Blacklist costs could beat filter

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.

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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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9 comments
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  • Perhaps that is why they shut down the online complaint form last year from late March to early July 2009.

    The online complaint form was brought back online in the new financial year, maybe the ACMA were having budgetary problems?
    Roo-c9614
  • Maybe this could be a way to kill the filter before it starts, lets start a protest movement and flood ACMA with pages to review now. It might show Conroy how flawed his idea is.
    brucemills
  • This is the ACMA page to lodge an online complaint:
    https://web.acma.gov.au/AimsWeb/index.html?scriptMode=true
    brucemills
  • Cash is a never ending resource for this government. Rudd throws handfuls of bills from his chariot to the people, whats a coupla hundred bucks to Conroy?
    Sending X amount of requests will not show Conroy anything. The 20 other reasons why this filter is costly inffectual exercise hasn't changed his mind - why would this?
    PipBoy78
  • For a Government that is known for splashing the cash on numerous sponge projects a mere $173 - $685 is a drop in the ocean. And as for the idea for submitting bogus sites it would take an effort on the Australian peoples part to make this happen, something that so far has been lacking in this whole internet filter debacle.
    Cry_Freedom
  • Just submit www.alp.org.au and any associated ALP websites
    merlin_1970
  • It wouldn't need a lot of people to do it, just one smart b*stard to design a botnet to flood them with url requests. (I'm not advocating that anyone do this, by the way)
    meski.oz@...
  • Of course it will massively backfire as they use it as more reason to support the filter... "Look at all the potential harm our good citizens are bringing to our attention, the problem is clearly worse then we thought."
    The Wanderer-cc237
  • The fact is that nothing changes from the existing position. The ACMA already maintains the "blacklist" that includes r18+ and X18+ sites together with the RC for the purposes of providing the current list to filter providers. The costs quoted come from the existing costs of maintaining that list.

    Indeed we have already seen attempts to make political points from vexacious referrals, a matter relatively easily addressed by a legislative process to be followed to declare a complainant vexacious (with possibility of judicial review under admin law that could be brought by the person so declared) and hence not have to consider any further referrals from them.

    How many more FUD stories can people come up with about the web page blocking proposal?
    Verity Pravda