iiNet has taken a swing at the Federal Government’s mandatory ISP-level filter, calling it an “ideological approach aimed at a political objective”.
iiNet's chief regulatory officer, Stephen Dalby, said the ISP considered the large number of voices arguing that ISP-level filtering does not work and does not address the issue protecting children from inappropriate content had fallen of deaf governmental ears.
"This government has announced it will legislate to introduce filtering regardless of industry and community concern,” Dalby said. “No amount of carefully argued submissions will change an ideological approach aimed at a political objective."
The comments follow the ISP’s decision not to contribute a submission on the Federal Government’s Mandatory ISP filtering: Measures to increase accountability and transparency for Refused Classification material discussion paper.
Just four ISPs — Telstra, Optus, WBA and Internode — issued a submission on the discussion paper, with one ISP chief executive officer saying that the timing of the discussion paper — issued in December and closing for comment in February — suggested a lack of sincerity on the Government’s behalf.
“It’s also worth remembering that governments put out requests for submissions across the Christmas break when they need to (a) claim they consulted the community but (b) have no intention whatsoever of caring what they get back, because if they did, they'd ask when people weren't on holidays,” the CEO said.
iiNet’s Dalby said despite not making another formal submission on the issue, the company had, however, referred the government to previous discussions and correspondence going back to the initial announcements about the ISP-level filtering trial.
"iiNet’s position is well understood by government and is communicated publicly. We don’t support filtering," Dalby said. "We’ve told the Minister, the Department and the world at large.”
The company has blogged about the issue of mandatory ISP-level filtering, arguing that a danger of the current proposal is that it may give parents and guardians a false impression and sense of security that the government is protecting their children from harmful activity on the Internet.
“If the government continues to proceed with their ISP filtering plan we will continue to oppose it and seek to make their bad idea better by suggesting improvements,” the post reads. “But we'll hold fast in our view that it will still be a bad idea that simply won't work.”