The company responsible for the controversial ISP filtering trial will welcome any proposed audit and claims to have proven beyond doubt that a filter is feasible.
Enex Testlab’s managing director, Matt Tett, said he was aware of the Liberal Party’s demands for an audit into the results and was comfortable with the Rudd Government introducing legislation based on the report.
“We’re always prepared for audits, we covered ourselves and we made sure our methodologies are strong and robust,” he said. “We wouldn’t have released it or assigned the confidence factors to it that we did unless we were confident about it being acceptable.”
Tett also claimed Enex’s results proved a system was technically feasible and relatively simple to put into place.
“Our data proves there’s going to be negligible or insignificant performance impact on current networks. So if you had to do it today, tomorrow or in a year’s time, it’s going to be fine,” he said.
While agreeing the Government was selectively advertising positive outcomes from the report, Tett praised broadband Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, for releasing the full document.
“Of course [the Government] has cherry picked, why wouldn’t they? They say 100 per cent accuracy and negligible speed impact – they don’t come out mentioning the significant ease of circumvention! But at the end of the day, they released the full report,” he said.
To test the ISPs, Enex created two residential Internet connections with each company, one with filtering, the other without. The company then swapped the filtering settings on the connection and retested them to balance the results.
Although admitting the testing did not comprehensively investigate the effect of user numbers on the filters, Tett claimed it wasn’t necessary.
“The number of participants isn’t necessarily relevant. The load is not relevant, absolutely not. The number of people who are on the filter itself, the number of people on the system and whether they’re being filtered or not, is irrelevant,” he said.
“In one case, we brought in an artificial load generator and plugged it in…we included those results, which showed marginal impacts.”
But Tett said more discussions on the ethics of filtering and the selection of blacklisted websites were needed.
“Regardless of who’s formulating the policy, there’s a lot that needs to be resolved. There doesn’t need to be more investigation, they just need to resolve what is going to be filtered, what is RC, how is the list going to be managed and created,” he said.
“I think the fact that the Minister’s office has opened this up for people to have their input means they acknowledge there needs to be more [consultation].”