No Clean Feed – stop the ISP filter in Australia

From Alan Baxter’s Blog… he had a better way of saying it than I do:

I normally try to avoid political issues on my blog here. Obviously, I’ll rip into politicians, religious leaders and so on as the mood takes me, but they bring that on themselves. But I usually try to avoid getting involved in campaigns or anything like that. This blog is all about words and stories, after all.

However, this is something that I think is really important and it does carry the possibility of affecting the words and stories available to us.

Basically, the Australian government is planning to implement a “clean feed” that would filter all internet content in every home and school in Australia. Except that it wouldn’t. It would just filter blacklisted websites. Badly. From clever starfish:

The Rudd gov­ern­ment claims that the aim of the fil­ter is to pro­tect chil­dren from inap­pro­pri­ate mater­ial. How­ever, their own report from the fil­ter tri­als reports that while the the filter’s accur­acy in block­ing inap­pro­pri­ate sites is 100% with the ini­tial list of 2000 sites, it falls to as low as 78.8% with an expan­ded black­list – how inef­fect­ive will it be with a list of 10,000 sites or more? Fur­ther­more, the fil­ter only tar­gets web traffic, leav­ing the chan­nels where most child porn exchanges take place (FTP, Bit Tor­rent, email etc) unblocked. Rely­ing on such an inef­fec­tual tool will lead par­ents to be less vigil­ant in mon­it­or­ing their children’s inter­net usage – a false sense of secur­ity that will cause more harm than good.

Not only is the fil­ter largely inef­fect­ive, it brings with it ser­i­ous per­form­ance issues that can­not be ignored. The government’s report con­cludes that the per­form­ance impact for end users is “neg­li­gible” – but the actual num­bers repor­ted vary from an actual speed increase, in one case, to decreases ran­ging from 9% up to 44%. Given how far Aus­tralia lags behind the rest of the first world in terms of net­work speeds, in our opin­ion any decrease in per­form­ance is abso­lutely unacceptable.

Not to mention that a policy of blacklisting websites is the beginning of a very slippery slope into censorship issues that have terrifying implications for freedom of speech. Click the badge below to learn more about the subject and for options on how to have your say. Don’t sit back and let them get away with this – it’s lip service and bullshit that will not do a thing to solve the problems it purports to address.


No Clean Feed - Stop Internet Censorship in Australia
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One Response to “No Clean Feed – stop the ISP filter in Australia”

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