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Telstra has responded to the government’s announcement of new online safety measures, with the company saying that blocking URLs on a blacklist is feasible and practical to implement, without noticeable impact on network performance.

Telstra’s Group Managing Director, Public Policy and Communications, David Quilty, said that the Government has taken on board input from a number of leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs) including Telstra, in developing its policy response to this important but complex issue.

“Telstra is supportive of a Refused Classification (RC) content blacklist of URLs compiled from the combination of a complaints-based system and known child abuse websites passed on by expert agencies in other jurisdictions,” Mr Quilty said.

Based on the results of its own technical evaluation, Telstra believes that blocking of URLs on such a blacklist is feasible and practical to implement, without noticeably impacting on network performance provided it is limited to a defined number of URLs.

“It is important to recognise, as the Government has, that there is no silver bullet which will make the internet 100 per cent safe. The blocking of a blacklist of RC sites is one element of the multi faceted approach that is required to create a safer online environment,” added Quilty.

 

“Other factors critical to internet safety include user-based PC filtering, the creation of safer learning and social networking environments, appropriate supervision and involvement by parents and teachers, education, law enforcement and international cooperation.”

Mr Quilty continued, “We support the fact that the Government intends to legislate its approach, thereby ensuring that it applies across the industry, is clearly spelt out and is enforceable by law. We also welcome Senator Conroy’s commitment to consult further with ISPs on the details of the Government’s plans. Continued industry collaboration will promote online safety through practical and efficient implementation of the Government’s strategy.”

“Telstra is committed to continuing its strong leadership across all elements of cyber-safety so that families can be confident that they have the tools and the knowledge to protect their children online,” concluded Quilty.

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