Channel firms join internet filter blackout

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Channel firms join internet filter blackout

Resellers and IT service providers have let their websites fade to black this week in protest against the Federal Government's internet filter plans.

A search by CRN uncovered at least six channel organisations with ‘blackened' websites.

They included IBM partner and authorised Apple reseller Qtech, Bathurst Computer Solutions, Blue Technology Solutions, Ey3, Nitro IT and Wits End Computer Services.

Wits End founder Samuel Wittwer feared scope-creep of the Federal Government's proposal in the future although he was not against filtering per se.

"What the Government is proposing to block is [refused classification] material. You don't want to see it anyway," he said.

"Granted you'll probably never stumble across the sites but [filtering] does create a dangerous precedent.

"The fact that it will create a framework to filter websites does allow it to be expanded. It could be used to quash freedom."

He used his participation in the internet blackout to campaign for better safeguards to scope-creep.

Wittwer said he had not had any negative feedback about the blackout from the IT services firm's 300-odd customers, which span the education sector, home users and "very small businesses".

"They're aware of our views and, where possible, we've explained to them what's going to happen [under the Government's proposal]," he said.

Other participants were contacted for comment.

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