Australia begins testing content filter

    The Australian government is launching testing of the nationwide "big firewall" - a unified system for filtering Internet traffic to protect its citizens from indecent Internet content. After the launch of the system, 10,000 sites with "illegal" content will be blocked. This is part of the government’s cybersecurity program with a total budget of $ 82 million.

    In November, the Australian Minister of Communications invited the leadership of the largest Internet providers and mobile operators and explained to them the conditions for participation in the testing, which begins in December. The task of the providers is to block access to the list of sites that they receive from the Ministry. The compilation of the list is carried out by the Bureau of Australian Communications and Media Authority (which also rates films).

    Government actions have already caused a flurry of criticism . Experts warn of a decrease in the overall speed of surfing (during the tests, the decrease in speed was from 2% to 87%) and other technical problems (for example, 3% of false positives when completely normal sites are filtered). Moreover, experts generally doubt the effectiveness of such filtering, because the bulk of illegal content goes through P2P, which is not filtered at all. Users are also not particularly happy: Facebook has already collected 85,000 signatures against this government initiative.

    One way or another, but the introduction of Internet filters in Australia is one of the first such experts in a democratic country. If it succeeds, then one can expect the introduction of similar censorship in other states, including Russia, especially since this issue has long been discussed.

    via NY Times

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