Well it comes of little suprise that the trial has been delayed until mid January, with no explanation (other than straight up incompetence). Source from the ABC:
The Federal Opposition says it is not surprised the Government’s mandatory internet filtering trial has been delayed.
The trial, which was meant to begin today, has been postponed until mid-January 2009 and the internet service providers (ISPs) who will participate will be announced at the same time.
ISPs iiNet and Optus both said yesterday they had not heard anything about their applications to participate in the trial, and doubted the Government would meet its own deadline.
The article also mentions a report comissioned by the Howard government on Internet filtering:
Senator Conroy was unavailable to speak to the ABC today, but released a report commissioned by the Howard government into internet filtering.
The Internet Industry Association-produced report concluded that mandatory filtering would slow internet speeds, be easy to get around and would not block all undesirable material.
But Senator Conroy said the report included no empirical testing, instead relying on literature review, interviews and surveys.
Senator Minchin says he disagrees with Senator Conroy’s attempt to devalue the report, saying it is an “insult to those involved”.[They] are leading experts in this field, particularly the lead author of the report,” he said.
“[His] frustration with the Government in hiding this report led to the Fairfax newspapers having a detailed briefing on the content then forcing Senator Conroy last night to release the report 10 months after he received it.
“The report does identify some very, very serious issues with any attempt to impose this mandatory ISP-level filtering system, but it leads me to believe it’s almost impossible to do this with any degree of effectiveness.”
This shows a blatant disregard for expert opinions and singals the fact that the Clean Feed proposal is nothing more than an appeal to emotion and an attempt to censor information that should be rightly available to Australians. Whilst that sounds alarmist, if Senator Conroy had taken these opinions and acted on them then he might’ve redone the proposal to something a bit more sane than its current incarnation.