Australia's tubes, some are about to be filtered

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Australia's tubes, some are about to be filtered

Well, if you're using one of six ISPs. The first "phase" of the government's controversial ISP filtering scheme is set to begin.

The big news? Telstra, Optus, iiNet, and any other major ISP you care to mention (except Primus) are not in the initial list of ISPs taking part in the six week Live Pilot.

Depending on how you feel about anti-porn measures, and whether they'll destroy the  Internet as we know it, this may or may not be a good thing.

But then, there's nothing to say Optus won't step into the filtering frenzy at some point. As Senator Conroy noted in today's announcement, the door is still open to the possibility of other ISPs taking part.

The initial list of ISPs jumping on the cyber-safety bandwagon are Primus Telecommunications, Tech 2U, Webshield, OMNIconnect, Netforce and Highway 1.

The initial trial will begin once ISPs have equipment in place (no word in Conroy's announcement on when this will be).

Today's announcement points out the initial filtering trial is optional, though it's not clear to us at this stage whether that applies to the longterm plan - which involves an illegal content filter, and a secondary optional adult filter.

If you've read our ongoing coverage of the Live Pilot, or "clean feed" as some have called it, you'll already be aware of the issues:

-         Some argue filtering will slow down Internet speeds

-         Christian and family groups are supporting filters

-         It may be possible to bypass Net filters

-         Telstra has decided not to take part

-         The Government has not ruled out filtering peer-to-peer file sharing traffic, such as BitTorrent

 

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