Australian Government Still Determined to "Boil the Ocean"


As I noted a few weeks ago, the Australian government is planning to block access to up to 10,000 websites that it says offer â''unwanted contentâ'' during a six week pilot test that is scheduled to begin just before Christmas. However, the government is having a hard time getting Australian ISPs to play along.

Optus, the second largest Australian ISP, said that it would provided only limited participation in the pilot. iiNet, the third largest ISP, has said it would take part but only as a means to prove to that the filtering plan would not work. Telstra and Internode, however, have said they would not take part in the trials at all.

In fact Telstra, the largest ISP in Australia, thinks it is all nonsense. In a story last week in The Australian, Telstra's chief operating officer GregWinn was quoted as saying, "My view on that is that's like trying to boil the ocean ... to think that you're going to be able to centrally filter everything, I think that's a pipe dream."

But since censoring the Internet was a campaign promise, the Australian's government's need to boil the ocean follows a logic all its own. So the pilot will start within the next ten days as planned.


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Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City