Update on DCIMA NetAlert

In conjunction with the public release of the NetAlert client-based Internet content filter, The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Hon Helen Coonan issued a press release detailing budget spending, goals of the campaign and allocated maintenance resources.

The $84.8 million National Filter Scheme will provide access to the best available PC-based and ISP-level internet filtering technology free to every Australian family. This will be extended to make free filters available for all public libraries and will require filtering products to be regularly updated to keep up with advances in technology.
Extract from NetAlert – Protecting Australian Families Online at NetAlert

So, we can obviously expect a unified content filtering solution for public libraries, whether it will be enforced by strict legislation is up for debate. Another point of particular interest was the integration of the ACMA Blacklist into the list of restricted websites.

In addition to the extra compliance funding, ACMA and the AFP will also investigate the extension of the existing ACMA Blacklist to include malicious websites not caught by the current National Classification Scheme.
Extract from NetAlert – Protecting Australian Families Online at NetAlert

A little over a year ago Doug Jenkins of Loop Technology wrote a highly informed article – which is still very relevant – on the ethical and proactive verses reactive challenges of public Internet content filters. In closing I recommend you read the article, it’s truly a great read.

Just like the ‘junk mail’ that still finds its way into our household letter box, what one person calls spam another calls valuable and interesting mail. It’s up to the recipient to decide. So it’s not really as black and white as it first seems.”
Extract from Content-Filtering – Proactive Vs Reactive at Loop Technology

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