Feeds

Oz watchdogs howl over 'Cyber-Safety' net filter

Can you opt-out?

The Power of One Infographic

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. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.