Internet filtering trials begin!

I’ve finally had time to ponder The Australian‘s report on Internet filtering trials that I mentioned yesterday. While it describes the current status, the deeper message seems to be that the government doesn’t actually have a plan for this at all.

Yesterday was the deadline for purveyors of filters to register their interest with Enex TestLab, the Melbourne company running the trials. As they said in a newspaper ad:

We invite vendors of all types (hardware appliances, software — proprietary or open-source) of ISP-based internet content filters to participate.

The products will be tested in a “controlled environment” (i.e. the lab) in the first half of 2008, and then the “field trials” happen in the second half.

But looking at the original request for tender at AusTender, this “just” seems to be another exercise in seeing what’s available in the marketplace, rather than providing a “solution” [ugh!] which implements specific policy goals.

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