterday it would not be part of the pilot, which will run for six weeks from this month, citing “customer management issues”.

It wouldn’t say what the issues were but Telstra is believed to be worried about the effect on its reputation of any inconvenience to customers.

and

Optus said it would participate in the first part of the trial, but not the optional component. Its customers will be able to opt out of the trial.



Categories: law & order, media, technology

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3 replies

  1. Seems web censorship doesn’t even require a national ‘filter’ – an unelected and unofficial industry ‘understanding’ is enough in the UK where Wikipedia has been blocked.
    Deus Ex Macintosh’s last blog post..Hadron Collider wrecked by helium leak

  2. Nice to see Senator Conroy is getting so much eager participation from the big players in the Australian ISP market. Reading through their list of FAQs for ISPs participating in the “live pilot” is an entertaining process, too. For example:

    8. How will complaints from websites claiming they have been inappropriately blocked (i.e. over-blocking) be managed and by whom?
    Dependent on the filtering method chosen by the ISP, mechanisms to report over-blocking may be built into the solution. Enex TestLab will perform accuracy and effectiveness testing early in the Pilot for each solution. If over-blocking is detected Enex TestLab will notify the ISP and re-test until the matter is satisfactorily resolved before proceeding.
    For participating ISPs that do not have an over-blocking reporting mechanism, Enex TestLab will engage one-on-one with each respondent organisation in planning and preparation sessions to discuss and address such issues.

    Or in other words “… errrmmmm… well, we’ll deal with that as it happens.”
    I foresee many happy returns for participating ISPs over the summer of our carefully screened content.
    Meg Thornton’s last blog post..An open letter to the Minister for Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy.

  3. The SMH has come down pretty firmly today on the censorware debacle:

    “Labor plan to censor internet in shreds”

    The Government’s plan to censor the internet is in tatters, with Australia’s largest ISP saying it will not take part in live trials of the system and the second largest committing only to a scaled-back trial.[…]
    Senator Conroy’s office could not explain why it was telling people that the trials would not involve actual customers, which would give little indication of the real-world impact of the filtering plan.
    Senator Conroy himself has consistently dodged questions about his policy in Parliament.
    “How on earth could you conduct a ‘live’ trial if there are no customers to assess?” Opposition communications spokesman Nick Minchin said.
    “The minister also continues to be deliberately vague and cryptic about the definition of unwanted content and now he is unable to clarify how this so-called live trial will be conducted, even though he wants it to start before December 24.”[…]
    The plan is opposed by the Greens, Opposition, the internet industry, some child welfare advocates, consumers and online rights groups.[…and Young Labor! ~L]
    Senator Ludlam said in a phone interview he believed Labor would drop the mandatory filtering policy in the new year once the now scaled-back trials were completed.
    He said the Government could not abandon it now “without losing significant political face”.

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