December 22, 2008 — In an article printed in both the Brisbane Times and the Sydney Morning Herald today, Australian writer Asher Moses offers details about a new report issued by the Australian government, in which the plans to censor the Internet (which included outlawing Internet gambling) is called flawed and "unworkable".
This just days before trails of mandatory Internet censorship takes effect.
According to the story, the government report states that the plan to censor the Internet "simply does not work, will significantly slow internet speeds and will block access to legitimate websites".
This could be a big break to those in the online gaming industry who are opposed to the action, which includes Internet gambling in the list of online activities to be censored. (Read more on that here .)
"The report, commissioned by the Howard government and prepared by the Internet Industry Association, concluded that schemes to block inappropriate content such as child pornography are fundamentally flawed," writes Asher Moses in the article.
"If the trials are deemed a success, the Government has earmarked $44 million to impose a compulsory 'clean feed' on all internet subscribers in Australia as soon as late next year.
"But the report says the filters would slow the Internet — as much as 87 per cent by some measures — be easily bypassed and would not come close to capturing all of the nasty content available online. They would also struggle to distinguish between wanted and unwanted content, leading to legitimate sites being blocked. Entire user-generated content sites, such as YouTube and Wikipedia, could be censored over a single suspect posting.
"This raises serious freedom of speech questions, such as who will be held accountable for blocked sites and whether the Government will be pressured to expand the blacklist to cover lawful content including pornography, gambling sites and euthanasia material.
"The report, based on comprehensive interviews with many parties with a stake in the internet, was written by several independent technical experts including a University of Sydney associate professor, Bjorn Landfeldt. It was handed to the Government in February but has been kept secret.