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Aussies Hit the Streets Over Gov't Internet Filters

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the thinking-of-the-children dept.

Censorship 224

mask.of.sanity writes "Outraged aussies will hold simultaneous protests across Australia in opposition to the government's plans for mandatory ISP internet content filtering. The plan will introduce nation-wide filtered internet using blacklists operated by a government agency, away from public scrutiny. Politicians and ISPs will join protesters in the streets to voice their opposition to the government's plan, which has ploughed ahead, despite intense criticism that the technology will crippled internet speeds and infringe on free speech. Opponents said the most accurate filter chosen by the government will incorrectly block up to 10,000 Web pages out of 1 million."

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224 comments

If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists win! (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25974911)

Once again the guise of stopping child porn and terrorists will be used as cover to do the bidding of big business and lobbyists for the music/movie/software studios who want to block torrent sites. I doubt the U.S. and E.U. will be far behind Australia's lead, sadly.

Re:If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists w (3, Funny)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 5 years ago | (#25974991)

The Great Firewall of OZ, Dorthy will be safe now.

Re:If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists w (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25975723)

if they do this in the USA, there will be blood. end of story.

Re:If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists w (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25976891)

if they do this in the USA, there will be blood. end of story.

I didn't see any blood over the USA PATRIOT Act, did you?

Re:If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists w (4, Insightful)

GospelHead821 (466923) | more than 5 years ago | (#25977275)

No, in fact, I've seen outright approval of the PATRIOT Act. Too many people have the attitude "It doesn't hurt me in an obvious and immediate way and it just might help catch a terrorist, so it's a good thing!" A trivial application of critical thinking shows how it hurts EVERYBODY in subtle and long-term ways. It is one of many popular laws that exists because we base our decisions more on worst-case-scenarios than on rational cost-benefit analysis.

Re:If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists w (5, Insightful)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976031)

Any widespread filtering of the internet at large will result in a massive tech 'arms war' that will make the cold war look like a Sunday picnic. Splinter cryptoed internets on both the current and eventually new internets will occur. Won't be pretty.

Re:If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists w (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976463)

and this has happened how much since china built it's firewall?

Re:If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists w (3, Informative)

Luthe_Faydwire (700369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976901)

have you heard of darknets?

Re:If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists w (3, Insightful)

wilder_card (774631) | more than 5 years ago | (#25977347)

Actually many Chinese get around those restrictions. However, there does seem to be a different psychology at work there, as well. The Chinese accept many restrictions we'd find outrageous.

Re:If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists w (2, Interesting)

YouWantFriesWithThat (1123591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25977373)

actually that might be the kind of obstacle that would force an evolution of our networks and communications. i think that people usually respond well to adversity; in this case there are a lot of very intelligent and skilled people that want information that other people have. if barriers are thrown up in the way of the transfer of data they will find ways to use technology to overcome them or create new technology to do it. i kind of like the idea of "splintered cryptoed internets" because they are less easy for any one entity to control.

besides, if the entire network is illegal to be on, can you imagine how good the warez will be?

Re:If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists w (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25976403)

big business and lobbyists for the music/movie/software studios who want to block torrent sites.

These issues are also a smoke screen, just like child porn and terrorists. The _real_ problem is free speech, that is what is under threat.

This was all planned. In "Between Two Ages" by Zbigniew Brzezinski he predicted the internet and the rise in free speech. This take down of the free internet is just the next step. Get us all hooked, get the world using it, then transform it into the greatest propaganda tool ever invented.

First they caught us in the "net". Now we are getting moved into the "grid".

We _must_ keep hold of the internet in its present form, this is very important.

Re:If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists w (2, Insightful)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 5 years ago | (#25977309)

So what you're saying is that THEY are actually Cardassians? child porn is a smokescreen for music torrents which are a smokescreen for free speech.

"a plan within a plan within a plan leading to a trap" [wikipedia.org] seems very in-line with what you're describing. Hmm, this situation is alternatively terrifying and awesome, not sure how I'm supposed to feel as an old trek nerd and current music nerd.

Re:If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists w (4, Informative)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976465)

OpenAustralia.org [openaustralia.org] is your friend.

Re:If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists w (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25976689)

This is in response to an earlier comment ... on the time line.
The Aussies, Brits & Canadians have already LOST. They're going to protest this action ... OK. So WHAT? These countries have not a bite to their actions. Let's play Soylent Green and scoop em up.
In the United States, we're just a hair's tooth away from the same. Check out the War Powers Act AND the Presidential Executive Orders AND the power given to FEMA concerning putting the US Constitution on HOLD without stating WHEN or HOW it would resume (restoring RIGHTS Back to the American Subjects and a restoration of their Citizenship) Please remember the Branch Dividians taught us how a "Cult" is defined by our friends running our government.
I love this country but, neither party has an answer since departing so far away from intents of the Original Constitution.

Re:If we don't stop thepiratebay, the terrorists w (1)

memnock (466995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976733)

if/when that does happen, how many people in the U.S. will make an effort such as the Australians to voice their opposition?

Cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25976871)

Now when are Americans going to get off their lazy asses and get the federal government to stop bailing out failures and stop devaluing our currency? When are you going to End the Fed [endthefed.us] and demand sound money?

The Grand Tube Experiment (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25974931)

Opponents said the most accurate filter chosen by the government will incorrectly block up to 10,000 Web pages out of 1 million.

Uh, why didn't they use the metric of 10^4:10^6 or 1:100? Sounds like somebody wanted that statement to be heard as much more impacting than it is. The thing that worries me is that if we look at other technologies designed to "protect the people from themselves," a false positive rate of 1% really isn't that bad--especially on a fully automated system. A high false positive rate is--in my opinion--what's holding back facial recognition but I fear that 1% blockage of websites is completely acceptable to most folks. Maybe a better analogy is that of the FCC in America and the words you can't say on TV ... even though there is no research showing how these words negatively affect people, this small percent of our language and expression is blocked. This analogy (like all) is flawed, however, as you might never know what was on that website that caused the super happy and helpful animated kangaroo to appear on your computer and gently chide you that this site is not for Aussies.

Hopefully (and I'm betting on this) it will turn out to be a lot like prohibition. The outlawing of these sites and data cause their value to skyrocket, the government is made to look a mockery, your average citizen (I've heard talk of simple SSL encryption stopping this) knows how to reach them, in so doing they inadvertently supply criminals with capital and the very stupid law is repealed. Twenty years later, everyone is joking about "the Grand Experiment" and how pathetically futile it was to begin with.

Lastly, how is this any different than what China is doing? I'm surprised nobody has made this connection and accused the government of being no better than anti-free-speech China.

After reading a bit of the plan [dbcde.gov.au] on Australia's Cyber-Safety, it's evident this quickly degrades into a "think of the children" mentality:

While the internet has created substantial benefits for children, it has also exposed them to a number of dangers, including exposure to illegal and prohibited content. Parents rightly expect the Australian Government to play its part in helping protect children online.

So why isn't there an "opt-out" plan for those Aussie adults who like our interwebs a little dirty (and are over 18 years of age)?

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (5, Insightful)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975201)

That's the problem; since it's automated, that 1% blocked could be anything. cnn/bbc/etc could be blocked for talking about a child porn news item. That would seem unacceptable to me.

As for the whole "think of the children" issue. There are child protection software packages available. Parents need to start taking responsibility for their offspring and stop expecting everyone else to bend over backwards for them. You brought them into this world, not me. You take care of their well-being. I'm all for "thinking of the children" when it doesn't adversely affect anyone else but this does. Therefore, it is unacceptable.

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975429)

That's the problem; since it's automated, that 1% blocked could be anything. cnn/bbc/etc could be blocked for talking about a child porn news item. That would seem unacceptable to me.

Well, according to the last part of one of the articles

The trial is expected to use a blacklist of 10,000 banned Web pages, using the rumoured 1300-page blacklist held by the ACMA mixed with dummy data.

If that's true, they are simply going to blacklist a bunch of websites. I heavily doubt cnn/bbc/etc will ever negligently be put on that list. I know little to nothing about this scheme but if it's a blacklist, you probably have little worry about with major news sites. A lot more to worry about things labeled as "counter-culture" or "low brow humor."

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (4, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975789)

What you doubt, is not reality.

Remember the whole "5 9's" philosophy of uptime?

Well what if you reduce that back to 2 9's of uptime, which was like ....8 hours a year I believe. I think you know how big of a deal that even 1/10th of a percent can make, in that regards.

Now lets take this to an ineffective bloated government mandated filter, and you think it's going to work? Yeah, right. "we're only blocking 1% of the internet, and it happens to be every torrent sites (including linux ISOs) , and 0 child porn websites. I'm proud that the other 80% of the sites we filter are very effective".

Watch an almost identical quote to that come out of government mouthes if this is implemented.

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25977313)

Well what if you reduce that back to 2 9's of uptime, which was like ....8 hours a year I believe.

I am pretty sure 2 9s of uptime would be 3.9 days of downtime a year. Talk about unacceptable.

At any rate, so if they block 1% of the internet incorrectly, they will get a very low number of people complaining. And as we all know, if only a small minority is discriminated against it is ok, right? Wait...

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (5, Interesting)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975853)

If that's true, they are simply going to blacklist a bunch of websites. I heavily doubt cnn/bbc/etc will ever negligently be put on that list.

They are doing something very similar in Finland. The biggest difference is that ISPs aren't required to filter based on the blocklist, yet.

An unnamed police officer (yes, apparently a single person) is in charge of what goes on the list and what comes off the list.

They recently put w3c.org on the list.

Obviously it was a mistake, but nevertheless it quite nicely demonstrated that any site can end up on the list.

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (5, Informative)

uffe_nordholm (1187961) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976157)

If I remember correctly, the very same filter was used to deny access to www.lapsiporno.info/ (childporn.info). The only problem was the the blocked site was not about child porn per se, but about the child porn filter. Thus the filter was used by the Finnish police to silence their critics! "Very handy" if you happen to be the authorities and don't care about such things as freedom of speech.

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (3, Insightful)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975997)

Do these people not realize that the web sites with the content on that they really want to block are moving targets. A static list will not work. It will have to be automated. Which then results in the blocking of medical blogs and forums. Have they all forgot AOL and 'breast' cancer.

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976405)

I would be interested too see if sites which report negatively about this new adventure suddenly find themselves on the list.

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (3, Insightful)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976867)

You'll never see that start happening again. All the people who OMFG THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!! and have their own...want someone else to take care of their children for them. Gone are the days of parents actually taking responsibility for upbringing of their children.

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (0)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975451)

Lastly, how is this any different than what China is doing? I'm surprised nobody has made this connection and accused the government of being no better than anti-free-speech China.

Well, at least on /., this analogy has been done a _lot_ of times. Maybe more than the repeating "In Soviet Russia, etc" joke. But less then "The year of the Linux desktop".

Anyway, about this Aussie firewall, it's great, but... does it run linux?

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975725)

"The thing that worries me is that if we look at other technologies designed to "protect the people from themselves..."

I think we need to back up and examine that statement in itself. Why should the govt. be involved at all in technology or laws that protect people from themselves?!?!

Isn't part of being free, the freedom to fuck up?

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25976645)

And why do you think that we are free ?
Just because you repeat "Land of the free" a lot doesn't make it true.

In every nation there are stringent laws that govern the behaviour of individuals and companies.

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (2, Insightful)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975807)

1 in a million is 1 too many.

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (2, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 5 years ago | (#25977199)

The hyperbolic argument is rarely valid, as a supporter of this censorship could just as easily claim, "If it protects one child, it will be worth it!"

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25975825)

Because if you say it's 1:100 there is a greater chance the "Joe the Plumber" types will infer that perhaps as much as a dozen sites could be hit.

But it's not a dozen, it's tens of thousands out of millions, which helps reinforce exactly how immense the web has become to people who perhaps aren't as skilled as you at visualizing ratios.

Sorry for the AC post, I usually don't have enough to say to bother registering, but my meds just kicked in and I'm feeling lucid today =P

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (5, Insightful)

Trentus (1017602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976121)

Lastly, how is this any different than what China is doing? I'm surprised nobody has made this connection and accused the government of being no better than anti-free-speech China.

It has before been alluded that it is just like what China have implemented, even in the senate. To quote Senator Conroy (the nut in charge of the department for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy).

I was wondering if I could get the questions without being accused of being the Great Wall of China.

From http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/commttee/S11346.pdf [aph.gov.au] .

No, you great twat, you can't, not when what you're proposing is so damn much like it.

Re:The Grand Tube Experiment (2, Insightful)

pmontra (738736) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976329)

a false positive rate of 1% really isn't that bad--especially on a fully automated system

Well, I'd say that a technology with that failure ratio isn't ready for production. Just try dropping every 100th page you load into your browser. I concede that maybe a

1% blockage of websites is completely acceptable to most folks

but a 1:100 false positive rate is unacceptable. Unless the opposition to the filters wins, I'll remove Australia from my list of countries I'd like to live in. Too bad, I remember it as a great country when I've been there on vacation years ago.

Typo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25974953)

...in the summary.

I spotted it first.

Re:Typo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25975081)

What about "scrunity" don't you understand? Why do you hate on the children?

Good On 'Em (4, Insightful)

Paranatural (661514) | more than 5 years ago | (#25974957)

It takes some amount of courage to stand up to laws like this. Basically they have to publicly oppose the guise of 'Safety' and 'For The Children'. For politicians and normal people alike it can be difficult to come out sand say you oppose anything that is 'supposed to protect children'.

Good luck to them I say, and lets hope this kills this insane filtering plan.

Re:Good On 'Em (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25975141)

Of course in the long run government will win, as they always do. The business of government is simply too lucrative to resist. A million here, a million there, and pretty soon you're sitting at the top of a trillion-dollar power pyramid.

There's a reason why no government in history (democracy or otherwise) has ever significant, permanently, and willingly reduced its revenue or power over the people. The reason is simple, although not many are willing to accept it (or admit it): more government benefits the people who make their fortunes in the business of government.

Make no mistake, governments only expand in power and revenue throughout their lifetimes. We ought to sit down and think long and hard about this reality, because it is a perfect window into the true motives of government.

Re:Good On 'Em (1)

Logical Zebra (1423045) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975673)

I'm bloody sick of everything being "for the children." Dang the children. What doesn't kill them makes them stronger.

And whatever happened to parental responsibility?! Shouldn't the PARENTS be monitoring their brats' intarweb use?

Re:Good On 'Em (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976307)

I think parents need to think of their own children, and not shoving the burden on everyone else.

"Not everyone wants to think of your children!"

Simulated Protests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25974959)

Am I the only one who read "Simulated Protests" and wondered whether they would be blacklisted?

Re:Simulated Protests (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975753)

Yes, you are.

This "meme" if you can even call it that, is stale. Learn to read, and keep such mistakes to your self. Nobody cares.

Expect Government Response (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25974969)

They will label the protesters pedophile sympathizers. Insinuations will fly. Motives will be questioned. Fingers will be pointed. Dissent will disintegrate.

Newspapers will be sold.

Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.
Frederick Douglass

These protesters are only protesting the symptoms and not the root causes of modern censorship. That is why they will fail.

Re:Expect Government Response (4, Insightful)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975389)

They will label the protesters pedophile sympathizers.

That will depend on how many people really show up and how clear the protester's leaders get the message through. If they convince the average Aussie the real reasons they are protesting, the 'bad' people can say anything they want. Just like people calling Obama a terrorist (and here I'm only making an analogy) - he got the message through.

These protesters are only protesting the symptoms and not the root causes of modern censorship. That is why they will fail.

To get people on the streets, you need the symptoms. And, when they are already there, you tell them about the theory behind that, and the root causes. But you need facts and impact on people's lives to make them care.

Re:Expect Government Response (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25975611)

Aren't you precious? Go ahead, hunker down, keep your mouth closed, mind your own business, and refuse to participate until someone--ANYONE--makes a protest that rises to your standard of approval against those so-called "root causes". Meanwhile, teh pwers that be will take your pathetic silence as acquiescence and will heap even more restrictive control over your life.

Re:Expect Government Response (2, Funny)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975891)

Censorship only works while the public remains silent. The media is not at fault, it's our corrupt political system. We are resisting with words, with public protest which will come to blows. We will prevail.

Vox Populi (2, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25974983)

"Think of the children! Won't somebody PLEEEEEEASE think of the CHILDREN!" - Helen Lovejoy

While this is a great start, perhaps they can also lift the bans on games? I'm pretty sure that aussies will want to play F.E.A.R. 2 and Silent Hill Homecoming. Okay, maybe not so much Silent Hill, but they'll want to give this one a miss by choice, not by rating board decree or royal edict.

The clbuttic error! (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975009)

"We have buttiduously canvbutted the industry [today.com] , buttessed what is available and buttembled the finest selection of PFI contractors for this buttignment. The filters will buttociatively clbuttify all communications and filter then, I can butture you, rebuttemble them with surpbutting exacbreastude in any quanbreasty. Consbreastuents can be rebuttured that a mulbreastude of industry compebreastors will butture quality and keep our clbuttrooms safe. EDS Capita Goatse will not embarbutt us."

The first filtering offices will be set up in Arsenal, Penistone and Scunthorpe.

(Inspiration: The Daily WTF [thedailywtf.com] .)

Re:The clbuttic error! (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975615)

This is win^n.

Re:The clbuttic error! (2, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975701)

And adults should use one of these [today.com] .

Even Save the Children don't want the filters (5, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975019)

A quote from this article in the The Age [theage.com.au]

"Holly Doel-Mackaway, adviser with Save the Children, the largest independent children's rights agency in the world, said educating kids and parents was the way to empower young people to be safe internet users.

She said the filter scheme was "fundamentally flawed" because it failed to tackle the problem at the source and would inadvertently block legitimate resources."

With Rudd comes censorship (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25975079)

I'm an Australian, I've recently become concerned about the plans my government is instigating. Just on /. there has been a recent plethora of Australian govt technological announcements that seriously impeach our ability to freely access information.

I will certainly attend one of these protest rally 's providing it's located within 400km of my current location (which I seriously doubt).

And cheers to iinet for attempting to denounce the governments ridiculous plans. No doubt those at the mercy's of company's such as Telstra and Westnet will suffer the full effect of these proletariat injunctions.

- Dane green

Re:With Rudd comes censorship (4, Funny)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975641)

No doubt those at the mercy's of company's such as Telstra and Westnet...

No doubt those at the mercy is of company is such as Telstra and Westnet...

There....fixed that for you. :/

Re:With Rudd comes censorship (1)

Beat The Odds (1109173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975795)

No doubt those at the mercy's of company's such as Telstra and Westnet...

No doubt those at the mercy is of company is such as Telstra and Westnet... There....fixed that for you. :/

You're my kind of grammar nazi!

Come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25975119)

"away from public scrunity"

Away from what??

Curious (2, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975175)

I'm curious. What does the Slashdot community think of government run opt-in blacklists and/or whitelists?

Re:Curious (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25975485)

Personally, I think it would be a waste of government money. There are plenty of inexpensive private company solutions. In general, anything that private industry can do, should be left to private industry. There are of course exceptions, but this is not one of them.

Re:Curious (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975797)

If it was an opt-in, I might, might, be interested. Not for my family, but for NPOs that can't afford a subscription to a commercial service. For the kids, I found that age appropriate supervision and education worked best.

Re:Curious (1)

Dmala (752610) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976075)

Well, I think it's a terrible idea. Clearly the government does not have the resources to stay on top of all the sites that can pop up. I think the only way a program like that can succeed is if the government enlists the help of major corporations and the various trade associations that represent the major content creators.

Re:Curious (2, Insightful)

chadenright (1344231) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976423)

Yes, and clearly, the government joining forces with major corporations to help censor the internet is going to revolutionize the way we see the internet--the parts of it we see, anyway.

Re:Curious (1)

chadenright (1344231) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976373)

An opt-in internet blacklist/whitelist isn't really the domain of the government. In other words, I don't want to pay my tax dollars into a program that lets some noob feel good about what porn sites they visit.

Re:Curious (1)

Garrett Fox (970174) | more than 5 years ago | (#25977177)

In the US specifically, there is no federal authority for any such thing, so it would be completely illegal. If done at the state or local level it might be legal, but would still be a stupid idea. It would be impractical for technological reasons, immoral due to it being none of the government's proper business, and generally a waste of money handled by a bloated bureaucracy.

The Constitutional angle is one that gets too little attention in the US. In Australia, the people are still nominally subjects of the Queen of England, so I suggest fixing that and then getting a strictly limited government.

FSM (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975183)

Charlie "Brown" Artman is rolling in his grave.

im probably the only one (1, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975191)

envisioning wallabees with didgery doos, and koalas with boomerangs marching the street...led proudly by a weathered and slightly under-dressed paul hogan.

Re:im probably the only one (1)

Garrett Fox (970174) | more than 5 years ago | (#25977211)

That's absurd. You think Australians are all a bunch of wallabys and koalas?

You completely forgot about the talking kangaroos with big knives! Aren't they, like, half the population?

What else can Aussies DO? (4, Insightful)

redelm (54142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975239)

Although nicely social, demonstrations and protesting seems somewhat futile -- whinging you are unhappy and the perpetrators ought to fix it. Especially when they are stupid enough to not realize the level of discontent, they are likely to be stubborn as a matter of "principle" (most likely of power retention).

However, I don not see anything else Aussies can do. I don't think their constitution is strong enough to carry a challenge against parlementary primacy. Naturally, they can vote the b#ms out, but that happens anyways as a matter of control.

Unfortunately, many "democracies", especially UK-style parlements, functionally are elected dictatorships.

10,000 out of 1 million (4, Informative)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975313)

Also known as 1 in 100, or 1%? Granted, 10,0000 sounds a lot better, but it's a bit disingenuous...

Re:10,000 out of 1 million (1)

SecondaryOak (1342441) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975769)

Also known as 1 in 100, or 1%? Granted, 10,0000 sounds a lot better, but it's a bit disingenuous...

It sounds better, yes, and I'd say it's a legitimate way of putting it considering that there are many millions of web pages.

Re:10,000 out of 1 million (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976829)

I'd say it'd be even better if you took an approximation of the total number of webpages on the internet and then took the 1 in 100 ratio on that.

According to http://www.worldwidewebsize.com/ [worldwidewebsize.com] , which I cannot vouch for its accuracy but at least it has some numbers:

there are 25.16billion webpages indexed on the internet.

25,160,000,000.

a 1 in 100 ratio would mean that 251,600,000 webpages will be marked as false positives and dropped.

A quarter of a billion legitimate webpages lost doesn't seem like a number we can just ignore.

Allow me to fix that for them .. (4, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975329)

"Opponents said the most accurate filter chosen by the government will incorrectly block Web pages."

The opponents are doing themselves a disservice by analyzing percentages. By doing so it takes the focus from "should we or shouldn't we filter", to "how much should we filter?" Government should never filter Internet access, and the US should put pressure on them however they can, though I concede that is unlikely to happen since so many politicians are too busy trying to figure out ways to convince the proles that the US Government should filter the net to slap the hands of others for doing the same :-)

(admit it; you were in desperate need of a good run-on sentence and I filled it.)

"What do we want??" (2, Funny)

drjuggler (1121225) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975365)

"No mandatory ISP internet content filtering!!" "When do we want it?" "Before our copies of Quantum of Solace finish downloading!!"

"10,000 Web pages out of 1 million" or simply put (1)

Juggz (1181257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975373)

1 in 100.

And how many webpages are there out there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25976735)

Millions upon millions.

Therefore either

a) There are 10,000 x multiple sites to ban (sounds like a lot!)

b) there are 10,000 x smaller multiple sites that should not be banned (which is 10,000 x smaller multiple too many)

You got the ratio wrong! (4, Funny)

oskard (715652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975459)

will incorrectly block up to 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Web pages out of 1 decillion.

There, fixed that for you.

NEUTRALITY (2, Interesting)

kieblerh (1414625) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975481)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q25-S7jzgs [youtube.com] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mYbYG-nXVA [youtube.com] Lawrence Lessig is the man! Internet users should be in control of what software they use and what content they transmit over the internet. The internet has operated openly since its start. Nobody should be able to use their market power, or government power to silence people's voices on such a powerful network as the internet.

The best internet filter (5, Insightful)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975621)

The best internet filter that can be used is called a 'parent'. The 'parent' places the child's computer in a high trafic area of the home and monitors what the child is doing. 'Parents' can also come with aditional feature which is called 'intrest' as in the 'parent' takes an active intrest in what the child is doing on line. (Comments accepted, special cases ignored)

Re:The best internet filter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25977155)

It would seem what is obviously NOT apparent to you ...

Et tu Australia? (5, Informative)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975643)

So Australia, you voted in a Labour government, thinking you were going to get a moderate, left of centre government? A change from the Neo-Liberal (see Thatcher and Reagan) fiscal policies of the right.

But what you got is a bunch of socially right-wing, authoritarian cock-wads, who think the solution to any social problem is making new laws. As a Brit, I have to say this sounds disturbingly [labour.org.uk] familiar [wordpress.com] .

If it's not Stephane Dion [thisisdion.ca] declaring that he's "Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime [google.com] ," Australians electing a Tony Blair clone, or the Canadian Prime Minister ripping-off speeches [www.cbc.ca] from John Howard; it continues to amaze me how the Commonwealth leaders copy each other.

Re:Et tu Australia? (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976399)

Or more succinctly:
Left is the New Right.

Re:Et tu Australia? (2, Funny)

kingturkey (930819) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976557)

Actually I knew we were getting a bunch of cock-wads and didn't vote for them. Those cock-wads would prefer it if you would mispell Labour as Labor.

Re:Et tu Australia? (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25977297)

In Canadian politics, I'd like to see either the grits or torries disappear for awhile (depending on who replaces Dion. I'd like to see Goodale running things (slight regional bias here), though it would definitely piss off Quebec, as I don't think he can speak French.), have the one that doesn't form a minority government, with the NDP running the opposition.

Re:Et tu Australia? (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 5 years ago | (#25977363)

I don't even live in Oz and I know that the authoritarian stupidity has been going on a long time [wikipedia.org] . When you give up your rights to hold useful firearms because one nutcase went on a rampage (with guns he possessed illegally in the first place), it shows a lack of fortitude.

I hope the Aussies kick some govt butt! (1)

Brontos (574661) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975667)

This filtering crap really chaps my ass. I really hate it that the govt thinks they need to know what everyone is doing all the time. I hope they can get those laws repelled. Read Cory Doctorow's Little Brother.. http://craphound.com/littlebrother/download/ [craphound.com] I don't think we are too far off from this stuff, especially the more the govt wants to stick their hand in our private lives. We can't let this happen!

Not In The Streets (3, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975757)

Hold your protests in the voting booth, not in the streets. Then something will really happen.

Re:Not In The Streets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25975875)

That was so funny !

Re:Not In The Streets (1)

NudeAvenger (1391803) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976347)

It's a strange democratic system I know - but they only allow you to vote for a party or a person, and not a tickbox of policies you agree with. now wait 4 years or kick up a stink...

Re:Not In The Streets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25977417)

It takes about 6 years to effect a change. 4 years to get a portion in to instigate the start AND another 4 to see a movement that = years 6 through 8 for change. Lots can happen, with possibly more "change" realized than desired!

Over 250 million websites to be banned in Aus? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25975801)

The indexed web alone contains over 25 billion sites. That means we're talking at over 250million sites blocked! :D

Obligitory (1)

dotNetProgrammer (1311353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975805)

I for one welcome our filtering overlords... there i said it

Wow, taking to the streets huh? (0, Troll)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975833)

Once you're done with the free speech wankfest:
  • This level of censorship will have zero practical effect on political speech.
  • Many, if not most, of the people upset about it use the internet to look up pornography and break copyright law — two activities with no socially redeeming aspect.
  • If you disagree with the last statement, you have let your brains dribble out your ears. I'm not going to argue with your tortured, whiny, refutations.
  • Although free political speech is a useful good, it is not infinitely good. Democracy is the modern religion, and is just as silly as worshipping Zeus ever was. Limits on (usually non-political) speech should be considered and imposed when they make sense, as they often do.

Re:Wow, taking to the streets huh? (4, Insightful)

pluther (647209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976397)

Pornography has "no socially redeeming aspect"?

Can you tell me what the "socially redeeming aspect" of reading Slashdot is? And why I should allow you to continue doing so?

"This level of censorship will have zero practical effect on political speech."

On what basis do you make that assertion? And why are you limiting it to only "political" speech? And in what circumstances do limits on free speech (political or not) "often" make sense?

Re:Wow, taking to the streets huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25977143)

Many, if not most, of the people upset about it use the internet to..[do stuff Henry V .009 doesn't like]

There are so many problems with that kind of thinking, though:

  • I noticed you didn't say "all." What about the guy who isn't doing stuff you don't like? Government is messing with this guy for no reason.
  • If the purpose of government is to prevent people from doing stuff that Henry V .009 doesn't like, maybe it's also to prevent doing stuff that Anonymous Coward doesn't like (well, except that I'm not an Australian citizen, but let's pretend I was). I happen to think $YOUR_HOBBY has no value. Let's use government force to ban $YOUR_HOBBY.
  • And here's the worst part: there's no upside. This thing is all loss for no gain (except to the owners of companies that make the filters).

Although free political speech is a useful good, it is not infinitely good.

It's also harmless, though. There's no reason to restrict your speech.

ssh -D ? (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 5 years ago | (#25975975)

could be a market for ssh proxies in countries where filtering is not implemented.

Business Oppotunity... (1)

EddyPearson (901263) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976077)

The first thing I'm going to do when this gets put in place, is buy myself 5-10 VERY fast dedicated servers.

The second thing I am going to do is write a nice, easy to use, one-click-fits-all SSH and proxy client.

The third thing I am going to do is make a pretty website selling this wonderful solution, aimed at paranoid numbskulls (unlike every other proxy service out there).

The forth thing involves a brief walk to the bank, laughing aaaalllll the way.

Censorship is wrong. Period. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25976197)

Whether by the Chinese government, the Aussies, the US, wherever, censoring public communication is the ultimate expression of disrespect for the public, and seriously undermines the validity of the offending government.

As an Aussie... (1)

NudeAvenger (1391803) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976249)

...I'm proud to live in London where the wifi is bountiful and the downloads are many

Simple, really (2, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976559)

Parents have not exercised proper control over their children. Obvious on the face of it.

Government has recognized this lacking and is preparing to step up to the plate, at least in some minimal aspect.

This removes the need for any "parenting" in that specific area. Of course, since "parenting" is an obsolete concept that seems to have gone out of favor with June Cleaver we can expect further government action.

It is an obvious step. The government can't legislate "parenting" so they are going to (ineffectively) step into that role. The people have spoken, by not doing any parenting themselves. I believe we can expect similar action in the US sometime soon. The nanny state expands to fill all voids.

Would be fun to do on-demand links again (1)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | more than 5 years ago | (#25976913)

Back in the days when I first learned about and used the Internet (no "darpanet") we did not have ISPs. The idea of an ISP is a new thing. In the old days you got an Internet conection beacuse you knew someone else who had one and you rigged a communications line to them. Many times you could not afford to keep that line 24x7 so you connected periodically and when the connection was up you send email and NNTP (news) that had been queued. Most of use had multiple "peer" and we'd connect with some of them hourly, some of them only at night.

There is no reason we can't go back to this kind of setup, it could be done in parallel with the current ISP based setup. All our current software and servers have suport for ultiple intermitent conections. It would be kind of fun (for us geeks at least) to set up As for the links, if it's close, like two houses down the block, you can run 100BaseT wire down the back fence or use wifi with big antenna to go up to 10 miles. Ham radio has world wide reach but at very low speeds. And then there are phone modems.

Re:Would be fun to do on-demand links again (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 5 years ago | (#25977357)

> you connected periodically and when the connection was up you
> send email and NNTP (news) that had been queued.

NNTP is to SMTP as news is to email. (more or less -- IHAVE/SENDME excluded for obvious reasons).

If you were doing dial modems back in the day, you were probably using UUCP, with the UUCP-g protocol to exchange news and email.

Anything that you could do over UUCP over a modem could be done over UUCP over a telnet or ssh link.

So fallback to ham or dialup for netnews will probably never happen. But if it does, and you want to dial in to Canada... let me know. I wager I'll be here for another for another decade.

Boneheaded blacklists (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25977153)

You'd think by now the moldy old news that blacklists do more harm than good would have percolated up to even these idiots in Aussie government? The allegations of corporate ulterior motives are almost certainly true; they're aware of the consequences and don't care because they have an IP agenda.

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