Blacklist costs could beat filter

Summary:Today the costs of running a blacklist were made clear, showing that the filter could be a very expensive operation.

Today the costs of running a blacklist were made clear, showing that the filter could be a very expensive operation.

When a URL is submitted to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) it will cost between $173 and $685 per item to investigate, regardless of whether it is "refused classification" or not.

The dollar value was revealed in answer to Greens communications spokesperson Scott Ludlam who had asked ACMA how much it cost to action URLs submitted for the Classification Board to classify.

"In 2008-09, the average cost to ACMA of investigating an item of online content that was not referred to the Classification Board was approximately $173 per item. For items that were referred to the Classification Board this was $685 per item, which included the cost of the ACMA preparing and administering the referrals," ACMA said.

If I wanted to stymie the filter, I'd just keep bombarding ACMA's online complaint form with questionable URLs. If lots of people did this — and we know there are lots of people who feel strongly about the filter — it would only be a matter of time before the costs blew out to completely unmanageable levels.

Topics: Censorship, Government : AU

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