Patch Monday: ISP filtering goes ‘voluntary’, plus updates

Australia’s mandatory internet filter is at least two years away, but Telstra and Optus are only weeks from implementing their “voluntary” equivalents. Where are we up to with this controversial issue?

That’s what I covered in yesterday’s Patch Monday podcast for ZDNet Australia. And as I explained on the weekend, I’m returning to my habit of doing a blog post here for each episode.

For this internet filtering update, I spoke with Peter Black, who teaches internet and media law at the Queensland University of Technology; network engineer Mark Newton; and Lyle Shelton, chief of staff for the Australian Christian Lobby.

You can listen below. But it’s probably better for my stats if you listen at ZDNet Australia or subscribe to the RSS feed or subscribe in iTunes.

Since this podcast was recorded, we’ve discovered that Primus isn’t so sure about voluntary filtering any more. They were the third ISP to commit to the plan last year. However the Internet Industry Association (IIA) has said most Australian ISPs will filter via the Interpol list this year.

Previous podcast on this issue covered the meaning of the Refused Classification content category, Senator Conroy’s announcement of the strategy in July 2010, and the apparent fact that parents don’t act on their cybersafety fears.

Please let me know what you think. Comments below. We accept audio comments too. Either Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

Episode 42 online, with a predictable Cnut

Screenshot from Stilgherrian Live episode 42

Episode 42 of Stilgherrian Live is now online for your viewing pleasure — including a rather odd opening sequence made even more odd by the lack of sound. Oops.

This was “The Off-Axis Pseudo-Sapphic Edition”, named to mark the news that Russian duo t.A.T.u will be breaking up after they complete their next album.

The winner of “Cnut of the Week”?

Well, after the nominations we received, it was predictable. SlideShare received just 4% of the vote, presumably by the SlideShare users affected by their April Fools’ Day stunt. I received 27% for my own stunt — even though I maintain that Whirlpool started it. And even Senator Stephen Conroy only scored 29% for his performance this week.

This week’s “Cnut”, with 41% of the vote, was Lyle Shelton, the Chief of Staff for the Australian Christian Lobby, for his comments on SBS TV’s Insight and the subsequent liveblog.

Some people have said that I wasn’t paying particular attention to the live chat stream this week.

Continue reading “Episode 42 online, with a predictable Cnut”