Government Censorship of the Internet

The Internal Affairs department in New Zealand is currently running an internet filtering scheme. They choose which sites to block and then publish a list that ISPs can use to block access to them.

It’s a voluntary scheme and ISPs don’t have to use it. It is known that Telstra Clear does use it.

I have seen claims that it’s only for the worst forms of child pornography.

I expect that once the scheme is proven to work:

      It will not stay voluntary.
      It will be extended to other forms of material.

I would like to know more about it, and therefore:

Dear Internal Affairs,

I understand that Internal Affairs is running a voluntary “clean feed” Internet content filtering project in conjunction with a number of ISPs including Telstra Clear.

Under the Official Information Act I would like the following information about this project:

1. What is the underlying technology used to implement the filter?
2. What law or regulation or other legal contrivance gives Internal Affairs the authority to create and supply the content-filtering service?
3. How is the content-filtering service funded?
4. How much did the content-filtering service cost to run in the 2007/2008 financial year?
5. What is the budget for the content-filtering service in the 2008/2009 financial year?
6. What is the projected budget (if available) for the content-filtering service for the 2009/2010 financial year?
7. By what process are sites/addresses chosen and added to the list?
8. What types of content get a site/address added to the list?
9. Please send me a current copy of the list including the reasons for the inclusion of each site/address. (A digital copy in some openly available format will suffice.)
10. Which ISPs are currently using or working towards using the list to filter their Internet feeds?
11. What information is stored when a request to a site is blocked?
12. What information is stored when the request is intercepted but approved?

Yours faithfully,

Thomas Beagle