Feeds

Oz watchdogs howl over 'Cyber-Safety' net filter

Can you opt-out?

Boost IT visibility and business value

Aussie civil liberties watchdogs are warning the country's "Cyber-Safety" internet filter plan won't actually let adults choose to opt-out from web censorship.

The Australian Labor party's $125.8m proposal is being pitched as a means to prevent children from accessing online pornography. The scheme includes a choice to opt-out, but many are now claiming the option won't in fact prevent internet censorship altogether.

Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) said even those who don't want their internet filtered will still be put on a second, secret blacklist designed to block "illegal" content.

"The news for Australian Internet users just keeps getting worse," said EFA spokesperson Colin Jacobs. "We have legitimate concerns with the creeping scope of this unprecedented interference in our communications infrastructure. It's starting to look like nothing less than a comprehensive program of real-time Internet censorship."

The concern appears to have its origins from a forum post by Mark Newton, a network administrator for the ISP Internode.

"The Government's plan is for there to be two blacklists, one for 'unsuitable for children,' and another one for 'unsuitable for adults,'" he wrote.

"The much-touted 'opt-out' would merely involve switching from blacklist number 1 to blacklist number 2."

"Under the proposal, there's no scope at all to switch to no blacklist at all. Regardless of your personal preference, your traffic will pass through the censorship box."

Reports of a secret secondary blacklist remain unconfirmed, due to the government's mixed messages on proposed opt-out provisions.

But the threat of such a system is enough to make pundits rather uneasy. Not only because the filter may incorrectly block websites or even controversial opinions, but because it may have an effect on Australia's internet speed and availability. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.