National broadband provider iiNet today rejected Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s claim over the weekend that it welcomed the Government’s filtering project.
“This policy has been approved by 85 per cent of Australian internet service providers, who have said they would welcome the filter, including Telstra, Optus, iPrimus and iiNet,” Conroy told the Sun-Herald over the weekend.
But in a statement this afternoon, iiNet chief executive Michael Malone said Conroy was wrong.
“We have been involved in the Government’s consultation process in an effort to at least have some transparency measures introduced,” he said. “However, any claim that our participation in that consultation process is support for the Government’s policy is an outright lie.”
Malone said iiNet’s position in the matter was unchanged. “This proposed filter is a waste of money that should be instead spent on additional law enforcement and education resources,” he said.
The executive said “no western country” operated a mandatory filter along the lines of the Government’s proposal, and the filter project lined Australia up with Burma, Saudi Arabia and China and had rightly attracted criticism from technical experts, the industry, child safety groups and even the US government.
“The proposed filter is fundamentally flawed, will not achieve its stated purpose and simply will not work. It is fundamentally bad policy,” said Malone. “We do not and never have supported such a system.”
The office of Stephen Conroy has been contacted for comment.