Internet Censorship in Australia

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J.Byrne
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Internet Censorship in Australia

Post by J.Byrne »

There was a topic a while back about the Australian government's plan make ISP's here in Australia filter their traffic.
I figured I'd bring the issue back from the dead by posting about the anti-clean feed site started in protest.

This site is a must see for anyone living in Australia

So yeah, its an issue I feel very strongly about...

600th post - Meh.

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Post by happy dude »

What I still can't get my head around is that someone will have to check websites for questionable content which could mean paedophiles get the top job of "filtering" child porn.

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Post by J.Byrne »

What I want to know is who gets to decide what is and is not allowed.

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Post by ___ »

i hope NZ doesn't follow

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Post by lucas93 »

For me, as long as BA doesn't get blocked, I'm happy

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Post by Andy »

This is a bit like the Phorm situation. All you do is if they implement it, you change ISP to one that doesn't do it. Simple. The ISP will soon lose money and they'll soon stop.

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Post by ___ »

isn't the government forcing it on all ISPs?

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Post by Andy »

___ wrote:isn't the government forcing it on all ISPs?
Nothing can be forced by the government if the public don't like it. There will be riots and such if that happens, and the government certainly won't want that.

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Post by ___ »

think of all the mummies wanting to protect their kids from the dangers of the internet, child porn and such. which im sure is the #1 reason they are telling everyone

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Post by happy dude »

___ wrote:isn't the government forcing it on all ISPs?
Yes.
Andy wrote:
___ wrote:isn't the government forcing it on all ISPs?
Nothing can be forced by the government if the public don't like it. There will be riots and such if that happens, and the government certainly won't want that.
Hmm, the Bush administration continued with Iraq and there is continually an uproar about that, yet it's still forced.

And to our parent viewers, the government already provides free OPTIONAL filters.

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Post by J.Byrne »

happy dude wrote: And to our parent viewers, the government already provides free OPTIONAL filters.
As do most ISP's.
Andy wrote:Nothing can be forced by the government if the public don't like it. There will be riots and such if that happens, and the government certainly won't want that.
Lol, people rioting because their porn is blocked.
I doubt this will show in NZ, if anything it might make ISPs here think about expanding over there.
The first ISP to put this in place will prolly be bigpond, the government still owns a fair share of Telstra (which sucks for me)

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Post by pr0gram the pr0grammer »

Andy wrote:This is a bit like the Phorm situation. All you do is if they implement it, you change ISP to one that doesn't do it. Simple. The ISP will soon lose money and they'll soon stop.
Actually, the current proposal is that it's going to be forced onto every Australian ISP, so every ISP will be required by law to have these filtering machines, and users will not have the option of disabling it. You have the option of switching to a less-restrictive blacklist (that lets you look at "mature" content) but there will still be some content which is blocked.


The annoying thing is that it isn't even going to work, because it isn't filtering P2P, and it can't filter encrypted transfers. Hence it will have a zero effect on the trafficking of child porn. So we'll have this filter, slowing down the internet considerably (the tests they ran slowed down internet access by an average of 30%), and not actually having much of an effect.

Plus the other scary thing is, there's a big possibility that minority religious groups are going to push the government to add sites to their blacklist to push their own agendas. Example, Scientologists don't want any anti-Scientology websites on the internet ... will the government add their sites to the blacklist? What if AFACT, which is our equivalent of MPAA/RIAA, lobby the government to start blocking BitTorrent trackers?

On top of this, the minister in charge of this is an arrogant twat who dodges every question about how bad this filter is by regurgitating his press releases on it. He's ignoring criticism from the CEOs of ALL of the top five ISPs. He has attempted to silence critics of the plan, for example Mark Newton (network manager at Internode, one of Australia's top 5 ISPs) has been very vocal about the filter. The government sent a letter to the System Administrators Guild of Australia, basically telling them to get Mark Newton to stop talking about the filter. The minister seems to have the idea that if he says "child porn" and "for the children" enough times, he'll get the approval of the Australian people.

Here's a video of him at work: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=OUohfIhFET8

Worst, communications minister, ever.

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Post by J.Byrne »

I'm a little worried about what they could censor and we'd never know.
Just look at china, type tiananmen square into their google images and you get pictures of tiananmen square, and food.

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Post by zchri9 »

[censored] INTERNET CENSORSHIP!
We should be able to look at what ever the hell we want..
We don't pay for the internet to have it censored.
thats bullshit...
I signed the online petition to stop the government from censoring the internet!

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Post by ___ »

online petitions won't do anything. better to start a real hard copy one with proper signatures

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Post by Rioter »

zchri9 wrote: I signed the online petition to stop the government from censoring the internet!
That's going to do little to nothing, unless it's on an official goverment site (I have not checked)
Written petition is much better, as it would be more authentic and when presented would have much more impact.

And back to what was said, if implemented there are bound to be protests and possibly riots as well. As soon as that happens, they will then realise <how> that this was a waste of time, money and effort, and either they should remove it.
No idea if that would happen, I'm not a politician
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Post by longview »

Anyone who says as long as I have x I'll be happy are idiots, it's like saying if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear or the truth is in the middle.

The problem here is that filtering infrastructure will be put in place so blocking sites for the government will be trivial, and it's setting the legal precedence that censorship of arbitrary sites is something the government can do.

Fortunately I have nothing to fear in Norway, ISPs are even afraid to do traffic-shaping because they'd lose too many customers. And our government actually works in the interest of the people most of the time, Datatilsynet would raise hell over any kind of censorship or monitoring being proposed.
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Re: Internet Censorship in Australia

Post by merty »

Yes I know it's a bump, but I felt like I needed to add this to the discussion.
News.com.au wrote:THE Federal Government's controversial internet censorship scheme may extend to filter more online traffic than was first thought, Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy revealed today.

In a post on his department's blog, Senator Conroy today said technology that could filter data sent directly between computers would be tested as part of the upcoming live filtering trial.

"Technology that filters peer-to-peer and BitTorrent traffic does exist and it is anticipated that the effectiveness of this will be tested in the live pilot trial," Senator Conroy said.
So now it appears along with filtering illegal websites/adult content, they have also decided to investigate the possibility of filtering P2P traffic as well....

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Re: Internet Censorship in Australia

Post by J.Byrne »

Kevin Rudd promised us "World Class Broadband"
Instead we get [censored] censorship.
At least China have decent bandwidth...

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Re: Internet Censorship in Australia

Post by zamadatix »

jabster wrote:At least China have decent bandwidth...
and that is why i got my windows 7 so fast . overall i'm guessing this dude pretty much screwed himself over with this plan...

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Re: Internet Censorship in Australia

Post by ___ »

merty wrote:Yes I know it's a bump, but I felt like I needed to add this to the discussion.
News.com.au wrote:THE Federal Government's controversial internet censorship scheme may extend to filter more online traffic than was first thought, Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy revealed today.

In a post on his department's blog, Senator Conroy today said technology that could filter data sent directly between computers would be tested as part of the upcoming live filtering trial.

"Technology that filters peer-to-peer and BitTorrent traffic does exist and it is anticipated that the effectiveness of this will be tested in the live pilot trial," Senator Conroy said.
So now it appears along with filtering illegal websites/adult content, they have also decided to investigate the possibility of filtering P2P traffic as well....
it was only a matter of time before there was an added part

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Re: Internet Censorship in Australia

Post by J.Byrne »

The part that bugs me is the excuse they are using is to stop child porn.
Wouldn't it be a better idea to take all the millions of dollars it would cost to filter Australia's internet, and invest that in anti-child porn task forces and whatnot.
I know, how bout investing all that money in something that actually helps society, like training competent police, or allowing dentistry to be bulk billed.

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Re: Internet Censorship in Australia

Post by merty »

___ wrote: it was only a matter of time before there was an added part
It was probably also only a matter of time before they decided they could block P2P too.
In my opinion the free software filters provided by the Howard Government was sufficient enough for parents to use to prevent their children from accessing adult content, hell if they couldn't be bothered downloading that, Vista has a web filter built in to its parental controls.
And as Jabster said, instead of spending the money implementing the filters the Government should put their money into getting rid of content, not just filtering it from the Australian Public.

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Re: Internet Censorship in Australia

Post by longview »

Government implementing filtering of something nobody dares disagree with and then expanding it to everything it disagrees with, sounds familiar...

It's pretty clear to everyone that this is an attempt at implemention nationwide censorship, methinks Australia could use a socialist revolution.
Conservatives will be the first ones against the wall.
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Re: Internet Censorship in Australia

Post by Shane »

The principle of censoring certain types of sites is in theory a sound notion, and I am all for the prevention of harm to children. The problem is however, that with censorship systems if people successfully lobby to get sites blocked then more and more people will start to use censorship to pursue their own agendas, eventually things get out of hand. The most simple option is to attack the hosts of these sites with legal action and arrests, not to block end users access to them.
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