Expert: Smaller ISPs will feel bite of mandatory filter

NICTA researcher and USYD professor warns that small ISPs will carry the heaviest burden if 'Clean Feed' is introduced.

A leading tech expert has warned that small Internet service providers (ISPs) could face huge expenses in purchasing and maintaining a mandatory filter, as proposed by the Federal Government.

Associate professor at the University of Sydney and senior researcher for one of Australia’s leading ICT research organisations (NICTA), Bjorn Landfeldt, said while large telcos had the staff and capital required to manage a compulsory blacklist, smaller ISPs probably would not.

“Australia has got a very heavy, long tail of very small ISPs. For all those ISPs, every dollar they have to spend and every minute they have to spend on something other than their core business is potentially very damaging for their business," he said.

“I would be surprised and interested to find out whether there are any solutions available that could be integrated and managed and run by the small players without any major impact.”

Landfeldt also that the small number of customers that took part in some of the trials negated the usefulness of any data gathered during the trial.

“If you only have 15 people that opted into the trial, I don’t know what you’d get out of that,” he said. “The burden of running the filter would be absolutely negligible.”

But contrary to the opinion of many other experts, Landfeldt claims the filter can be employed at major ISPs without dramatic slowdowns.

“British Telecom has implemented [a filter] for its entire organisation and from this we have for years now known from a technical perspective you can do this without any serious performance penalties.

“I believe the trial is fairly futile because we know that it can be done,” he said.

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Tags isp filtering

More about BT AustralasiaNICTAUniversity of SydneyUniversity of Sydney




Telecom haven't suffered any performance penalties because their filter is NOT mandatory. Seems Landfelt or the author of this article forgot to point this out.




If the filter is mandatory, and only affects foreign websites (as they are illegal to host inside Australia), then why not just put the filter on the 6 cables that come into Australia.

Why duplicate both hardware and software, maintenance, and leak-possibilities, by installing inside every ISP. Just go the successful Chinese route and put it on the international cable connections!

Peter Suter


Mandatory Filter

As a customer of a small ISP using Satellite ADSL I can tell you that the performance of this "government guaranteed" ADSL service is at present very, very close to being not useable. From my point of view the unforseen costs of adding a mandatory filter are 1) killing my business, 2) killing the ISP's business, 3) making the satellite redundant.



Yes they will, but what Mr. Landfeldt has failed to put in the article is that British Telecom has not made their ISP filtering mandatory, where as here it will be.



And they are only filtering out 'child abuse material' (note the quotation marks), while here, they will be blocking out all prohibited content. High traffic site which may cause huge technical problems? Doesn't matter, just whack it on the blacklist. So even aside from the fact that the UK filtering is optional, there are a whole raft of differences in the goals of the policies which makes for very inaccurate comparisons.



Conjob's compulsory censorship.

Nobody wants it.

Emmanuel Goldstein


Speaking of China is blocked in China. This has been confirmed by an EFA spokesman, and I would expect a media release in the coming days, after further investigations are complete into how this actually happened.

Conway promised us political parties wouldn't be affected by the new filter. It looks like he's been caught out fibbing.

Who really thinks the Chinese even care about Australian "Outlaw" Motorcycle gangs. For more information check the Whirlpool thread #50 against the filter.



Stephen Conroy and politics

This is all political - suffer everybody but be aware we are seen to be doing something - even if it will not work.

Shift the responsibility to the parents, where it should be, not to the general public - 15 people say 30 people took part out of the thousands with ISP's what a joke. Get rid of Stephen Conroy.



BT filtering IS mandatory...

Time to get your facts right kiddo...

If you use BT then all your connections are filtered.

BT has made the filtering of all their connections mandatory.

The UK ISPs have the voluntary decision to join the filtering project for now, but once your ISP joins then you need to leave that ISP for one of the few who still do not use the filtering, in order to avoid the IWF list applied controls.

The UK has already made it clear that they will legislate if required to get the last 5% of UK ISPs in the the filtering program...



Somebody's talking up censorship

The issue is whether Australians are happy to give the government power to impose their secret censorship on the Net. It doesn't matter a rat's whether BT does or doesn't use a type of filtering in the UK, this is a local debate.

The proposal from Corporal Conroy would give politicians the power to secretly ban anything they consider "inappropriate", as Conroy has been forced to admit. Both sides of politics would love to be able to silence people who ask awkward questions or express opposing views.

If Conroy is too stupid and stubborn to see the dangers in his Great Rabbitproof Firewall, he should resign or be sacked. Australia deserves better than this clown.



Go away conroy

If enough people in Australia got together and said "we don't like conroy" would he get fired?

Because isn't the government supposed to be FOR the people? Not to control the people?

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