Bjorn Landfeldt: Internet filter isn’t future-proofApr 20 2010, 4:24
The Federal Government’s proposed Internet filter will be impotent in a few years time, an IT pundit claims.
University of Sydney associate professor of IT, Bjorn Landfeldt, said the ISP-based blacklist filtering system suggested by the Government was impractical and unworkable long-term. He was on the team that reported on the clean-feed’s viability for the Australian Government in 2008.
Landfeldt will also be one of several experts discussing the issue during the University’s upcoming Internet filtering forum on April 28 alongside representatives from Google, Inspire Foundation and the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre.
“The filter is not future-proof because it only applies to Web pages where the majority of people are accessing content now,” he said. But with the National Broadband Network (NBN), online material will move from being static and accessible through a single Web location and to more ephemeral sources, Landfeldt claimed.
“The way it is stored may not have a static address, such as on a peer-to-peer [P2P] network instead of a Web server for instance,” he said. “A blacklist filter will not be able to shift into this new world of technical solutions or how we use, produce and store media.
“While there might be legislation in place to do filtering, in a few years’ time it is evident the proposed system will be rendered ineffective.”
Landfeldt tipped a shift to dynamic content filtering, a method which is not blacklist-based and processes media in real-time. But if applied at an ISP level, it would be detrimental to user experience and cripple the ISP industry, he claimed. A mandatory ISP-level filter could also be a real threat to small businesses as smaller ISPs could have difficultly managing the process.
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