Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I can't believe it has gone this far...

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has urged internet service providers (ISP) and mobile telephone operators to participate in a live trial of the government's proposed internet filtering system.

Australia's level of net censorship will put it in the same league as countries including China, Cuba, Iran and North Korea, and the Government will not let users opt out of the proposed national internet filter when it is introduced.

I can't believe it has gone this far. Stephen Conroy wants to filter the internet for all Australians!!

A recent ACMA report on ISP filtering products showed that all of the products tested degraded Internet performance, with two of them reducing speed by more than 75 per cent. One filter reduced network speed by only 2 per cent, but it was one of the least accurate at identifying inappropriate and illegal websites. It also mistakenly blocked many innocent sites.

extra ISP infrastructure needed to meet the burden of filtering will drive up the cost of your internet service bill. Network engineer Mark Newton says ISPs will also require more call centre staff to deal with angry customers who can't access websites.

Large operators may be able to absorb these costs, but small ISPs risk going under and consumer choice becoming limited. As a matter of fact, all businesses risk losing out under the Government's plan. Given the rate the tested filters block innocent websites, a whopping 10,000 out of every one million at best, it won't take long for sites belonging to the local plumber or GP to be mistaken and banned. Any loss of income due to website downtime is inexcusable and it's still not clear if or how we'll be able to appeal a decision.

Australians will pay for ISP filtering with decreased performance and higher charges, but to limit the free flow of information that makes the Internet the most valuable communication and education tool of our time, means we'll pay a much larger price in the long term.

Managing director of iiNet, Michael Malone, says Stephen Conroy ‘is the worst Communications Minister we’ve had in the 15 years since the [internet] industry has existed.’ Check out Asher Moses’ article for more.

If you're as outraged as I am about this please fight back:

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