Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is still not backing down, telling the Sun-Herald over the weekend that the policy was still going ahead. However, what he said might have caused some caveat with one of the ISPs involved. Can you guess?
“We are still consulting on the final details of the scheme. But this policy has been approved by 85 per cent of Australian internet service providers, who have said they would welcome the filter, including Telstra, Optus, iPrimus and iiNet,” Conroy said.
But wait. Aren’t iiNet the guys who are totally against the filter?
Well, yes they are – and they still are against the filter. Michael Malone, the CEO of iiNet, has come out today and rejected the claims that his ISP welcomed such a proposal that they have been fervently against since the start.
“We have been involved in the Government’s consultation process in an effort to at least have some transparency measures introduced,” Malone said. “However, any claim that our participation in that consultation process is support for the Government’s policy is an outright lie.”
“Our position is unchanged. This proposed filter is a waste of money that should be instead spent on additional law enforcement and education resources.”
Malone has pointed out that “no western country” has made any filter that is similar to the proposed system in Australia – filtering refused classification, a term of which is also vague because that can be altered by a unanimous vote by the Attorney-Generals of the states, territories and federal governments. He goes on to say that the proposal is more linked to what is in Burma, Saudi Arabia and China.
“[The filter] has rightly attracted criticism from technical experts, the industry, child safety groups and even the US government,” Malone says.
“The proposed filter is fundamentally flawed, will not achieve its stated purpose and simply will not work. It is fundamentally bad policy.”
You hear that, Senator Conroy?