The great Australian firewall

There’s been quite a bit of media interest lately about the Australian Government’s daft idea to force Australian ISPs to install compulsory filters that will ban sites the Government deems undesirable.

Radio NZ did a piece this morning:

The Australian government plans to force Australian ISPs to filter out more than a thousand websites with content including child pornography, excessive violence, crime and drug information as well as promoting terrorism.

The policy, dubbed the ‘Great Aussie Firewall’, has been met with a storm of criticism across the Tasman.

Internet New Zealand board member David Farrar says much of the banned content is traded over peer-to-peer networks which won’t be caught by filters.

He says the filters will also cause a sharp fall in download speeds for Australian users.

Internet Service Providers Association of New Zealand president Jamie Baddeley said the policy is insane and unworkable.

But he says it is symptomatic of pressure coming on ISPs to do more to police the internet.

One can also listen to the full item, at the bottom of the linked page. Jordan Cater is also interviewed.

I’ve also just been interview by TV3 for their 6 pm news tonight on the same issue.

I commented that luckily in NZ we have far smarter MPs, and I doubt more than a handful here would back some sort of compulsory government filter.

Also put in a plug for Netsafe, who provide really great resources for those worried about Internet safety.

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