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

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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.

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Stan

Canada

Yes but dont you think it's a worthwhile endeavor? I mean, everything else seems to warrant millions of dollars of research and development.. why not the battle against child pornography and hate crimes on the Internet? Who cares how long it takes?!

Posted November 15, 2008 04:45 PM

Kyle

Canada

Stan, the fact of the matter, and purpose of the article is to show that the effort is fruitile, and a waste of tax-payers money. As a networking professional, i know first hand that any type of of filter for content-filtering can be bypassed, and will require greats amount of time and money to keep blocking the content from the few that do get their content filtered.

Posted November 23, 2008 07:38 PM

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