Optus implements internet filter

Summary:Optus has fulfilled its pledge to filter its customers' internet traffic, blocking websites that are listed on the Interpol "worst-of" list.

Optus has fulfilled its pledge to filter its customers' internet traffic, blocking websites that are listed on the Interpol "worst-of" list.

(Censorship on Flickr image by Antonella Beccaria, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The internet service provider (ISP) has updated its website with a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page confirming its involvement in the Internet Industry Association's (IIA) filtering framework, which had already been implemented by Telstra last month.

The list of sites to be filtered is maintained by Interpol, which has a set criteria for what goes on to the list. Sites are alleged to be those depicting child sexual abuse, and Interpol claims that the domains listed are checked and verified by at least two different countries. The actual domains contained on the list are kept confidential, as they are illegal in most countries.

According to Optus' FAQ, if users discover that a legitimate site has been blocked, they should contact the Australian Federal Police (AFP) directly, which will then arrange with Interpol to launch an investigation.

It also stated that the filter should not impact internet speeds or performance.

The company has previously confirmed that the filter can be easily circumvented by users changing the Domain Name Server (DNS) settings on their computer. Users can easily opt to use another DNS system, such as Google's Public DNS, rather than Optus' filtered one.

The IIA has previously stated that it expects most ISPs to implement the filter this year. Vodafone is another ISP that may soon follow; however, other providers, such as Exetel and Internode, have expressed their opposition to the IIA's framework.

Topics: Censorship, Optus, Privacy, Security, Telcos

About

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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