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Wednesday, 02 September 2009 10:44

Aussie government sits on censorship trial results

Written by Nick Farell


Image

Embarrassment


The
Australian Government which thought it would save the world if it was allowed to censor the internet is sitting on the results of technology trials.

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.

Nick Farell

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