iiNet has rejected public statements from Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, that it supports the Government’s proposed Internet filtering policy.
Conroy told The Sun-Herald 85 per cent of Australian ISPs support the unpopular policy including Telstra, Optus, iPrimus and iiNet. However, an iiNet spokesperson said the Senator’s statements misrepresented its position. The Perth-based ISP pulled out of the Internet filter trials in March, branding the exercise a “waste of taxpayers’ money” and fundamentally flawed.
“We have been involved in the [Internet filtering public] consultation but solely to make a bad policy better; we don’t actually support the filter,” the iiNet spokesperson told ARN. “We don’t support it and never supported it… and to characterise us as supporting the policy because of our involvement in the consultation is just a misrepresentation and is not accurate.”
iiNet reiterated its views on the futility of the filter’s effects for warding off illegal content such as child pornography, claiming such information was largely traded on peer-to-peer networks and not through public domain websites. The ISP also criticised Conroy’s statement on 85 per cent of ISPs backing the filter policy.
“If you include Telstra, Optus, iPrimus and iiNet on the list, that’s 85 per cent of the market in essence [in terms of market share],” the spokesperson said. “There are 400-odd ISPs and I don’t think he [Conroy] is referring to 80 per cent of individual ISPs.”
iiNet has notified Senator Conroy’s press department about its concerns. iPrimus, one of the participants in the Internet filtering trial, said it backed the mandatory clean-feed.
“The filtering will apply to RC content, which typically consists of child pornography, bestiality, rape, how to make bombs and so on. We have no problem with that being filtered,” iPrimus CEO, Ravi Bhatia, said.
Optus and Telstra had yet to respond to enquires made by ARN at the time of publication. Senator Conroy’s department could not clarify where the figure came from at the time of publication.