Cabletron sees business rewards in Net censorship plans

Networking vendor Cabletron Systems has weighed into the Internet censorship debate, issuing a press release backing the federal government's controversial plan.

Ian Fewtrell, Cabletron's managing director, released a statement late last week that said in part: "The government is establishing a regime to regulate what is carried on on the Internet using the latest technology to achieve it.

"It means that the technology on which Cabletron's SmartSwitch router is built can be used to monitor the Internet traffic in Australia . . . the government's strategy was sound and could be implemented using Cabletron's technology."

Asked if the release is an admission that Cabletron is against freedom of speech on the Internet, Fewtrell said: "From a company perspective, we're apolitical. We're not discussing censorship at all; censorship is something for the Australian people to determine. What we're talking about is the ability to monitor [Internet content]."

While he denied the vendor was throwing its weight behind the plan, Fewtrell conceded it does stand to gain new business if the federal government's censorship strategy is given the nod.

"I'd be silly to say there are no business benefits associated with [the censorship plan]. What we're saying is that technically it is sound and the legislation can be supported from a technical perspective.

"We are not supporting the legislation in terms of the censorship issue, that's something for the Australian people, not us, to decide," he claimed.

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