Australian Government to Finance Faulty Internet Filtering Technology

Apparently, keeping your fingers crossed is good enough for the Australian government who plans to use ISP-based filtering technology despite evidence saying it’s a waste of time and money.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

There’s an interesting report from Australian IT which says that the Australian government has allocated $125.8 million in taxpayers money to help internet security initiatives – an unknown amount going to implement content filtering technology.

The move might, at least, raise eyebrows for many observers because over a month ago, a study was conducted in Australia concluded that the technology to filter protocols like p2p were insufficient at best. These findings may be something Internet Evolution can agree on since they conducted a similar study with very similar results.

The report suggests that some are pegging as much as $60 million is likely to go to web filtering specifically, but it’s unclear how much money it will cost to filter the internet.

Australian Internet Service Providers in the mean time seem to be getting dragged along in all of this against their will. After the study was released, they commented how it shouldn’t be up to them to police the internet and that if there is a problem with something found on the internet, appropriate measures can be taken.

Still, it seems that the Australian government is all to happy to push forward with this even though the previous attempt to filter the internet completely failed. Last year, a 16 year old student in Australia, during a half an hour of his free time, cracked the Australian governments $84 million dollar porn filter during a bout of curiosity. Security experts noted this as a text-book example on why security can never be perfect among other things. The student won internet-wide fame that year, not to mention being called the “porn cracker” at school for his experiment and left the Australian government pink with embarrassment.

After looking back at the previous case and looking at the current case, it leaves one to wonder how long a cheap little $60 million dollar web filter can last when an $84 million dollar porn filter can be defeated by a teenager in a half an hour of free time. Perhaps one observation can be made that the Australian government appears to have a tighter grip on the purse strings this time around at the very least – and probably with very good reason as well.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.



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