According to the Australian, Stephen Conroy has been presented with, and endorsed, a report into the feasibility of internet filtering, which claims success.Â So now we’re a go for real world trials.
The actual report is here (PDF), and it makes interesting reading in a sad way. It’s being pulled apart on the SAGE mailing lists at the moment, and an actual media statement may come from the organisation. Hopefully the public also trust systems administrators to better understand the issues and know the problems with filtering technology than ACMA.
Basic points easily noted from the report:
- The trial did not include products designed only to filter illegal content
- Most of the products introduced “network degradation” of 22-30%
- None of the products can filter content delivered over most non-web protocols (file sharing, IM, etc) without blocking them completely
- The filters block content that should not be blocked at a rate of 1-8%
- The load testing seems to have simulated a maximum of 30 users accessing the “Internet” which was a single low powered web server
- Does not seem to address the ease of circumvention of these filters
If trials do go ahead, I hope that they target the systems that connect politicians to the Internet – then we’ll probably see more of the anguish exhibited by them when the computers in Parliament House were filtered. It’s one thing for plain ordinary people to be subject to restrictions on their actions, but how the pollies panic when subject to the same restraints 🙂 It’s almost as if they thought that they were better than us.