The Republic of Mauritius has joined the growing list of countries implementing national Internet filtering systems, but for a limited list of child sexual abuse sites.
New Zealand based Internet filtering specialist Watchdog International installed the system for the ICT Authority of Mauritius (ICTA). The system uses technology from NetClean in Sweden called the Whitebox and URL block lists provided by the UK based Internet Watch Foundation and by Interpol.
Watchdog has supplied this technology to the New Zealand Government where it is used to manage Internet services to over 1500 New Zealand schools under a contract with the Ministry of Education.
The system deployed in Mauritius consists of a bank of servers hosted by the ICTA to which the country's ISPs connect. According to Watchdog, it uses BGP redirection and URL filtering techniques to "ensure that the system can be very effective with no adverse affect on Internet performance."
Watchdog said that trials of the system over a four month period prior to the installation logged 142,000 accesses to web sites containing CSA material from one ISP network in the country.
Trilok Dabeesing, ICT director for the ICTA, says "We were aware of the NetClean system being used in New Zealand for the blocking of CSA and we chose the same system due to the ease of implementation for ISPs and the fact that it could be centrally hosted and managed.
NetClean says: "We estimate that one filtering server has the capacity to support up to around 500,000 customers, based on real world results. This is dependent on a number of factors, but mainly on the amount of 'clean traffic' that the filter has to handle'¦The number of providers that can be supported by one server is normally only limited by the throughput as we have tested the system with many tunnels. For example, one server could support up to 10 ISPs with 50,000 customers each or 100 ISPs with 5,000 customers each."
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