Conroy No Air SupplyIt wasn’t too long back that Stephen Conroy was bragging about ISPs becoming flexible to his arguments for introducing mandatory ISP filtering. They had SEEN the LIGHT!

We all knew that was a pile of horse shit. Now two of Australia’s largest ISPs, IINet and Internode, have publicly slammed the plan.

John Lindsay, Carrier Relations Manager for Internode, told ZDNet that mandatory filtering will cripple broadband in Australia:

‘We support the government’s desire to keep kids safe on the internet and certainly from any type of exploitation, but we don’t support the government crippling high-speed broadband services which they say are so essential to the development of our economy.

He also outed the plan for what it is:

Mandating [ISP-level malware filtering] would actually add value. But it wouldn’t be able to deliver on the government’s desire to stamp down on dissent or keep us in a high state of panic about certain things.

Stephen Dalby, chief regulatory officer with iiNet, wasn’t any nicer:

This whole notion of taking a technological solution to what is otherwise a social issue really has some problems... Our only concern is that the government may push this through, raise their hands and say ‘right, we’ve done something about it. Let’s hope there’s some sincerity in looking at fixing the community problems associated with this more intently.’

ZDNet says both ISPs have agreed they’ll comply with requirements to filter but Lindsay said he was ‘intrigued the government seems so confident that users will be happy to have their access slowed down to allow for filtering they don’t want.’

Oh and if you’re wondering which ISP was coming around to Conroy’s idea, it’s BigPond. Pat my back and I’ll pat yours…

Read the full report here.

Now that Kevin Rudd has made it clear his Government is siding with the experts over the alleged binge drinking problem, maybe he can side with the experts who have concluded mandatory filtering is a dangerous waste. I’m not holding my breath.

Refused Classification has an extract from Senate Estimates in May where the ACMA confirms that not just illegal sites will be filtered:

Senator Birmingham – A broader scope of content across all of those types of genres of internet sites?

Ms O?Loughlin – Yes, things that might be of concern to people in accessing sites on the net, not necessarily just things that are prohibited under the current law.

Read the full article at the bottom of this page.