Blacklists should be given to vendors, not ISPs

Blacklists should be given to vendors, not ISPs

Content filtering testing company, Enex, says security of blacklists will be best assured by giving them to vendors.

The testing company that conducted the Federal Government’s controversial ISP filtering trial claims any blacklists should be kept away from ISPs.

Enex Testlab principal, Matt Tett, said while he was surprised that many of the filtering products performed as advertised, no single option performed perfectly.

“I don’t think there’s anything that showed all good and there wasn’t anything that showed all bad. It was just balanced,” he said. “We never find products that stand out.”

But Tett admitted some issues arose during the trial that would require changes to be made by the Government, particularly if the blacklist’s security was a priority. He declined to discuss specific concerns but called for more policy discussion.

“There’s a lot of things outside of the area of the trial that will probably need, and were identified within the trial, need further…policy written about it,” he said.

“With access to the blacklist, really it’s a vendor’s domain – not to maintain the list but have access to the list and incorporate them into their products. If a government agency like ACMA or another body was putting together that list they would need to distribute it to vendors.

“Having an ISP accessing a list is a risk and a risk that some ISPs, especially smaller ISPs, may not want to have, particularly if it shouldn’t be released.”

Tett’s comments come after an earlier blacklist created by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) was leaked over the Internet to the general public, allegedly by an Internet filter operator.

They are echoed by experts who insist blacklists cannot be provided to ISPs if they are to remain secret and out of public hands.

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Tags Enex TestLabAustralian Communications and Media AuthorityISP filtering trial

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