Computer World is the first media outlet to question the Government’s ISP filtering opt-out policy.

Two weeks ago Internode network engineer Mark Newton confirmed there would be two black lists and adults would only be able to opt-out from the list containing inappropriate content for children. They would not be able to opt-out of the list containing illegal or inappropriate adult content, meaning all connections would still be filtered.

Now the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has been forced to respond.

Darren Pauli at CW writes:

The government will iron-out policy and implementation of the Internet content filtering software following an upcoming trial of the technology, according to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Department spokesman Tim Marshall said the filters will be mandatory for all Australians.

“Labor’s plan for cyber-safety will require ISPs to offer a clean feed Internet service to all homes, schools and public Internet points accessible by children,” Marshall said.


Internode network engineer Mark Newton said many users falsely believe the opt-out proviso will remove content filtering.

“Users can opt-out of the ‘additional material’ blacklist (referred to in a department press release, which is a list of things unsuitable for children, but there is no opt-out for ‘illegal content’”, Newton said.

Websites offering the Peaceful Pill handbook (released in digital form today) for download would likely be some of the first to be banned and that could also include popular torrent websites like Mininova where the handbook can be found.

Adult websites classified as Refused Classification by the ACB, but which are legal in Australia and the United States (and nearly every other part of the globe), could also suffer the same fate.

And lets not forget the hundreds of thousands of legal and innocent websites that will be incorrectly blocked.

Meanwhile, criminals accessing child abuse websites will still be able to do so and the horrendous production and distribution of child abuse material online and off will continue. Why does the government think censors are the ones who can fix this and not law enforcement?

Mandatory ISP filtering is about protecting votes, not children.