Whirlpool founder takes aim at filter

Whirlpool founder takes aim at filter

Summary: Whirlpool founder Simon Wright has slammed the Federal Government's internet filtering plans in a fiery editorial released simultaneously with the results of the broadband forum's annual survey of its users.

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Whirlpool founder Simon Wright has slammed the Federal Government's internet filtering plans in a fiery editorial released simultaneously with the results of the broadband forum's annual survey of its users.

"The Federal Government's proposed ISP-level [internet service provider] filtering policy is costly, complicated, and will be completely ineffective," wrote Wright.

Wright wondered whether there was any support for the filter policy outside the government and the "under-informed general public", as it was opposed by "so many business and consumer groups".

The survey data echoed preliminary findings that Whirlpool's users were overwhelmingly against (92.6 per cent of 23,683 verified respondents) the idea of mandatory internet filtering.

Most users were concerned about various potential negative outcomes from the proposal, including the ideas that it could reduce internet performance, make the internet less reliable, give parents a false sense of security, increase the cost of internet access, over block or restrict access to legitimate information and be abused by future governments.

A large number of users (31 per cent) though did agree it had the potential positive benefits of protecting children from harm, as well as restricting access to child pornography (39.7 per cent) and restricting access to other criminal material (23 per cent).

In a general sense the survey showed that users were still unhappy with various aspects of various ISPs — for example, with the price of Telstra and Optus' offerings or the customer service of TPG. However, the survey also demonstrated an across-the-board trend towards users not switching ISPs — churn rates are dropping.

As previously noted, the survey results show a skew towards technology-savvy users. However, Whirlpool is unapologetic about this.

"These results largely represent the views of informed opinion leaders, and informed consumers. We have not attempted to normalise the results to represent the broader marketplace, as we believe the information to be more valuable with this bias intact," the site stated.

"The group surveyed are more likely to be advising friends, family and co-workers on which ISP to join. Broadband service providers should pay close attention to this demographic, as their influence wields significant impact."

Topics: Censorship, Government AU

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15 comments
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  • Susan Miles

    I firmly support the filter as I believe it will make our children safer and happier, allowing Australia to set a shining moral path of righteousness for the rest of the world to follow. I should point out however that I also believe in God and have an IQ of 81.
    anonymous
  • This will not protect children

    I think biggest problem with this filter is, lots of parents think it will keep their children away from unwanted materials. But if you look at the filters available all have lots of loop holes and they are not effective as they think unless all the end-user computers in a controlled environment. Even some might think this will stop virus.
    Who ever wanted filtered materials they will get it, only more harder than before.
    If somebody wanted to protect children they should install filtering software in their computer with good anti virus and not allow children to install any software. But still you have to monitor them. Because these software always now work as they advertised.
    anonymous
  • Susan Miles comment

    I do not support the filter, and FYI Susan, I believe in God, and work in IT, and have a higher than average IQ.

    Please don't stereotype.
    anonymous
  • Article mistake.

    The author of this article has made a mistake with, "After all, dynamic filtering is horrendously inaccurate. Relying upon fuzzy algorithms to police the internet is a fool's errand, and would put internet-enabled industries across Australia at grave risk."

    If you read Mr Wrights article you will see that the Government is not proposing this type of filter which Mr Wright acknowledges.

    You have quoted out of context....

    I am against any filter, but please get your facts right and quote Mr Wright correctly.
    anonymous
  • Susan's Comment

    Susan,

    Just because you believe in God doesn't mean that this is a right decision from the Government.

    A blanket internet filter isn't the right way to police the children from the nasties on the internet. Its all about education and the parents controlling the access to the required computers these kids use.

    If the government are to control ALL pipes coming in and out of Australia, what's next? What happened to free speech? What happened to the right to choose?
    anonymous
  • errr

    "A large number of users (31 per cent) though did agree it had the potential positive benefits of protecting children from harm, as well as restricting access to child pornography (39.7 per cent) and restricting access to other criminal material (23 per cent)."

    that really should be amended to read a *significant* number of users.... in reality, the 'large numbers of users' are the 69 percent NOT agreeing the filter has potential benefit protecting kids from harm and the 60 percent who see it NOT restricting access to CP.

    over 2/3 and then 3/5th of the survey population disagreeing with the two propositions says a lot more about the uphill work Conroy has in achieving his aims than it does about those convinced it will have utility in those areas.

    FWIW i did not complete the survey either but i certainly would have been part of the 90+% against the policy had i done so. I certainly would have disagreed with the two propositions that did draw the most support - as the policy stands there are too many holes and back doors to say it will protect kids or restrict anyone intent on acquiring what they desire. its disappointing people can claim positives where there are none to be had.
    anonymous
  • n/a

    Obviously you two have your sarcasm meters broken.
    anonymous
  • Mistake

    Very true. I have removed the quote which was out of context.
    anonymous
  • vote changer

    Ive got news for you Mr Rudd "This Filter issue will cost you dearly at the next election " wait and see ....
    anonymous
  • Too true!

    Can't believe someone thought that was serious!
    anonymous
  • I wish you were right... but

    unfortunately, Father Tony Abbott is in favour of the filter as well. It would therefore seem the most enlightened party running for election will be the flat earth party!
    anonymous
  • The two headed horse

    Two-headed typo. Rudd hates the Internet the sooner this 'bumbling' fool."is booted the better
    anonymous
  • Internet filtration device

    Kevin rudd and our intrepid internets minister stevo conroy are leading this country to internet filtered glory by....

    Ignoring any opinion/advice from industry experts and going ahead and implementing it anyway.

    Announcing their internet filtering scheme trialing it and then pretending it does not exist.

    and finally

    Coming up with a filtration device so sophisticated that it can be circumvented by anyone who knows what tor or a vpn is.
    anonymous
  • Greens

    I'll be voting for the Greens in both houses at the next election. In Tasmania it's looking likely that they will get a third of votes, as will Labor and Liberal - leading to a three way split of power. That might help prevent ridiculous ideas like this filter coming up again.

    Liberal will implement an even more stupid filter policy if elected, so voting for them doesn't help (and means a return to WorkChoices).
    anonymous
  • Filters should be voluntary

    This is not Iran or China, this is Australia.

    I agree that certain filters should be in place to protect children etc (as the Internet is pretty nasty in some places - like real life I suppose), but these filter should be voluntary to use. Perhaps it should be mandatory for ISP's to make such filters available, if requested/required by the customer. Filters should be there, but the freedom to use them should also be there.
    anonymous