Jesse Brown: Iran, China and Australia? Oz moves closer to world-class Net censorship


Australian Internet Service Provider iiNet has agreed to take part in a “ridiculous” trial of a government web filter just to “prove how stupid it is.”

The above quotations come from iiNet executive Michael Malone, in response to the Labor Government’s plans to block all “illegal” content at the ISP level, which would make Australia the world’s only first-world Western democracy to do so.

But Malone says the plan is technically impossible, and he’s keen to prove it:

"They're not listening to the experts, they're not listening to the industry, they're not listening to consumers, so perhaps some hard numbers will actually help. Every time a kid manages to get through this filter, we'll be publicizing it and every time it blocks legitimate content, we'll be publicizing it."

Listen to Search Engine next week for an interview with Michael Malone.

An interview request has also been filed with Australia's Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, who is conducting the trials, and who has been called by Malone "the worst Communications Minister we've had since the [internet] industry has existed”.

Meanwhile, to hear about the previous Australian’s government’s failed attempt to create porn-filtering software, click here and go to 15 minutes in. It’s from the first episode of Search Engine, where I interviewed Tom Wood, a 16-year-old kid who cracked the $84 million filter in under 30 minutes.