Australia's Internet Censorship Could Be Doomed to Fail

PERTH, Australia - The government-backed mandatory Internet filtering system being implemented in Australia could be too broad in scope to succeed.

According to an analysis piece from Ars Technica, the country's Cyber-Safety Plan involves the government making a list of illegal and unwanted content on specific URLs, and passing the list off to ISPs to filter everything on the list. The list features upward of 10,000 URLs, some of which do feature content expected to be on the list, but also some that provide adult content commonly referred to in the adult industry as "vanilla" porn.

The problem, the report states, is that since the Australian government isn't about to provide all residents with a computer equipped with filtering software, it will be up to the ISPs to either filter blacklisted URLs through the Domain Name Service, or to use deep-packet inspection to block the content deemed illegal or offensive. Neither solution, however, is ideal, since oftentimes legitimate content can be filtered through each process.

The concern is that attempting to comply with the mandatory blacklisting could place undue burden on ISPs, and in some cases could bankrupt them.

"If the Australian government actually finds child porn, nuclear bomb making manuals, and the like on the Internet, why not do their best to find the perpetrators and put them behind bars?" the article states. "That way we get to keep our free speech and have less crime and terrorism, rather than less of the former without actually reducing the latter."