Australian telco's filtering project draws attention to tech firm's censorship tools

    29 June 2012

    Telstra, a Melbourne-based provider of phone and Internet services, has admitted to secretly tracking websites visited by its mobile users and giving the information to Netsweeper, a Guelph-based firm that makes tools used to censor the Internet abroad. Tracking was conducted in the lead-up to the launch of a voluntary web-filtering tool, Telstra said in a statement, and no personal information was stored or shared in the process. But concerns over the Guelph-based firm’s reputation have fuelled criticism and speculation in Australia about what the web-browsing data — which was transmitted to a U.S.-based hosting provider and then compared to a blacklist of websites curated by Netsweeper — might really be used for.