ISP-Level Internet Filtering in Australia
(link) Thursday, 31-July-2008 05:48:30 (GMT +10) - by Agg
The Federal Government has declared recent trials of ISP-level internet filtering in Australia a success. ACMA said a range of filtering products were tested on network performance, effectiveness in identifying and blocking illegal and inappropriate content, and their customisation capabilities.
However, Electronic Frontiers Australia have labelled it a failure. “Leaving aside the serious privacy and free speech implications of mandatory ISP-based Internet filtering, the government’s own trial shows that ISP-based filtering can cause serious performance degradation and is not accurate enough to be forced upon people who don’t want to use them,” said EFA Chair Dale Clapperton.
The System Administrators Guild of Australia has strong concerns also. In 2008, less than one third of the traffic carried by a typical Australian ISP's backbone is HTTP. The most prevalent means of distributing online content, including the content unsuitable for minors which Senator Conroy claims to want to address, is BitTorrent (a peer-to-peer networking protocol). Short of blocking peer-to-peer and instant messaging systems outright, none of the systems tested were able to filter these protocols.