Telstra, Optus And Primus All Announce Support For Conroy’s Filter

Telstra, Optus And Primus All Announce Support For Conroy’s Filter
 src=After yesterday’s announcement that Conroy’s internet filter trials were a rousing success weren’t a failure, Telstra, Optus and Primus have all publicly announced their support for the policy.

Below are the press releases from each of the ISPs. But before you read them, consider that as much as they talk about preventing child pornography, back in May when the ACMA blacklist leaked to Wikileaks, it was made clear that only 32% of blocked sites were related to child porn. The other 68% included legitimate sites, YouTube videos and political sites.


Telstra welcomes Australian Government’s online safety measures

15 December 2009 – Today’s Federal Government announcement of new online safety measures provides greater clarity on the government’s approach to cyber-safety, Telstra said today.

Telstra’s Group Managing Director, Public Policy and Communications, David Quilty, said that the Government has taken on board input from a number of leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs) including Telstra, in developing its policy response to this important but complex issue.

“Telstra is supportive of a Refused Classification (RC) content blacklist of URLs compiled from the combination of a complaints-based system and known child abuse websites passed on by expert agencies in other jurisdictions,” Mr Quilty said.

Based on the results of its own technical evaluation, Telstra believes that blocking of URLs on such a blacklist is feasible and practical to implement, without noticeably impacting on network performance provided it is limited to a defined number of URLs. A report on Telstra’s evaluation is available at

“It is important to recognise, as the Government has, that there is no silver bullet which will make the internet 100 per cent safe. The blocking of a blacklist of RC sites is one element of the multi-faceted approach that is required to create a safer online environment.

“Other factors critical to internet safety include user-based PC filtering, the creation of safer learning and social networking environments, appropriate supervision and involvement by parents and teachers, education, law enforcement and international cooperation.

Mr Quilty continued, “We support the fact that the Government intends to legislate its approach, thereby ensuring that it applies across the industry, is clearly spelt out and is enforceable by law.

“We also welcome Senator Conroy’s commitment to consult further with ISPs on the details of the Government’s plans. Continued industry collaboration will promote online safety through practical and efficient implementation of the Government’s strategy.

“Telstra is committed to continuing its strong leadership across all elements of cyber-safety so that families can be confident that they have the tools and the knowledge to protect their children online,” Mr Quilty said.

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Optus welcomes Government initiative to promote cyber-safety

Optus believes the internet should be a place where Australians can browse and express themselves freely and safely. Consistent with this, Optus announced today its support for the Federal Government’s enhanced cyber safety measures.

Maha Krishnapillai, Director of Optus Government and Corporate Affairs said:
”Optus has always supported measures that will protect its customers from illegal content, and give greater peace of mind to those using the internet. This initiative supports the blocking of access to the worst types of online content such as child abuse and sexual violence.

“Optus discussed the development of the new measures – in particular the filtering policy position – with Government and other major ISPs, and looks forward to further consultations with the Government around the implementation of filtering arrangements.

“The Government’s cyber-safety measures include mandatory ISP-level filtering of Refused Classification (RC) content. Through its participation in the Government’s filtering pilot, Optus confirmed that it is technically feasible to block a finite list of illegal content without significant impact on the customer’s experience or network performance.

“The mandatory blocking of RC content is important, but must be complemented with a broader Government approach to cyber-safety and the protection of children on the internet, including initiatives to promote education, awareness and counselling.

“Optus acknowledges that it is the Government’s responsibility to strike a balance between protecting Australians desire for freedom of expression and access to information, with the need to improve online safety and limit access to illegal RC content.

“Optus is supportive of efforts to protect children online and is a participant in the Internet Industry Association’s ‘Family Friendly ISP’ program. Optus Internet proudly exhibits the Family Friendly ISP ‘ladybird seal’ indicating its commitment to compliance with the IIA Content Codes of Practice. The Content Codes of Practice are registered with and monitored by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

“Additionally, Optus provides information to its customers about how to purchase the Optus Internet Security Suite — an all-in-one internet security solution which includes features such as anti-virus, anti-spam, firewall and a parental control / content filtering options,” Mr Krishnapillai said.



Primus Telecom announced today that it is in full support of the Federal Government’s policy to block online child pornography and welcomed the opportunity to work with the Government to further develop and implement its policy.

Senator Conroy announced new Government legislation to help protect Australian families online, with new cyber-safety measures designed to filter undesirable content. As anticipated, Senator Conroy also announced the introduction of mandatory ISP-level filtering of Refused Classification (RC) rated content from overseas, after a pilot trial involving Primus Telecom and another eight Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

“Primus Telecom believes that the introduction of an ISP filtering regime into Australia requires a balance between protecting Australians’ rights of free expression and access to information with the need to improve online safety and the need to take action against the providers of objectionable content,” said Ravi Bhatia.

Leading up to the Government’s announcement this afternoon Primus Telecom had worked constructively with other leading ISPs in informing the Government on a set of principles that should underlie its policy on filtering, and at this afternoon’s press conference the Government announced it will undertake further consultation on some of the measures.

Primus Telecom believes the scope and operation of an ISP filtering regime for on-line safety needs to be governed by a set of clear and focused policy principles, use efficient and effective processes in determining and removing prohibitions on content, and operate in a transparent and accountable manner. Primus Telecom welcomed the chance to expand on these matters in further consultation with the Government.

At the press conference in Melbourne today Senator Conroy also released the Enex Test Laboratory report into the pilot trial of Internet Service Provider (ISP)-level filtering. The press conference was attended by Primus Telecom’s CEO Ravi Bhatia, who felt it was important for the ISP to be involved in the trials and also in regular consultation with the Government so the company could help the Government form its Cyber-Safety policy.

“The internet filtering trials Primus and its customers voluntarily took part in demonstrated that blocking of a designated URL list can be done with negligible impact on network performance and with 100 per cent accuracy,” said Ravi Bhatia.