In a surprise move, Senator Kate Lundy has thown her support behind the Federal Government’s controversial ISP-level internet filter.
In a blog post titled My thoughts on the Filter, Lundy outlined the history behind the concept; the political argy bargy and its feasibility.
“At the time, I took comfort in the seemingly well-established ‘fact’ that such a filter was not technically feasible and that any reasonable test would establish this ‘fact’ yet again,” wrote Lundy.
The debate surrounding the mandatory filtering of content is highly vocal and impassioned — just type #nocleanfeed into Twitter and you are inundated with news and views on the subject.
And the idea of a filter has posed somewhat of a problem for Lundy, who has long advocated for an open internet. In her post, Lundy outlines the reasons behind her seeming about-turn and where she stands on Senator Conroy’s current strategy.
“To Minister Conroy’s credit, he tackled the issue of defining exactly what was proposed as being filtered: the content that could not be regulated here because it was not on a server in Australia, and was incabable of being classified within our system of classification, hence refused classification, or ‘RC’,” she wrote.
Lundy said Conroy’s announcement that RC material would be subject to the filter helped resolve some of the concern about the lack of detail as to what would be censored.
“Material that is deemed RC by a properly skilled entity such as the classification board affords more confidence than the previous methodology, which had given rise to much of the concern about unjustified, unfair or plain wrong blacklisting of web sites based on complaints because there was no transparent system or method of picking the sites,” Lundy wrote.
She also referred to the recent report from Enex Test Labs, saying she was aware of the debate surrounding the technical detail and scope of the tests, but that the testers considered them successful.
“Did I expect this? Frankly, no…But again, for all intents and purposes, the Minister had abided by his commitment to ensure the policy was grounded in evidence that it did what it said it did. The industry’s original claims that the filters were not feasible were proved false.”
Lundy plans to advocate an approach that recognises the openess principle but she says she will be bound by Labor Caucus’ position on the matter.
“I am keenly aware that many mechanisms used by criminal networks will not be stopped through a filtering mechanism, and I believe the complementary strategies being put in place are good, such as increased funding for the AFP to tackle cybercrime and online safety education.”
More Computerworld coverage on the internet content filter
- Child groups slam Conroy’s ISP filtering plans
- Greens, EFA critical of ISP filtering plans
- ISP-level filter trial vendor happy with results
- Google 'concerned' over Australian mandatory ISP-level filter
- Smith calls for independent audit of Internet content filter trial results
- Internode: ISP-level filter goals still not clear
- ISP-level filter bad for industry
- Budde: Worries remain over ISP-level content filter
- Mandatory ISP-Level Filtering report released
- Report ticks filtered Internet