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Aussie ISP pulls out of firewall trial

Can't reconcile with corp responsibility

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iiNet, Australia's third largest Internet Service Provider, is withdrawing from the government's censorship trial.

Communications minister Stephen Conroy is pushing ahead with a trial of filtering technology to clean up the internet as seen by Aussie citizens. Conroy claimed the list of banned websites were all related to child sexual abuse, but the publication of the list revealed this to be untrue. The list included euthanasia sites, Christian and satanic sites and even a Queensland dentist.

iiNet's boss Michael Malone said last year that the company was only taking part in the trial in order to show politicians what a dumb idea it was, and how it was a waste of public money and would not work. He described Conroy as the worst internet minister in the post's history.

Malone said:

We are not able to reconcile participation in the trial with our corporate social responsibility, our customer service objectives and our public position on censorship. 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. Everyone is repulsed by, and opposed to, child pornography but this trial and policy is not the solution or even about that.

Malone said the vast majority of child sexual abuse content was distributed using peer-to-peer networks - untouched by the Australian government planned blacklist.

iinet employs 1,400 people and has 750,000 subscribers. ®

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