24 November 2008

The President of the System Administrators Guild of Australia and UQ Business School IT Manager, Donna Ashelford, believes the Government’s internet filtering proposal is technically flawed.

Ms Ashelford said members of the System Administrators Guild of Australia (SAGE-AU) fully supported practical initiatives to prevent children from coming into contact with objectionable material on the web.

"However, if implemented in its current form, the Government’s proposal will punish the vast majority of home and business internet users by slowing down all internet access," she said.

"And it won’t fix the problem because the material they are trying to block is not actually accessed via the web – it’s accessed using peer-to-peer or other technologies. Even if material is located on the web, the technical work-around is very simple."

Ms Ashelford said SAGE-AU was in favour of increased Government support for the 'clean feed' suppliers already operating in this space, as well as endorsing the Government’s parent education plans.

"We also recommend more funding for enforcement bodies such as the Australian Communications and Media Authority and the Australian Federal Police," she said.

"With more funding, and the cooperation of international police services, the AFP might be able to prosecute more cases successfully and stop this problem at the source."

Ms Ashelford was elected President of SAGE-AU in 2007.
Media: Cathy Stacey, UQ Business School (07 3365 6179, 0434 074 372).