iPrimus to start filtering in April

iPrimus to start filtering in April

Summary: iPrimus, one of the six ISPs chosen by the government to participate in Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's first filtering trial, has said that the trial will begin late April or early May.

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iPrimus, one of the six ISPs chosen by the government to participate in Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's first filtering trial, has said that its trial will begin late April or early May.

Stephen Conroy
(Credit: DBCDE)

The trial, which will run for a period of six weeks, will be opt-in for customers. ISPs have been able to choose their starting dates, according to Andrew Sims, Primus general manager of Marketing & Products, but they must finish the trial by 30 June.

The ISP chose to give its team of up to 30 people time to scope out the trial from an IT and systems perspective, while still having enough buffer at the end to comfortably meet the deadline, Sims told ZDNet.com.au this morning.

The government had specified which filtering products it wanted participants to use, Sims said, but he would not name them. The necessary software and hardware will be arriving at Primus over the next couple of weeks.

Sims was not able to put a dollar figure on the cost of participating, as the company was still working that out. The government would compensate trial participants for the costs of hardware and software, he said. Primus would also attempt to claim out of pocket expenses such as wages for the team working on the project, but he didn't know if that would be approved.

Primus will email all of its internet customers within the next day or two to tell them that it was participating in the trial and again a couple weeks before the trial started to ask people to volunteer.

Ideally, the number of participants should be between five and 10 thousand, Sims said, a figure he did not doubt Primus could meet. "We have a very family-orientated demographic," he said.

Sims urged those who felt strongly about the trial to take part in the pilot. "If they are against it, the best way to voice that opinion is to participate in the trial," he said. "You can't knock it until you trial it."

Conroy said yesterday that this phase of the trial was only involving the "initial six" ISPs, so others who registered their interest such as Optus could follow in a second wave.

Topics: Government AU, Legal, Telcos

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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4 comments
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  • net filtering

    ....why? oh, that's right, because the government knows what I want and don't want access to.

    i guess they're just getting things in place to ensure a smooth transition to chinese government once we've allowed their companies to buy Aus mines.
    anonymous
  • Isp Filtering

    Why are we not being given details about what will be filtered? This is just the start of this government's whittling away of our freedoms. Rudd is so far up China's ass, what else could we expect ?
    anonymous
  • Censorship ahoy!

    The first steps toward censorship always begin with laying the framework to enable said censorship.
    Then, they start by filtering out things that the vast majority of people will not object to.
    After a while, more and more topics will become taboo, such as holocaust research, which will instantly blacklist most of the alternative media, thus limiting people's access to information to only those sources deemed "safe" for general consumption, ie, those companies that can buy their way out.

    I might trial this out and perform download speed, ping & trace route tests to see just how bad this "solution" is. I'm sure it'll be easy to bypass, but if my connection slows down, there will be hell to pay.
    anonymous
  • Censoring Critical opinion

    What the Australian Govt are up to is keeping secret blacklists of the sites it wants banned from Australian eyes. This is KGB style tactics. If they honestly wanted to remove websites with illegal content they could simply report the site to the Hosting company which will then see they've breached Terms of Service and remove the offending site.

    Blanket censoring everyone's computer because of a few bad sites is a weak way of introducing Australians to communist style of Information control.
    anonymous