Optus has confirmed it has now put in place the voluntary filter that rival Telstra has had running for nearly a month. A spokesperson for Optus said today that the Interpol filter was put into operation “last thing” on Friday, and has been ‘live’ for customers over the weekend.
In a recently updated FAQ section on its website, Optus says individual customers cannot be identified by the filter, and that reports on attempts to access blocked websites are not kept. “Optus’ blocking solution does not identify individual customers nor does it generate reports on which customers have attempted to access websites that are on the INTERPOL ’worst of’ list,” the updated FAQ informs customers.
Earlier in the month Optus confirmed it would enable the filter “late July” as part of the Internet Industry Association’s (IIA) new voluntary filtering framework. It means the telco, which is a part of the IIA’s Family Friendly ISP program, has now joined other Australian internet service providers including Telstra and CyberOne in voluntarily filtering web content based upon a list managed by overseas policing organisation Interpol.
For a website to be listed on the Interpol list, it’s believed that it must meet strict criteria including having been approved by at least two separate policing organisations in different regions across the world that ensures that sites blocked aren’t influenced by political movements or other external forces.
Not all Australian providers are moving to implement the filter however. Amongst others TPG and Internode have refused to back the filter at this stage, with Internode CEO Simon Hackett mentioning earlier in the month that his company would only implement the filter if required to by law.
“We don’t know, and are not responsible for, whatever motivations are driving Telstra and Optus to participate in whatever it is, exactly, that they’re participating in here,” Hackett posted. “We feel that if the government wishes to pass a law that has the effect of legally requiring us to do something, that’s fine – we’ll do it. Until then, we will wait and watch with interest.”
Primus, which was committed to the now axed Government voluntary filtering scheme has yet to confirm whether it still plans to implement the filter after last month wavering in its commitment for the IIA’s filtering framework.
Image credit: Optus