Dengate Thrush slates Aussie web filter plan

Kiwi ICANN chairman says filter technology will fail

The chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers says the Australian government will “embarrass itself” if it pushes ahead with plans to install a national Internet content filter.

The group is a non-profit corporation that oversees management of domain names and IP addresses, Internet Protocol address space allocation and generic top level domains.

ICANN board chair, New Zealand lawyer Peter Dengate Thrush, said national internet content filters are ineffective at law enforcement.

The plan was introduced by federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy ostensibly as a mechanism to control distribution and access to child pornography.

“The government has set itself up for embarrassment,” Dengate Thrush says.

“I have no problems with the principle behind it [but] censoring material outside the country is difficult and the tools to do it cost a lot.”

The federal government is conducting trials with eight internet service providers to evaluate the effectiveness of the filters and will make a decision pending the results.

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