«

»

Mar 03 2012

Print this Post

AUSTRALIA: Takes Measures to Block Access to Child Porn – 84,000 Hits Stopped in 4 Months

Andrew Colley – From: Australian IT

March 02, 2012 3:37PM

TELSTRA blocked 84,000 attempts to access websites believed to contain child abuse material in less than four months last year, the government’s classification review has revealed.

The carrier blocked the attempts using an internet filter that exclusively weeds out a list of child abuse sites maintained by Interpol.

The Australian Law Reform Commission’s 400-page review of the national classification scheme also revealed that at least five Australian internet providers run the filters in cooperation with the Australian Federal Police (AFP). To date only Telstra, Optus and Primus Telecom have publicly confirmed that they use the Interpol blocklist.

“There is no requirement for the ISPs to report their statistics, but for the period July 1 to October 15, 2011, Telstra reported that there had been in excess of 84,000 redirections via its network,” the ALRC wrote in its report.

Top 50 Tech Rec Coverage

Recommended Coverage

AUSTRALIA will have a new media content regulator if an overhaul of the national classification scheme is accepted by government.
THE Gillard government has challenged claims its plan to censor the internet will bring the web screeching to a halt.

Telstra has roughly 50 per cent share of the internet market. The filter contained 409 internet domain names by October last year.

The ALRC report referred to the so-called voluntary internet filtering scheme — the result of sub rosa negotiations between carriers and the federal government as it pushed its controversial plan to impose mandatory internet content filtering laws on internet providers.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has championed the mandatory filtering scheme which is viewed as a response to years of failed industry self-regulation.

Senator Conroy and the AFP have persistently described the filters put in place by Optus and Telstra as voluntary.

However, the report gave some credence to concerns held privately by some ISPs that the scheme, which has been introduced without public consultation, is mandatory.

In its report the ALRC described it as an example of “quasi-regulation”. The ALRC said that ISPs start the process of joining the scheme “expressing an interest” in participating with the AFP. The AFP then “issues a ‘request’ (sic) to that ISP” using powers under Australian telecommunication law obliging them to do their best to stop their services being used for crime.

ISPs have expressed fears that the scope of the voluntary filter may widen and supplant the mandatory filter.

Under the mandatory filter plan that Labor originally proposed in 2007, ISPs were to be required to use the Office of Film and Literature Classification’s “Refused Classification” (RC) setting as a benchmark to blacklist content such as child-abuse material, bestiality, sexual violence, detailed instruction in crime, violence or drug use and material that advocated a terrorist act.

However, critics argued that the setting would lead to the filter casting too wide a net in the digital environment due to inconsistencies in rules regulating online and offline media content.

Senator Conroy directed the ALRC to review the classification scheme in July 2010 placing a particular focus on solving classification problems to smooth passage of the mandatory filter.

The ALRC has recommended that the RC category be scrapped and replaced with a new category, “Prohibited”.

It recommended that the Prohibited category should contain a narrow subset of material currently defined as RC pending a review of the classification.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://porninthevalley.com/2012/03/03/australia-takes-measures-to-block-access-to-child-porn-84000-hits-stopped-in-4-months/

Leave a Reply