Filter trial agreements imminent

Filter trial agreements imminent

Summary: The next few days will see the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy sign agreements with some of the internet service providers (ISP) who submitted applications to be a part of the ISP-level objectionable content filtering trial.

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The next few days will see the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy sign agreements with some of the internet service providers (ISP) who submitted applications to be a part of the ISP-level objectionable content filtering trial.

(Credit: DO NOT WANT Internet Filtering
by Mike Ando, aka RIUM+, CC2.0)

According to a spokesperson for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's office, the department received 16 applications. Although it had been hoping to have the trial begin before Christmas, this did not occur with the trial yet to get underway.

However, now agreements for at least some of the 16 were close to completion, the spokesperson said. In these agreements, each company would have set its own date to begin trialling the filter, instead of having a communal start. The minimum time for the ISPs to carry out the trial is six weeks.

Although some companies will have come off the block first, the others would not be excluded, instead set to reach agreement with the department later.

The government's controversial filter, which has seen passionate naysayers join together in horror on comment threads and even arrange a protest, is intended to keep internet nasties such as child pornography off Australian monitors.

Nonetheless, there has been much debate around the subject, with many believing the filter would significantly slow down internet speeds and would in any case not be effective. Some believe that the blacklist of sites would expand until free speech was impinged upon.

The criticism has not only been in the consumer arena, with ISPs themselves criticising the plan. iiNet has publicly said that it is only participating in the trial so as to prove it won't work.

Other ISPs who put in expressions of interest for the filter included Optus, Exetel, iPrimus and Unwired.

Topics: Censorship, Government AU, Telcos, Optus

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • FREE COUNTRY

    Wow!, who dares to say that this is not a free country, judging by the decision to introduce a porn filter, among other things like mandatory flouridation.

    We can easily see that freedom is at it's peak in Australia if you don't believe it, ask the ones who are behind this filtering crap they will tell you what your freedom means.

    Porn filters should be provided to those who want it, and those sickos with child tendencies should be hanged once proven gujilty, hiding the head in the sand won't make this problem dissapear but severe punisment will deter most of these maniacs.

    if this keeps going like this, soon we will have more freedom in a comunist dictator ship than in this country.

    But what the heck if you don't like it you can always move somewhere else, don't you.?
    anonymous