Interpol blacklist goes live in Canberra

Canberra-based internet service provider (ISP) CyberOne is believed to be the first in Australia to implement voluntary internet filtering against Interpol's "worst-of-the-worst" blacklist of child exploitation material.

Canberra-based internet service provider (ISP) CyberOne is believed to be the first in Australia to implement voluntary internet filtering against Interpol's "worst-of-the-worst" blacklist of child exploitation material.

Filtering was turned on this morning for the ISP's customers connected via the TransACT hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) cable network. CyberOne's DSL and wireless customers are not yet filtered.

"We are very happy that we can do something to disrupt the activities of child pornographers," said CyberOne founder Maciej Mikrut in a media release. Implementing the Interpol blacklist was "a great step forward", he said.

According to Mikrut, it took "about 10 minutes" to install the filtering using the ContentKeeper Web (CK-Web) appliance from ContentKeeper Technologies, Australia's largest provider of content-filtering technologies.

"Interpol are very enthusiastic about getting the list as widely distributed worldwide as possible so that they can begin to really interrupt the operations of the child pornographers," said Mark Riley, ContentKeeper's chief technology officer. "It's an interruption concept."

Riley confirmed that the Interpol blacklist operates at the domain level. If the police find any extreme child exploitation material hosted, the entire domain is added to the blacklist. ISP customers attempting to access a blacklisted domain are redirected to an Interpol-supplied block page hosted on ContentKeeper's servers.

"If a hosting provider is a bit recalcitrant about taking content down, and they leave content that is known to be inappropriate up, they will then be put on the list, and amazingly, within minutes the actual content will be removed." Riley told ZDNet Australia. "Having that amount of leverage over a hosting provider seems to have very, very positive outcomes."

ContentKeeper has been working with Interpol in France, and with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) locally since last year, to implement the Interpol database. Riley declined to say how the blacklist is transferred securely from Interpol's headquarters in Lyon to Canberra, except to say that "the transmission mechanism is highly secure".

ISPs would typically install the ContentKeeper solution using a mirror port, said Riley, so the appliance is essentially transparent to the ISP's network. ContentKeeper says the system can be scaled to handle multiple 10Gbps streams.

Filtering based on the Interpol blacklist is expected to be implemented by Telstra in the next few weeks, and by member ISPs of the Internet Industry Association (IIA) over the coming year.