ISPs show support for Internet filter trial

iiNet's withdrawal and criticism does not deter remaining participants from the internet filter scheme

The remaining ISPs participating in the Federal Government’s Internet filtering trial have declared their continuing support for the controversial scheme.

This week iiNet announced it has withdrawn from the Internet filtering trial with managing director, Michael Malone, describing the trial as a waste of taxpayers’ money.

In a statement Malone claimed the reason the ISP was willing to participate in the trial was to demonstrate the policy was fundamentally flawed.

He also cited drawn out negotiations with the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE), changes in policy, mistakes on the leaked internet “blacklist” and corporate social responsibility as factors in iiNet’s withdrawal.

The Internet filter scheme had already suffered a blow last week, with the leak of the supposed ACMA blacklist, the backbone of the internet filter trials, on Wikileaks. A torrent of criticism has been directed at the published list, which contained a handful of legitimate websites such as Betfair.

Participating ISPs, Highway 1, Primus Telecommunications, OMNIConnect and Tech 2U all told ARN they would continue with the Internet filtering trial.

Webshield managing director, Anthony Pillion, said it will still push ahead with the filtering trial and cast doubt on iiNet’s suggestion the DBCDE was inefficient.

“I can’t say that we have had any issues with our discussion with the DBCDE in any way,” he said.

Highway 1 general manager, Nicholas Powers, said iiNet pulling out of the trail has no effect on his company’s stance.

“We are a participant in the filter trials,” he said. “We are just fulfilling our obligations in terms of our contract with the Government.”

The sixth ISP, Netforce, was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

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