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Technical Specs Released For Aussie Net Filtering

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the for-a-limited-time-only dept.

Censorship 231

smallkathryn writes "Technical specifications have just been released for the Australian net filtering trial. The trial, which aims to prove that ISP-level filtering is a viable way to stop 'unwanted content' from reaching users, will go live on 24 December. The trial will involve ISPs choosing a commercially available hardware filter from an internet content filter (ICF) vendor, adding it to their networks, then loading the blacklist of unwanted sites. Still no indication of how peer-to-peer information will be addressed."

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231 comments

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Voluntary (1, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25981951)

Only the ISPs are against voluntary filtering at the ISP level.. because it will cost them money to implement. It's a bit sad that my country seems to be populated by people who are afraid of seeing "the wrong thing" on the Internet, and it's even more sad that our government panders to them. But, so long as it remains voluntary, this is just typical overreaching government regulation. I'm sure there will be no "trial" of non-voluntary enforcement.

Re:Voluntary (5, Informative)

batdragon (16691) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982173)

Only the *testing* is voluntary.

When (if, hopefully) the real thing goes live, "Filtering will be mandatory in all homes and schools across the country".

See: http://nocleanfeed.com

Re:Voluntary (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982211)

That's what I said.

Re:Voluntary (1)

batdragon (16691) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982439)

Ok. Seems that we're in violent agreement. :)

The way I read your comment, "so long as it remains voluntary", it sounded like you thought there were currently plans to *keep* it voluntary.

Just wanted to make sure no-one was in any doubt there are no such plans at the moment.

Apologies for misinterpreting.

Re:Voluntary (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983685)

So if I get a business account I will be unfiltered?

If so I need to call internode about changing my plan :)

Re:Voluntary (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25982241)

It's the JEWS, stupid.
Who else wants to stop you from reading the truth about them?
Only the Jew.

No more news on Israel's atrocities, it will all be blocked by the filter. We can't have the Jews' 'cattle' finding out how imperfect their masters are, can we? After all, they are 'God's chosen people', according to themselves...

Re:Voluntary (4, Interesting)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982561)

The awesome thing here is that the ISPs are now responsible for all the actions their users take.

Did Bob Aussieman pirate a movie? Well, the ISP should have filtered that out. Did Steve Kiddyporn upload/download illegal pictures of children? The ISP should have stopped it.

By even doing token filtering, they're taking responsibility for everything that happens on their network.

Re:Voluntary (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982593)

Is this the retarded "common carrier" myth in a negative form? We don't have that kind of stuff in Australia.

Re:Voluntary (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25982833)

Did Steve Kiddyporn upload/download illegal pictures of children? The ISP should have stopped it.

His name is Bryan Kiddyporn! Not everyone in Australia is called Bob or Steve!

Cheers
Bruce

Re:Voluntary (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982879)

Rest assured there will be a law that absolves them. Else the lights will go out pretty fast in the fiberoptic cables of Aussieland.

Because, as everyone here knows, there WILL be downloads and there WILL be illegal content, and you can filter however and whatever you like, it will get through. Now, ISPs are usually international companies, few are still single country. And when I am in constant danger of a lawsuit that threatens my very business in some country, I'll pull out. Providing internet services is a lossy business in Australia? Ok. Shut down the branch, we move the resources to some other country. It's done everywhere? Most ISPs are either also in telco or cable TV, so let's shut down the ISP biz and concentrate on the rest.

If ISPs become the new scapegoat of the sue happy industries, they will close their doors. Unlike real people, corporations can easily move, and they can easily "die" without anyone being hurt.

Re:Voluntary (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982815)

The government panders to them only for a single reason, namely that it is in the interest of the government to pander to them. More precisely, they're the excuse because "see, at least SOME want that!"

Else it would have been easy. You want filtering? No problem, we make a law that your ISP has to provide it at your request, for free (i.e. everyone has to pay for it, because no provider will ever sit on expenses and not brush it off to its clients). If you're concerned that you don't want to see OMGWTF content, here's an easy solution. That would have been pandering to those people if the government wasn't interested in filtering.

Since they are, the solution is to make filters mandatory.

So I wouldn't just say it's the fault of the OMFGPR0N! crowd. They're just the excuse to do what has quite different reasons but can somehow not really be "sold" that way.

Re:Voluntary (4, Informative)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982871)

You want filtering? No problem, we make a law that your ISP has to provide it at your request, for free

Australia already has that law. Free NetNanny for everyone that wants a "clean" connection.

Now ask me how many people have taken up this offer...

Re:Voluntary (4, Funny)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982967)

42.

That's actual people that took up the Netnanny offer before you start going on about some answer to life, the universe and everything.

Re:Voluntary (1)

DRobson (835318) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983455)

You want filtering? No problem, we make a law that your ISP has to provide it at your request, for free

Australia already has that law. Free NetNanny for everyone that wants a "clean" connection.

Now ask me how many people have taken up this offer...

Only until the end of the year, at which point the government is mysteriously discontinuing the software...

Re:Voluntary (1)

noz (253073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983743)

I could not find the statistics but I had read that very few were downloaded, and very few were subsequently "updated" (this was poorly defined; could be a database update or software).

It is called NetAlert [netalert.gov.au] .

Re:Voluntary (3, Informative)

Matt_R (23461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983777)

iiNet have said that NOBODY has EVER downloaded the free filtering software from their website.

Re:Voluntary (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983805)

So we got proof that not a single user (ya know, like, we, the people) wants that crap?

Remind me again, who elects governments and for the reason to protect whose interests? I guess I got something wrong when we learned that at school.

Re:Voluntary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983843)

The better question would be: How long [news.com.au] did this AU$84MILLION filter take a 16 year old to bypass?

Re:Voluntary (1)

scurvyj (1158787) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983711)

Just can't trust them unfortunately, now that the two major parties are just 2 lobes of the same entity.

Btw - there IS a slower moving series than Terminator TSCC, its called True Blood aka Buffy For Chicks 101.

Re:Voluntary (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983965)

Maybe they just want to be sure to never see TEH GOATSE (again).

I'd recommend nuking australia from orbit, but they never listen. :(
Besides: My death-to-ozone conspiracy will have the same effect is a few years anyway. MUHARHARHAR!! XD

Re:Voluntary (2, Interesting)

Merusdraconis (730732) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984285)

I'm confused: as far as I can see, about the only people who want this implemented are Stephen Conroy and Family First. The Liberals don't want it, the Greens don't want it, citizens don't want it, child protection groups don't want it, and ISPs are only doing it to prove to the government that they're lying about the speed impact.

Encryption (5, Insightful)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 5 years ago | (#25981957)

This is the time to invest in and bring to market an encryption product to the masses in Australia. What would stop a US company from selling cheap VPN tunnels to end users down under?

Re:Encryption (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25982059)

What would stop a US company from selling cheap VPN tunnels to end users down under?

Not a damn thing. Which is one of the primary reasons why this whole thing is such a stupid pointless waste of time and money.

Re:Encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983429)

Not a damn thing. Which is one of the primary reasons why this whole thing is such a stupid pointless waste of time and money.

To a degree...

Filtering hits China, and people say "The fools! Anyone in China can just tunnel out to somewhere without censorship, like Australia!"

Filtering hits China, and people say "The fools! Anyone in Australia [and those previously tunneling from China] can just tunnel out to somewhere without censorship, like the US!"

Yep, I like where that's going.

Re:Encryption (1)

Onthax (1322089) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983719)

Would this be hit under the DMCA for circumventing a copy protection mechanism? since they will be blocking the downloading of illegal material (movies, music, etc) it would be illegal to use a vpn to the us to bypass the filter the joys of picking up the DMCA with the free trade agreement

Re:Encryption (1)

bds1986 (1268378) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984197)

You answered your own question:

Would this be hit under the DMCA for circumventing a copy protection mechanism?

since they will be blocking the downloading of illegal material

The filter does not prevent copying, it prevents downloading. So it is not a copy protection mechanism.

Re:Encryption (1)

olesaltyballs (1401943) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982185)

Or perhaps a chunk of shoddy hardware that only works with a sacrifice to HAL on the 13th full moon. I can think of several vendors able to fill that role.

Re:Encryption (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982459)

That's brilliant! Good thing there's no way for the Australian government to stop its citizens from accessing your site.

Re:Encryption (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982915)

As someone who watches the success of botnets despite widespread efforts to blacklist trojan servers (by URL, IP, subnets...), I'd say when a group of zealous, dedicated and passionate people fighting malware can't even gain a foot, a group of underpaid, usually underfunded and undermotivated public officials won't really succeed either.

Re:Encryption (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982473)

There's plenty of options already available, such as TorrentFreedom [torrentfreedom.com] and VPNTunnel [vpntunnel.co.uk] .

Re:Encryption (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982577)

IIRC, TPB currently offers such a service for a small fee.

Re:Encryption (3, Interesting)

Tovok7 (948510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982669)

Nothing. There already is a Swedish offering: https://www.relakks.com/?cid=gb [relakks.com]

Re:Encryption (1)

sr180 (700526) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984023)

There are a plethora of products already, all designed so we can access 'US only' websites - such as media sites, extras on Itunes etc etc.

Dangerous (4, Interesting)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 5 years ago | (#25981959)

I do not believe any government should censor speech. This sort of technology is ripe for abuse. There will probably be sites which "accidently" are filtered, maybe sites with unpopular political views, or legal material, such as adult pornography. As well, this sets dangerous precedents as well, that government has a right to censor things. It could set a dangerous precedent for censoring things we all agree should not be censored, like pornography of consenting adults and unpopular (communist, marxist, etc) political views.

Re:Dangerous (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25982165)

They're already adding otherwise legal sites to the blacklist. From the second link:

One of the more recent concerns over the blacklist is its extension from 1,300 sites to 11,300 sites containing "objectionable material", the content of which has not been made clear. The only details that have been divulged about them is that pro-euthanasia and pro-anorexia sites will be included on the blacklist.

Re:Dangerous (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982995)

Yup, they liked what they saw in China, and thought... "Hey, I want me one of those firewall things...". Disgraceful.

Re:Dangerous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983075)

pro-euthanasia and pro-anorexia sites will be included on the blacklist.

Bring it on, KRUDD! Stand between me and my blog [blogspot.com] will you?

I got through my boyfriend's firewall and I'll get through yours!

Re:Dangerous (2, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982179)

You say this like it's a new thing. The Classification Board [classification.gov.au] has been censoring stuff for decades.

Re:Dangerous (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983679)

You can see their list of RC (Refused Classification, ie illegal in Aus) content tho. The clean-feed blacklist will not be publicly reviewed.

Re:Dangerous (2, Interesting)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984095)

And unlike the MPAA in the US, they do things in the open and subject to public review.

Re:Dangerous (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982373)

Funny, I blogged about something similar:

Recently, I wrote about the concept of an Internet that knows no boundaries in relation to how content is distributed and consumed, but today I would like to talk about it in the broader sense of free speech and censorship.

I find Internet censorship to be a deplorable concept, not because it prevents me from consuming things that a jurisdictional entity considers inappropriate or immoral, but because it stymies the legitimate aggregation and consumption of ideas.

One of the more interesting side effects of the Information Revolution has been the unification of our people--not in some patriotic or otherwise political sense, but our entire race. We can now explore and understand the world around us in ways that were not previously possible. I can converse with someone that was present in the Mumbai attacks last week, talk to an Islamic jihadist, converse with my parents across the country, and participate in a discussion on the election of a black president. I can read about the newest innovations in the scientific world, find the latest juice on my favorite celebrity, watch a movie produced by some indie director, and play a game that some 12 year old wrote in his mom's basement. The Internet is free (libre) to our imaginations and thoughts to explore.

Therefore, it is not too hard to imagine that there are those that have expressions that differ from our own tastes and acceptances. Does that mean that the we have the right to muzzle them? Remember, the Internet is free (libre) from jurisdictional bounds, so who are we to restrict what is published there? Is child pornography justification enough to silence the innocent voices of those who may become collateral damage in the censorship fight against it? Is copyright so sacrosanct that it should smother legally distributed content as well?

Australians are in the fight of their lives to take back their freedom of speech, revoked by the government, a victim in the so called fight against child porn. It is very easy to say that these new powers won't do very much as far as stopping and preventing child porn, but it isn't too much of a stretch to say the sole purpose of these laws is to grant the government self-anointed power to control the things that its constituents publish and view.

The Internet is still new territory, that is for sure, but we have an opportunity to break down language, cultural, racial, educational, and political barriers with it. Why would we destroy it with crusades against things over which there is little or no control? Are we so myopic that we think the the tragedies of child pornography and human trafficking will be reduced (or even end) with maiming the one medium of humanity's greatest achievement of interpersonal communication?

I trust no man, not even myself, to control such power because even the wisest of the wise are not infallible, incorruptible, or undeceivable. No, let the Internet be what humanity shapes it to be. Through the portals of this great experiment in human discourse, we get to peel back the layers of filters to see what humanity really is. And maybe that is what makes it so uncomfortable to ponder--because we may not like what we see.

Re:Dangerous (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982519)

It could set a dangerous precedent for censoring things we all agree should not be censored, like pornography of consenting adults and unpopular (communist, marxist, etc) political views.

if it's unpopular, clearly we don't "all" agree on that.

I don't condone the censorship, but let's be logical in our analysis.

Also, religious reactionaries world-wide would love to see the internet devoid of consenting adult pornography.

Re:Dangerous (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982955)

What a coincidence! I would love to see the internet devoid of religious reactionaries.

But I guess when everyone gets to blacklist what he doesn't like, the internet gets quite dark pretty quickly.

I don't like a few political, religious or other views. But their right to voice their opinion is as valid as mine. I consider it wrong to tell anyone what to read, think, write or say. The only line I draw is at the "do" part of your freedoms, if they cut into someone else's freedoms.

Or, put another way, there cannot be harm in knowledge. There may be harm in applying it (like, say, knowing how to build a bomb vs. actually building and using it), but knowledge alone has never harmed anyone nor can it harm anyone.

Unwanted? (5, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25981967)

then loading the blacklist of unwanted sites.

Obviously someone wants these sites, else there would be no need to blacklist them.

Re:Unwanted? (3, Funny)

77Punker (673758) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982031)

then loading the blacklist of unwanted sites.

Obviously someone wants these sites, else there would be no need to blacklist them.

What about the majority of the videos on Youtube?

Re:Unwanted? (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982157)

Actually. The government's assumption is that reasonable Australians don't want to see hard core porn and other "offensive" material. You disagree? Oh, you're just being unreasonable.

This is what decades of tolerating film and media classification has done to us.

Re:Unwanted? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982675)

Eh, if the government didn't classify movies and such, we'd have a hodgepodge of private organizations doing it; with wildly varying results. One family's NC-17 rating is another family's PG. Also, the rating system has grown more lax over time. Imagine this occurring in the aforementioned hodgepodge at varying rates of decay.

So I'm fine with a single classification system, but I want them to be guidelines for consumer convenience, not rules set in stone.

Re:Unwanted? (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982759)

The problem is that it is illegal to sell a film in Australia without a classification, and that the Classification Board has the right, which it exercises often, to refuse classification. This effectively bans films which are considered "offensive".

My solution would be to make all films immediately R18+. You must be 18 years of age or older to purchase them. If the distributor wants to apply for a lesser rating, they can do so. Now all the "think of the children" morons are placated and the rest of us can watch a movie revolving around the abusive home lives of teenage skateboarders without the government getting involved.

Re:Unwanted? (2, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983971)

As a fellow Aussie I find most of your posts insightfull and informative. However I feel compeled to point out the phrase "which it exercises often" only applies for certain definitions of often [refused-cl...cation.com] .

I think the classification board does a great job but I disagree with outright bans on philosophical grounds. The current push for filtering is a storm in a tea-cup and is driven by the governments need to placate senator Fielding. After KRuddy has got what he wants out of Fielding the mandatory filtering legislation will fail to pass the senate and the political fallout will land directly on Fielding at the next election.

Re:Unwanted? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984129)

Actually, the rules vary from state to state. There are things (like Peter Jackson's Bad Taste) that sell themselves on being "banned in Queensland." There is also the fact that Canberra is where you go for hard core porn. So, the solution is to get your local MP to pick some up while Parliament is sitting.

Re:Unwanted? (2, Interesting)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982789)

I'm fine with them having blacklists... but I want it to be OPT IN.

This making it mandatory, and the default starting point is TERRIBLE.

Allow households to opt in to blocking sites and at a number of different levels
[ ] Pornography
[ ] Hate literature
[ ] whatever...

That would be fine.

But making it the default, and you having to OPT OUT means that the vast majority will let this slide, the apathy will allow it to become the norm.

AND then the government is going to have to wear the shitstorm that will occur when parents have their kids accessing 'objectionable' material even though it was supposed to be blocked.

I used to work for FreeOnline, the largest free internet provider that ever was in Australia. We had a 'freezone' that had sites that didn't eat into your free time each month, and then everything else did.

The WORK to keep that thing maintained was horrendous... the government just doesn't understand how unworkable this is.

Re:Unwanted? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983489)

Actually, the idea is that the clean feed for kids will be opt in. The controversy is that apparently there will be mandatory filtering for "offensive" material.. which includes anything that would be X rated (which is only available in the ACT and NT) or refused classification (NC). Particularly, this includes any porn where the participants are engaged in sex (rather than just pretending to be).. aka, all hardcore.

Re:Unwanted? (2, Insightful)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984131)

No, there will be mandatory filtering on ILLEGAL material only. Child pornography, bestiality etc. And while, yes, X rated material is only available in the ACT and NT by law... that law is in NO way enforced. I can almost guarantee this mandatory blacklist will NOT block all hardcore sex.

They haven't actually stated what's in the list, but I would say it'll be:

Child Pornography
Rape (Or any non-consensual sexual stuff I would imagine)
Bestiality

I'm basing this on past Australian government things, and just the line they have taken in the past.

There will be lobby groups who will try and get all and sundry included in the mandatory list, and it will be fascinating to see how it plays out.

And scary.

And crap.

But still fascinating.

Re:Unwanted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983511)

But making it the default, and you having to OPT OUT means that the vast majority will let this slide, the apathy will allow it to become the norm.

You seem to think we can OPT OUT... The censor/filter is mandatory, not optional

Re:Unwanted? (2, Interesting)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983595)

They don't care how unworkable it is, as long as they have the power to censor things on demand.

Re:Unwanted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984103)

See, I disagree. I'm NOT fine with them having blacklists. Allowing households to opt in to blocking sites and at a number of different levels is NOT fine. Simply put, the government has no reason to be doing this. If the people want filtering, the private sector can provide it (and they do.) Why does the government need to stick its nose in this?

There's no reason except as a tool for censorship.

Re:Unwanted? (2, Informative)

enoz (1181117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982845)

Reasonable Australians don't want to see hard core porn (X-18+), yet the only two places where it can be legally sold is ACT (home of the federal government) and NT.

Too sum up .... (3, Funny)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25981987)

We'll all be rooned.

Re:Too sum up .... (2, Funny)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983003)

said Hanrahan, before the year is out.

Unethical (4, Funny)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982027)

Won't somebody please think of the children, who will be grown-ups one day -- grown-ups shackled with the consequences of implementing this unethical system?

Re:Unethical (3, Informative)

nmoog (701216) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982233)

Except even the people who ask us to please think of the children don't want this one [smh.com.au] !

Re:Unethical (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25982625)

"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation." - Adolph Hitler (Mein Kampf)

Godwin'd! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983001)

In just over an hour. Unfortunately, the quote seems appropriate in this case.

blacklist (2, Insightful)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982063)

The government is okay with contracting out the restriction of information to a vendor? I hope I don't live to see the day when a company is deciding what I can see and what I can't.

Considering heritage, is it a bad idea? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25982129)

The criminal element is what brought the white man to Australia all those years ago. Has this perhaps guided this decision, to err on the safe side. Imagine all the crimes committed now, already. Give them the internet, raw, and expect the worse.

technical ramifications of network filtering (5, Informative)

liraz (77590) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982131)

Putting aside the question of whether filtering is desirable in the first place ("think of the children!"), or issues regarding the potential for future abuse (e.g., censorship of unpopular speech, and who determines what needs to be filtered in the first place) at the technical level any halfway-reliable filtering technology that peeks into the transport layer [wikipedia.org] is going to add a huge amount of overhead that will increase costs and degrade performance. Good for the equipment companies, but bad for everyone who would prefer their Internet connection as dumb and fast as possible.

OTOH, OpenDNS [opendns.com] provides a free, opt-in filtering service [opendns.com] available to anyone who wants it. It's very easy to deploy, why not just use that?

Re:technical ramifications of network filtering (1)

enoz (1181117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982895)

The Government has already provided an opt-in downloadable filter [netalert.gov.au] , however the service became a joke [slashdot.org] as soon as it was deployed.

Re:technical ramifications of network filtering (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983131)

Potential future abuse? What about actual present abuse; I submit TFA as evidence of such.

And then of course... (3, Interesting)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982137)

We patch apache (patch XXX obviously) to toss back hex or D-word IP addresses when hit with them. Actually I don't think a patch is necessary; I can think of a quick and dirty way to do it in Korn with forward and reverse proxying on..huh, pretty much any apache from 1.33 on.

Then all we need to do is wait until the Aussies load so many obfuscated hosts into their border boxen that they all fry themselves and the silly idea it is will be really quite clear to anyone with opposable thumbs.

"Unwanted Content" (2, Insightful)

brainfsck (1078697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982181)

ISP-level filtering is a viable way to stop 'unwanted content' from reaching users

Unwanted by whom?

Re:"Unwanted Content" (3, Interesting)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982731)

Senator Steven "Liar" Conroy. He has claimed over and over, that the Mandatory system he wishes to implement is of the same variety as what's in Europe. NSW calls Conroy on Euro filter fudge' [zdnet.com.au]

Which after a little searching one finds completely untrue. He has been questioned by other members of parliament and skirted around the issue by feeding the "Unwanted Material" line.

While this is potentially bad (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25982193)

What good could come from it?

There could be some new and interesting ways to get around such filtering?
Gains the attention of more people to find against such stupidity?

THE INTERNET SHOULD BE FREE, FOREVER.
Filtering should only ever be done on the client end!

Re:While this is potentially bad (1)

jork (1330913) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982383)

This could create a new line of work by accident. Perhaps along the lines of SEO. (Filter experts?)

December 24? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25982197)

Merry Christmas!! Here's your broken internet!

more ISP choices (1)

deviceb (958415) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982311)

Users should have more choice of ISPs, even from the upstream tier.
Provide the network infrastructure to move packets fast & reliably -ISP job description

URL based to start with (3, Funny)

teh moges (875080) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982319)

The paper says that the filtering will be URL based (to start with, possibly moving to other methods later). With that in mind, I present my (patented..?) two step method to bypassing the filter:

Step 1: Get IP address of blocked site
Step 2: Enter that IP address

Re:URL based to start with (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25982457)

That will most likely land you on the default 'It works' page in the docroot for the default VirtualHost.

Re:URL based to start with (2, Informative)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982461)

The paper says that the filtering will be URL based (to start with, possibly moving to other methods later). With that in mind, I present my (patented..?) two step method to bypassing the filter:

Step 1: Get IP address of blocked site

Step 2: Enter that IP address

easier, one time version:

go to internet settings under DNS
enter non-aussie or independent DNS

Re:URL based to start with (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25982541)

You can use 4.2.2.1 through 4.2.2.5

If I recall correctly, they're provided by various tier-1 carriers and telecoms (Level 3, Verizon, etc.).

Mod parent up (1)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982585)

wanted to post this too. These are very handy addresses everybody should know by heart.

Re:URL based to start with (3, Interesting)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982575)

That'll work fine unless they're using Name Based Virtual Hosts. [apache.org]

Regardless, as (almost) all of us know there's a number of ways to bypass this bloody stupid [dbcde.gov.au] filter.

Disclaimer: I don't think Child Pornography should be legal. However, I very strongly disagree that the Government has the right to put in access-Level filtering, regardless of their case.
The ends DO NOT justify the means.

Re:URL based to start with (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983475)

I do think Child Pornography should be legal. There is never a legetimate reason to stop information. For society to be free, information must only be stopped at the source (security) or destination (filtering)

Re:URL based to start with (0, Troll)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983813)

Child pornography is not "information." Child pornography is a product made through the rape and other sexual abuse of children.

Since no one could possibly believe that CP is just "information" (and I have a very low opinion of the intelligence of most people), the most likely explanation for your position on this is that you are a consumer and/or producer of child pornography yourself.

Never a legitimate reason to stop information? That's so ridiculous it's beneath discussion.

Sorry to go off topic (2, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984301)

Child pornography is not "information." Child pornography is a product made through the rape and other sexual abuse of children.

A picture is information. A video is information. Sound is information. QED

Since no one could possibly believe that CP is just "information" (and I have a very low opinion of the intelligence of most people), the most likely explanation for your position on this is that you are a consumer and/or producer of child pornography yourself.

Just to be sure I'm understanding you, you claim that classification of "product" as not different from "information" proves me to be a consumer or producer of child porn?

Never a legitimate reason to stop information? That's so ridiculous it's beneath discussion.No, no it's not. And while we're throwing around ad hominems you, sir or madam, are an idiot.

Re:URL based to start with (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982667)

Umm, that's how most web browsers already work.

Step 1: Use DNS to get address of site.
Step 2: Use IP address to send packets to site (usually over HTTP).

The DNS server only ever sees the site name (not the path after the site name). It is only later in the HTTP protocol that the actual URL gets sent. At that point the browser is already using the IP address (though the server name may optionally be buried in the HTTP headers).

This means that URL based filtering is a non-starter (and every network operator knows it). Not only is it expensive for to filter higher level protocols like HTTP, but it is trivially easy for a site to change URL path just enough to bypass the filters.

It is much more likely that the government will give a list of domain names (e.g. foo.bar.com) or IP addressed to be blocked. Blocking IP addresses is actually quite easy for an ISP (routers are already segregating packets based on IP address). But if the government wants to block domain names then the ISPs will have to constantly keep looking up the DNS record for that domain. This would be expensive and onerous. Even then, someone could setup a DNS server that gives false information when queried by the Government/ISP and true information otherwise. This could be determined either by source address or by some password or secure authentication (there are numerous possibilities here).

Summary, URL and Domain blocking is out, IP address blocking will be in. Unfortunately, the later isn't technologically all that hard.

(Question: Suppose you wanted to get around IP address blocking, but didn't need the overhead of anonymity that Tor provides. You just need an automated way to find peers on the other side of "The Wall" to act as proxies. Is there something out there to do this that might perform better than Tor?)

Re:URL based to start with (1)

enoz (1181117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982941)

Question: Suppose you wanted to get around IP address blocking, but didn't need the overhead of anonymity that Tor provides. You just need an automated way to find peers on the other side of "The Wall" to act as proxies. Is there something out there to do this that might perform better than Tor?)

This [google.com] isn't automated, but it would probably work.

Re:URL based to start with (1)

martijnd (148684) | more than 5 years ago | (#25982937)

If we are going to patent things, then I would like to patent "salted" domain names.

1) User enters URL
2) Browser obtains DNS for www.hardcore.com
3) Browser "salts" domain name (eg. "www.hardcore.com" becomes www.War3Nop3.com)
4) Browser sends request
5) Web server "desalts" (through plugin) and finds that its www.hardcore.com website matches
6) Web server sends www.hardcore.com data

Some extra overhead -- but not much. Needs a bit of tuning, but voila. Of course, we could also just use HTTPS instead.

Re:URL based to start with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983775)

The thing is, what website is going to implement that just so us ozzies can get to their site?

There's about the same number of people in NYC than in all of Aus, we really aren't that big a part of the internet that people outside Aus will change the way they do things so we can get around a stupid law.

Re:URL based to start with (4, Informative)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983261)

Step 1: Get IP address of blocked site
Step 2: Enter that IP address

That won't work on the vast majority of sites out there which either use name-based virtual hosting or complicated load balancers, both of which depend on the correct hostname being in the URL.

In the old days, a common trick to get around URL filters was to put a '.' at the end of the TLD as in:

http://www.example.com./ [www.example.com]

The '.' is the root of the DNS hierarchy. It's optional when specifying an Internet hostname but all software which handles domain names is required to handle it properly. Programmers of early web filters didn't know this so if they put the following URL into their block list:

http://www.example.com/* [example.com]

Adding the dot meant the URL wouldn't match the entry in the blocklist. All the vendors patched this pretty quickly though and then the next workaround discovered was encoding the domain name as its hex equivalent. Took longer for the vendors to patch that, but they finally did. Most of the web filters out there have had plenty of time to come up to speed on all the workarounds by this point, though.

Blacklists (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25982813)

If I were the ISP, I would add a few extra domains to the blacklist. Block some things that I as an ISP find objectionable, such as the web sites of candidates that support filtering. Media outlets that carry advertising for candidates that I don't like. Etc.

Umm "The trial, which aims to prove..." (2, Insightful)

riprjak (158717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983005)

Shouldn't trials test a hypothesis or design? If you set out to prove something with a trial, I'm fairly certain that you will carefully design it so that it does, indeed, prove it; as you have already decided you will do it and are now cynically producing evidence.

Trials should be neutral, investigating or testing or gathering data. The *RESULTS* of a trial will support or disprove a concept.

Ultimately, you cant really "prove" anything; just gain sufficient confidence that despite your best efforts, you cannot disprove it.

Perhaps the trial aims to check "the feasibility of" rather than "prove"... well, we can hope.
err!
jak.

How do they know what content is unwanted? (1)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983371)

I'll decide what content I do or don't want, thank you, and implement suitable filters on my own machine. My ISP can't read my mind.

Personally, i think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983451)

... people just need to be educated more on filtering programs they can use at home.

But knowing some people, they will end up twisting it so much, it snaps.

"Streaming is bad.
Streaming Child Porn is very bad.
You, are very bad."
Then some jail bars come across the screen and close at the center over a picture of a little black figure with a question mark.
Well Mr Marketer, you, are a racist, damn racists, always picking on the poor black anonymous guy.

This is easy to defeat (1)

spankyofoz (445751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983535)

Easiest way to defeat this: "accidentally" add the .gov.au domain to the blacklist.

Could you imagine the serenity?

Re:This is easy to defeat (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984207)

Even better, the religious sites frequented by Family First supporters. For the real nuclear option, start blocking sports sites.

ISPs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983615)

I still can't believe this is actually happening. I want to know what ISPs are going to be participating so I can change if it's mine. I don't want to be left on Christmas day without my hardcore porn and who knows what else. Fuck you Rudd. Fuck you Conroy. I hope you both die.

Christmas Present (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983633)

Suprise! Fasism!

umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983667)

httpS anyone....

Steve Fielding wants a monopoly on kiddie porn (2, Interesting)

vandan (151516) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983821)

As mentioned in my blog [homelinux.org] , I think if politicians are so keen to 'clean up the internet', they should start closer to home, in their own PCs. How many times have we seen Australian politicians in various compromising positions ... 'chair-sniffing', kiddie-porn scandals, and of course Prime Minister Rudd can't even remember his night out in Vagas where he had lap dances etc paid for by the Aussie taxpayer.

Of course this is less Labor's fault than fucking Family First, that bunch of ultra-conservative freaks who openly admit they want to turn Australia into a fundamentalist hell-hole, dissolving the separation between religion and state, and enforce their own sexually perverted vision on 'the right way' down everyone else's throats. Their backers include the Assembly of God [blogspot.com] nut-cases, who are outright hostile to democracy, prevent their own members from reading any non-God-related material, force their children into slave labour for the church, spread vicious lies about progressive political candidates, and support terrorist attacks on abortion clinics. They're a real piece of work! But on the other hand, it's enlightening to see Labor - the so-called 'alternative' party ( inside the 2-party system of course ) backing this lunacy.

How to Stop .torrents (3, Interesting)

WallyDrinkBeer (1136165) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984087)

I'm fairly sure one of the first things added to the list will be torrent indexes. No more TPB or ISOHunt for Australians. This is exactly what Australian media companies want: they used to have it good, they would hold over US shows and movies for rating windows and screw over viewers that just wanted to watch stuff current.

The big problem is, Australian media holds a lot of sway with the scum that is an Australian politician.

Of course you'll be able to access them in a round-about fashion. Maybe it will eventually become illegal to bypass the filter, call it hacking. Aussie freedom will go, china style.

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