The most important news from today’s Senate estimates hearings was that the Tasmanian trial of ISP level filtering is using a blacklist containing just 800 URLs (the current ACMA blacklist). This is a miniscule number when you consider Senator Conroy expects his cleanfeed to blacklist not only illegal material, but also a large percentage of X rated content. Sites which would be classified as X Rated by the Classification Board are at the very least in the hundreds of thousands in my opinion.

With just eight hundred URLs to filter, the plan may well be considered a success.

The ACMA confirmed that they are looking to expand blacklist and are liaising with International organizations to help in doing so, but offered no answer as to how many URLs they expected the final list to contain. They also stated that human intervention and a number of other filtering techniques could be used in the final implementation.

Senator Conroy

Senator Conroy said because only 30,000 people of an estimated 1.4 million were using the NetAlert filtering software, the program was a failure. Of course, many of us will see it as proof that Australian’s do not want filtering and for those that do, software is readily available to them. It’s not a matter of parents being unable to install software when help on the website and via phone is available. Parents installed it and then chose to uninstall it.

The ACMA Internet Hotline which is open 7 days a week from 8AM to 10PM receives just 20 – 40 calls per day. How many of those were people requesting help with their filter was unknown.

You can read my live updates of the hearing here.