Telstra supports Conroy's filter

Following the release of the ISP content filtering pilot report, Telstra has made a statement supporting the government's Refused Classification (RC) content blacklist.

Telstra said today that it supported the government's decision to force internet service providers (ISPs) to filter refused classification content.

"Telstra is supportive of a refused classification content blacklist of URLs compiled from the combination of a complaints-based system and known child abuse websites passed on by expert agencies in other jurisdictions," Telstra's group managing director, public policy and communications, David Quilty, said in a statement.

"We support the fact that the government intends to legislate its approach, thereby ensuring that it applies across the industry, is clearly spelt out and is enforceable by law," he said.

Telstra welcomed Conroy's consultation with ISPs on the matter and his intent to carry out further consultation. "Continued industry collaboration will promote online safety through practical and efficient implementation of the government's strategy," Quilty said.

Telstra believed that blocking of URLs on a blacklist was feasible and practical to implement, without a significant impact on network performance, as long as it was limited to a defined number of URLs.

It had conducted its own blacklist filtering trial in April 2009 using a test environment and 10,000 random URLs (unlike the ACMA list used by government trials). However, the trial noted that it was possible for the filter to fail when applied to heavily trafficked sites, and didn't trial the system's ability to prevent circumvention, as Telstra felt that tech savvy users would always be able to avoid filters.

Despite approving the legislation to make filtering mandatory, Telstra cautioned the government that it would not be a silver bullet to make the internet safe. "Other factors critical to internet safety include user-based PC filtering, the creation of safer learning and social networking environments, appropriate supervision and involvement by parents and teachers, education, law enforcement and international cooperation," Quilty said.

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