iiNet denies support for ISP-level filter

This proposed filter is a waste of money: iiNet

Australian Internet service provider (ISP) iiNet has denied claims it supports the Government's proposed mandatory Internet filter.

Communications minister, Stephen Conroy, was recently reported as suggesting he had the support of 85 per cent of providers on the filter, including iiNet.

"The proposed filter is fundamentally flawed, will not achieve its stated purpose and simply will not work. It is fundamentally bad policy,” said iiNet’s chief executive officer, Michael Malone. “We do not and never have supported such a system."

iiNet has previously voiced concerns about the filter, with chief regulatory officer, Stephen Dalby, calling it an “ideological approach aimed at a political objective". Dalby recently told Computerworld Australia that the company had noted the number of people protesting against the filter.

"This government has announced it will legislate to introduce filtering regardless of industry and community concern,” Dalby said.

"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.”

In denying Conroy’s claims, Mr. Malone noted that the filter will not apply to peer-to-peer networks or online chat, where illegal material is typically exchanged.

“No western country operates a mandatory filter like this,” said Mr Malone. “This proposal lines Australia up with Burma, Saudi Arabia and China, and has rightly attracted criticism from technical experts, the industry, child safety groups and even the US government."

He also highlighted iiNet’s involvement in the Government consultation process and their attempts to introduce some transparency measures, yet denied that their involvement indicated support for the proposed filter.

"Our position is unchanged. This proposed filter is a waste of money that should be instead spent on additional law enforcement and education resources.”

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