iiNet has decided to withdraw its application to
participate in the Federal Government's internet filtering
Michael Malone(Credit: iiNet)
iiNet's managing director Michael Malone said that despite
drawn-out negotiations with the department of Broadband,
Communications and the Digital Economy, it was obvious no agreement
could be reached.
Malone stated that the recent
media storm around the leaked
blacklist of URLs similar to the ACMA blacklist was part of the reason iiNet had decided to withdraw,
along with the policy which was always changing and "confused"
explanations of the trial's purpose.
"It became increasingly clear that the trial was not simply
about restricting child pornography or other such illegal material,
but a much wider range of issues including what the government
simply describes as 'unwanted material' without an explanation of
what that includes," Malone said in a statement.
Malone said that although everyone was against child
pornography, the filtering trial would not help keep it away from
Australian internet users.
"In reality, the vast majority of online child pornography
activity does not appear on public websites but is distributed over
peer-to-peer networks which are not and cannot be captured by this
trial or policy."
He wanted the government to rethink its approach and make clear
what it intended in terms of internet censorship.
"This lack of communication from government and bureaucracy is
rightly seen as underhand and unsavoury and is now attracting
international dismay as well as Australian disgust," Malone
iiNet was negotiating to be in the second round of filtering
trial participants. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy recently said that some of his reasoning
for choosing the
six starting ISPs was that they had said the trial could
be done with zero costs. Optus has also been talking to the government about
participating in the trial.
A spokesperson for the telco said that despite iiNet's withdrawal, Optus intended to continue its negotiations with the government concerning its participation in the trial.