Censorship bill to impact retail filtering sales

Censorship bill to impact retail filtering sales

The future of Internet filter software has been called into question as the industry rails against confusion created by the Government's Online Services Bill concerning Web censorship.

With voting on the Bill expected as early as this week, pressure is mounting to decide the retail fate of Net filtering software.

Many retailers claim if the current Bill is passed - placing the responsibility of content filtering with ISPs - it will adversely affect retail sales.

"If the Legislation that gets passed effectively filters content then it will negate the need for filtering software," said Tony Gilchrist, software product manager of Queensland retailer Concorde Computers.

A view affirmed by one Melbourne based retailer, who asked not to be named, claims the Bill will definitely affect retail sales as public consensus will dictate that any additional filtering software "won't be needed."

But despite 12 months of growing filtering software sales, Ian Mackay, managing director of software distributor Manaccom, claims the perception that parents "don't need" further filtering devises "must slow" future sales.

Anna Cameron at Dataflow said it is a little early to tell what the real impact will be.

However she is confident there will always be a need for filtering software regardless of the Bill, while adequate blocking of unwanted content will remain a combination of ISP and end user filtering.

As more and more ISPs already offer Net filtering as part of their service, Raszyd Szpalinski manager of distributor Internet Junction, claims the heightened awareness created by the Bill will have a positive effect on retail sales as more consumers become aware there is also software available that can block this kind of unwanted content.

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