The Australian Government which thought it would save the
world if it was allowed to censor the internet is sitting on the results of
The trails were supposed to answer the question as to whether
or not ISPs could censor the world wide wibble without the whole lot going tits
up. Opposition politicians say that the report was written
ages ago but the government is refusing to release it. Obviously it does not
say what they want to hear, namely that effective censorship of the Internet
using white and black lists is impossible.
The Opposition's communications spokesman, Nick Minchin,
today called on the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, to "end this
farce and produce his long overdue trial results for independent
assessment". Live trials of the filtering policy, which is intended to
block "prohibited content" for all Australians as determined by a
secret Government blacklist, were initially slated to begin in December last
year and take about six weeks. The publication was pushed back until July, then
September and, today, the Government is still unable to put a date on when it
will release the results to the great unwashed.
The plan is less popular than a tax on beer and sex in
Australia. Some think that the government will use the report to quietly axe
the plan. However it would mean breaking an election promise to
wrap children and adults in bubble wrap so that they cannot be harmed by
anything which could not be handled by a nun, retired colonel, fundamentalist
Christian or looney.
It is not as if the Government didn't try to fix the test
so that it could work. Only Eight small ISPs and one big one tested the
software on a limited basis. How that would reflect into the real world where
there are huge amounts of data involved, the government did not say. To make matters worse, the Government has said that it
has no criteria to determine whether the trials of the scheme were a success.
Last year a report told the government that its filtering
policy was fundamentally flawed. The government tried to sit on that report
too, but it was leaked to the media.