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Clarifying the Next Step in Australia's Net-Censorship Scheme

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the ah-but-this-is-just-the-proof-of-concept dept.

Censorship 193

teh moges writes "I recently received a response from the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, regarding issues I had with the ISP filtering proposed for Australia. My comment can be summed up by 'Any efficient filter won't be effective and any effective filter won't be efficient.' His response clarifies the issue of using the blacklist for censorship." Read on for the gist of Conroy's mistakes-were-made response, which seems to sidestep teh moges' critique, but offers Australian Internet users some idea of what they're in for.From Conroy's email in response: "...concerns have been raised that filtering a blacklist beyond 10,000 URLs may raise network performance issues... The pilot will therefore seek to also test network performance against a test list of 10,000 URLs ... As this test is only being performed to test the impact on network performance against a list of this size, and actual customers are not involved,the make-up of the list is not an issue."

teh moges continues: "My initial query about the lack of effectiveness of the filter still stands, however it is important that the censorship issue is clarified. It seems, at least for now, that the trial that will begin on December 24th for the '10,000' list is for testing purposes, rather then using a list that will be used later. Still, no information on a guarantee of regulation is provided, so there is still a long way to go before this ISP filtering gains support, especially given Senator Stephen Conroy's lack of ability to answer questions in media conferences."

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10,000 URLs? (4, Interesting)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000009)

Things I'm not clear on:

1. URLs or entire domains?
2. Only 10,000? Do they feel that the Internet is really so small?

Re:10,000 URLs? (5, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000027)

This is pretty clear:

1) Creat blacklist "just for kiddie porn"

2) Deny citizens access to the contents of the blacklist "why do you want to know a list of kiddie por sites, you pervert?!?!"

3) Add political opposition sites to the blacklist.

4) ???

5) Totalitarianism!

Didn't Finland move from step 1 to step 3 in just a month?

Re:10,000 URLs? (1, Flamebait)

Kizor (863772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000173)

Give the Nordic Countries some credit. It was two months.

Re:10,000 URLs? (2, Insightful)

wharlie (972709) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000193)

It works for China, why not Australia.

Re:10,000 URLs? (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000275)

In fact if it goes ahead in Australia, why not just *move* to China?

Re:10,000 URLs? (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000671)

Kangaroos

Re:10,000 URLs? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000963)

At least China has jobs.

(ducks a spitball)

Just a little joke. :-) What I'd like to know is how "child porn" is defined. If a family posts photos of their recent summer trip to a clothes-optional resort, are they going to get blacklisted by the Aussie government? Or is nudity of dad, mom, and the kiddies considered acceptable?

What about the so-called "mirror teens" who like to take photos of their 15-16-17 year old bodies and send them to boyfriends/girlfriends? Is the Aussie government going to start arresting them too?

Re:10,000 URLs? (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001321)

What about the so-called "mirror teens" who like to take photos of their 15-16-17 year old bodies and send them to boyfriends/girlfriends? Is the Aussie government going to start arresting them too?

You mean like they're doing in the US?

Re:10,000 URLs? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001511)

(almost) no teens are getting arrested for displaying their nude bodies on the net, because nudity is not illegal according to the U.S. Supreme Court - only underage sex is illegal.

Back to Australia - what are the freedoms regarding nudism and nudist photos?

Re:10,000 URLs? (2, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000413)

Britain has been doing steps 1 and 2 for years via the IWF.

Of course, we don't know if they've been doing 3 (realistically not, I'm sure parties would've complained if they had!) but we know Jacqui Smith is trying her damn hardest to take us to 5!

Re:10,000 URLs? (2, Informative)

the_womble (580291) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000971)

Except the British scheme is voluntary for IPSs, and that sort of abuse would probably lead to ISPs just pulling out.

Re:10,000 URLs? (5, Insightful)

xSander (1227106) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000717)

Didn't Finland move from step 1 to step 3 in just a month?

The Netherlands has a blacklist as well, just as ineffective as the Finnish one. Just don't use your ISP's DNS. Governments should concentrate on taking down sites rather than act like the three wise monkeys.

Re:10,000 URLs? (1)

amam12 (1405915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000863)

I agree with that. I just don't know how it would happen.

Re:10,000 URLs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000949)

My only question is what about people in sensitive co-operative positions trying to catch some of these perverts in the future. Personally I think by asking this specific question I've answered it myself, namely thank god for the child protection agency and other well known system designs. Then I guess my question in this new light actually revolves around honey pots, goals and the like. Once again let's hope this is only the Governments goal and not to debase the Internet for a Geo-political agenda which to my mind is already quite prolific with regard to the lack of freedom of purchasing and allowing others to access one's life instead of the vendor negotiations to remove at a very low level of authentication the ability to have a say about accessing personal data using the Australian Privacy Act as a lauch platform to amend away our digital rights for the sake of a few dollars. Dont think it'll help progress at all btw.

Re:10,000 URLs? (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001035)

This happened to Piratpartiet [piratpartiet.se] in Sweden some time before the last election, but not for the kiddie-porn filter, but for some major blacklister that a lot of companies use to filter out gambling and porn.

Re:10,000 URLs? (2, Informative)

acb (2797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001409)

Sites such as Piratpartiet (or their local equivalents) would probably be mandatorily blocked in Australia. The mandatory part of the blacklist will include anything illegal, which under Australian law includes copyright violation, advocacy of suicide/euthanasia, hardcore porn and various extremist points of view (which, given Australia's sedition laws, covers a lot).

Re:10,000 URLs? (4, Insightful)

daBass (56811) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000493)

The dumb thing is, he does not even realize the size of the list does not matter. A lookup against a million URLs in hash table in memory is just as quick as going through a 10,000.

The problem is that it means ALL request have to go through a proxy to be tested, whether they are on the blacklist or not.

This response just proves he really does not have a clue about the technology...

Re:10,000 URLs? (2, Interesting)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001375)

Actually, a lookup in a tree of 10,000 requires on average 13 lookups and a 1,000,000 entries requires an average of 20 lookups. That larger tree definitely requires more lookups.

Multiply that amount of work by the number of requests per second (probably tens of millions) and they're talking a fuckload of computer power just to lookup against a small list. Throw dynamic filtering and SSL interception (yes, all but one of the products tested claimed to do MITM attacks on knowns SSL traffic) and you're talking an infeasible project.

Anyway, the gumbiment doesn't know what they're talking about. They're trying to push something through to further their own agenda. Whether it will work or not is not up for debate. Whether it will buy them votes in the senate is.

Re:10,000 URLs? (1)

shermozle (126249) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001501)

Actually, there's ways you can make this scale. Your blacklist does a DNS lookup periodically, and modify the ISP routing table so that any IP that matches an entry in the blacklist is routed via the filter. So that means only IPs on the blacklist need the filtering logic.

A massive host using thousands of sites per IP is going to be slower, because somewhere on that host is bad stuff. But if you want to ensure you're fast, make sure you get your own IP for your host.

Not advocating for the plan, just that any technical problem, given enough resources, can be solved. We need to stop arguing that it's impossible in case someone makes it possible. We need to be arguing it's something we don't want.

Re:10,000 URLs? (2, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001503)

The dumb thing is, he does not even realize the size of the list does not matter.

He is a politician, he is well aware that the existance, content, and size, of the list are ALL that matters.

From the day these stories started appearing I have claimed that the mandatory thing will go nowhere. This is not about technology it's about politics, in particular placating one senator Fielding from the "family first" party. Because of the senate's current make-up, under certain political stand-offs he gets to be "the decider", so in true "yes minister" fashion an "inquiry" must be held to drag it out as long as possible. Conroy is mute because he does not support it, he is demonstrating loyalty to the PM by taking the heat (he is also somewhat of a rival to the PM).

IMHO the MAFIAA's attack on iiNet is far more orwellian than a reccuring political theater that both major parties play in order to keep the "think of the children" crowd chasing their own tail. - The theater is inefficient and wastefull - it's democratic what did you expect?

I like my porn, to quote Larry Flint "I ain't guilt of nothing 'cept bad taste". However if the "other parties" mentioned in the report happen to bust a few rock-spiders while conducting their trial, I would consider that a bonus.

Re:10,000 URLs? (1)

erikina (1112587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001533)

Not quite. Linear time means that for a given hash table, the search time will be the same (assuming no collisions).

Instead of viewing them both as O(1) look at it like O(1) and P(1). The bigger hash table will have a bigger look-up time but still be constant.

Re:10,000 URLs? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001643)

The problem is that it means ALL request have to go through a proxy to be tested, whether they are on the blacklist or not.

So the Aussie government requires that everyone with an AS number drops packets targeted by the blacklist, done deal.

Every request has to go through a proxy, but it doesn't have to be the same proxy.

Circumvention (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000083)

So if I'm running an IPv6 tunnel am I attempting to circumvent the filter or not?

Excerpt from

INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER CONTENT FILTERING
PILOT
TECHNICAL TESTING FRAMEWORK

5. Circumvention
The Pilot will seek to test the ease with which different filtering solutions can be
circumvented and the capacity of filters to detect and provide warnings on circumvention
attempts.

$30K donated to fight censorship, protests planned (4, Informative)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000097)

This got sidespread coverage yesterday. A citizens activist group raised $30,000 in donations to fight the Rudd Firewall IN JUST ONE DAY. There are protests planned around Australia around December 15. I'm going.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/technology/cash-floods-in-to-fight-rudds-web-censorship/2008/12/05/1228257284512.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1 [brisbanetimes.com.au]

Pro-tip: Writing to Conroy is pointless at this stage. He's quite foolishly staked his career on it, and will never back down no matter what the price for everyone else. The only way out of it is to lobby the senate and convince Rudd that this will cost him the next election. I voted for Rudd but I'm thoroughly disillusioned with him - not just for this, but but this weighs heavily on my mind. I've already decided my vote three years out.

Now all we have to do is find him. If anyone knows where our jettsetting Prime Minister is, please send him back home because we'd like to talk to him. First place to look: anywhere in China. http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/prime-ministers-600000-flying-circus/2008/12/04/1228257229282.html [smh.com.au]

Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (1)

teh moges (875080) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000185)

I have emailed Rudd and told him that: That if this filter goes ahead as is, he loses my vote next election. Labour is a safe seat where I live and otherwise, I'm very pro-Rudd, but this is potentially a step too far.

Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000255)

Did you write it in Chinese? He'll be more likely to read it.

Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000359)

That's right : he spent so much time speaking Mandarin to Chinese bureaucrats that he now acts like one.

Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000271)

I have emailed Rudd and told him that

You can't convince people who have already made up their minds. I could presume these tests are more of a walk-through for how much can be done and how effectively, rather than a feasibility test on the whole issue of government censorship.

Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000213)

I would rather confront the issue head on.

Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (4, Insightful)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000383)

Conroy is known as quite a back-room numbers man and power broker, but he isn't very well liked either. There are rumors that he's been set up to take the fall when the filtering scheme fails, along with the almost inevitable failure of the national broadband infrastructure tender process.

Rudd's interest in this is that both the filtering and the national broadband scheme were election promises, and while I admire his integrity in trying to carry through with all of his election promises (unlike the previous mob, who turned election lying into a high art), I really wish he would dump the promises that were clearly stupid. (I see now he has dumped the dumb idea of forming a Department of Homeland Security. That was surely an ill-advised scheme to attract right-wingnuts to vote for the Labor party.)

But the bottom line is that there is a real possibility that Rudd is complicit in setting Conroy up for the fall: he not only gets Conroy out of the front bench (and possibly out of parliament), but he also gets to dump the election promise of internet filtering with the excuse that it isn't his fault that Conroy botched it.

Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000427)

Rudd IS NOT respecting an election promise. He promised an OPTIONAL internet filtering scheme : one you could opt out if you wanted to.
There is a huge difference.

Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (2, Insightful)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000609)

As soon as it became a tool for blocking illegal sites it was clear it would no longer be optional. If you are going to block illegal stuff, the it makes no sense to let people opt out of it.

Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000945)

Since when election promise need to make sense ?

Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (2, Interesting)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001019)

That is the whole point, the original election promise didn't make sense on lots of levels. But one level where it didn't make sense was to spend a lot of money to install filters for a set of known illegal URL's, and then let people opt-out of the filter. That would be like the police shutting down a brothel by posting a guard at the front door stopping people from entering, while putting up a sign to point out that people are still free to get in through the side entrance.

Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000449)

mod parent insightful

Now that is interesting, because the one thing I haven't been able to understand is why Conroy has pushed this one so hard, and even pushed to make it more extreme. There's nothing to be gained here, and the now plenty of people hate the man's guts. But why would Rudd set the man up? If if it is, why make the rest of Australia pay the price while they pay tiddlywinks?

There may be something more to this. Or maybe it's sheer stupidity on both their part.

Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000601)

I voted for Rudd

You're in the electorate of Griffith then, are you?

If not, then I hate to point out to you (no I don't!) that you do not vote for Kevin Rudd, but a member of his party!

Learn to understand the electoral system please!

Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (5, Informative)

Malekin (1079147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000909)

There are protests planned around Australia around December 15. I'm going.

All of the protests are on December 13th, including the one in Brisbane (assuming by the fact you link a Brisbane newspaper that that's where you are) Details can be found at http://stopthecleanfeed.com/ [stopthecleanfeed.com]

Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (-1, Flamebait)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001009)

>>>Writing to Conroy is pointless at this stage. He's quite foolishly staked his career on it, and will never back down no matter what

A bullet through the head will change his mind. "From time to time the Tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Tyrants." - Democratic Party founder Thomas Jefferson

Think of the Children. (5, Insightful)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000111)

I am completely tired of listening to people use the "for the safety of the children" argument for every damn thing. 20 years ago there were just as many pedophiles per ca pita as there were 100 years ago and will be 100 years from now. We just hear about them more now!

News agencies are businesses. They are in no way shape or form an altruistic humanitarian agency that is set to expand our minds. They want to scare the piss out of you because, no different than the movies, TERROR SELLS. And terrifying people about innocent children sells more. If you make people afraid enough than they'll give up everything they have to feel safe again. They will not consider their actions. It's a cut and run response to a perceived danger. No different than being chased (literally) by a wolf. You run fast till the danger is gone and when you get the chance you think.

In the latter part of the 20th century we willingly gave up (en masse) our desire to think. We let agency after agnency, group after group, make policy and laws to envelope us and make us appear protected. All the while those very structures were sucking the very marrow from our bones - making enormous profits off our fear.

The net will effectively be the last stand of us as a species. Our very society will either evolve or fall into dystopia in the next 10 yrs over the issues surrounding the internet. From over priced billing to international spying, everything we do, every bit of culture we have, all of what it is to be us will pass through a point on line.

And someone will want to control it and profit off of it.

We either make a choice to say no and let it be completely free. Or we make a choice to let them control us. Issues like the Oz law will be seen by history as a major turning point. That is, of course, if that history remains intact.

Re:Think of the Children. (4, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000209)

In the latter part of the 20th century we willingly gave up (en masse) our desire to think

Speak for yourself. Censorship only helps fulfill the needs of those who already decide that they don't want to think. The rest of us will continue in silence. Thought is one thing that cannot (yet) be wholly censored, though people try their darnedest.

Re:Think of the Children. (1)

d20_techie (1203900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000599)

I would offer one minor correction to your statement-Are too afraid to think.

Re:Think of the Children. (-1, Troll)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001041)

Silence?

You think I'm going to just silently let them take-away my freedom of speech? Frak that. Shoot them. "From time to time the Tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Tyrants." - Democratic Party founder Thomas Jefferson

Re:Think of the Children. (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001075)

I was thinking more in the line of Jakow Trachtenberg [wikipedia.org] when he lived in a Nazi concentration camp and kept his mind busy by developing The Trachtenberg System [wikipedia.org] . If you express the wrong views, read the wrong things, etc similar lapses of freedom can occur to just about anybody within "democratic" countries. Things are only becoming worse over time (or perhaps I should say back to the more historic norm).

Best regards,

UTW

A call for Mod sanity (5, Informative)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001059)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet) [wikipedia.org] --

An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.

I disagree with part of what unlametheweak wrote above. HOWEVER - while controversial, his comment is neither disruptive to the conversation nor is it obviously intended to evoke an emotional response for its own sake.

As I write this, the above post has been modded Troll - and it is not. That is not an opinion that it's not trolling - it is a statement of fact.

Will whatever fucking dweeb or dweebs going around abusing their fucking mod privileges please fucking stop? There have been a lot of LOT of unnecessary Troll mods in the last few weeks and I, for one, am getting sick of it. Mod points are here to help us focus and defocus interest - they are not intended for your personal censorship agenda.

The irony of having to explain this in a thread on free speech is maddening in the extreme.

Comrades all - N.B. that I am not posting anonymously.

Re:A call for Mod sanity (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001121)

I agree (perhaps obviously). Before I read your post I did post an explanation which may be more agreeable to you.

Best regards,

UTW

Re:A call for Mod sanity (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001179)

No problemo - my partial disagreement didn't rise to the level of posting it. It was the (very practical) part on operating silently - some of us have big mouths (me) and would rather die (or lose karma) than to take something lying down. That's because I've been silent and have never forgiven myself, so far as I know. :)

Re:A call for Mod sanity (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001287)

It's pretty obvious, the trolls are getting mod points.

Re:Think of the Children. (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000223)

I am completely tired of listening to people use the "for the safety of the children" argument for every damn thing.

I completely agree.

For the part of the argument that children do need net protection - I have it on the desktop and so restrict the kiddies in my house. Not that adult a puzzle to solve.

Re:Think of the Children. (2, Insightful)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000409)

And that's the other half of this.

At what point did we cease being responsible for our own actions?

I applaud you doing the correct action with your children. Sadly our world is overrun by people who want "them" to responsible for their own mistakes as parents. (you can replace parent with any other noun/responsibility)

Re:Think of the Children. (2, Funny)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000483)

Unfortunately it appears that many politicians have been reared incorrectly, and they are taking their bad moral upbringing and imposing it on everybody else.

Re:Think of the Children. (3, Insightful)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001065)

I don't filter anything.

If my children stumble across something, I encourage them to ask questions and I answer them as honestly as possible. After all, I'm preparing my children to be ADULTS which means they need to learn how to deal with the adult world. To shelter them from exposure to the real world means I'm not doing my job as a parent (turning children into adults).

Re:Think of the Children. (2, Interesting)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001117)

Good for you - you're exercising your right of responsibility, just in another way. I salute you.

I raised my kids with just one rule - Think With Your Brain. No matter what they did, if they could show that they were really thinking with their brains, and could handle my follow-on arguments, then they passed.

Nowadays, I'm a grandparent (that's the kiddies in my house that I filter for), and I think with my brain - and I don't think I want to precipitate porn discussions with my grandkids. That's my kid's job.

I've got the whole cartoon-time duty - and I must say, it doesn't suck.

Re:Think of the Children. (4, Insightful)

Phurge (1112105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000299)

"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" - quote from Mein Kampf.....

Re:Think of the Children. (0, Troll)

arotenbe (1203922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000553)

And that would be the one-hour Godwin. Thread's over; nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Think of the Children. (3, Informative)

jamesh (87723) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000637)

Strictly speaking, Godwins law was just an observation about the inevitability of someone likening the opposing party to the nazi's or hitler the longer an online thread ran for, it never said anything about the merits of the association (likening the opposing party to hitler may actually be quite appropriate in some cases).

What you appear to be referring to is what is sometimes referred to as Dods Law (or something like that?) that says that mentioning the nazi's or hitler is an automatic forfeit of your argument.

Re:Think of the Children. (2, Insightful)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001077)

I'm taking a course about World War 2. Should I yell out "Godwin - end of lecture!" every time my prof mentions Hitler or Nazis?

No. That's just another form of censorship. History needs to be studied and understood, not hidden behind silence.

Thank you! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26001151)

Grandparent poster is an idiot who doesn't understand Godwin's Law. Of course you can mention and discuss Hitler or Nazis. We need to examine and learn from the worst historical period of the 20th Century.

Comparing Bush to Hitler is stupid. Learning the lessons of appeasement is not.

There is nothing stupider than someone who thinks "Godwin!" is a debate-ending comment. Dumb dumb dumb.

Re:Thank you! (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001499)

>>>Comparing Bush to Hitler is stupid. Learning the lessons of appeasement is not.

On the other hand, we must also remember the lessons of World War 1 - running into a war for no good reason will merely wipe out a generation of soldiers. Make sure the young men/women are dying for a worthy cause, not just fighting for the sake of fighting. WW1 was a disastrous mistake.

Re:Think of the Children. (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000759)

If I had a nickle for every time somebody on Slashdot incorrectly stated that a post was a Godwin I would be a very rich person.

Re:Think of the Children. (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000983)

Sure, it's ok for you to collect all of the nickels - and I suppose that that's because the banking industry and the rest of the November traitors created this nickel-rich environment, isn't it? Godwin? You know who else said that he would win because of God? Adolph Hitler, that's who, and did he win? He did not. Did he also brag about having taken no nickels, beyond that strictly necessary for his life? He did... and you're sounding more and more just like him! I hope you burn with the rest of the Nazis!!!! But you won't, will you? No, not you! You'll just go on trying to propagate the great lie because you know that if you tell the biggest lie in the loudest voice long enough, you'll win. And we know who taught that one - Der Führer, that's who!

There.

I call Godwin on myself. But, as I have no intention of stopping the thread, Quirk doesn't apply.

I believe ... in fact, I'm rather sure... you owe me a nickel.

(And yes, you may know me from aav or af - some time ago. This is all very toned down... /. is no place for real humor. And don't even try to say meow around here - arf!)

Re:Think of the Children. (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000425)

Is it just me, or am I sick and tired of listening to overblown invective such as "The net will effectively be the last stand of us as a species." I mean, seriously...another battle in the eternal struggle of safety vs. liberty, and this guy is calling it not just the end of an era, but the very end of the human race? Jeez this cheeses me off, and all of that other "we're doomed because we have temporary economic problems" crap that's all over these days.

Re:Think of the Children. (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000485)

Your homepage, I notice, supports - ironically - the sale communist posters. Given the great number of people that lost their lives in the gulag - that all began with the suppression of ideas - I for one am not the least bit surprised that a strong advocacy of free speech cheese whizes you right off.

No need to even try to remind of the defenses at Nuremberg.

But perhaps you're right about failure of the species being an overblown invective. After all, the 20th century saw the death of millions made possible in the beginning by information control, and just because weapons are more advanced, intelligence agencies are more advanced, governments are as corrupt as always, and just because there now exists an unprecedented tool for information dissemination and its control, why would anyone believe that the threat is even greater in the 21st century?

Oh - wait....

Re:Think of the Children. (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000807)

It looks more like another spam site that has links to shopping sites. More sleazy capitalism than communism.

Re:Think of the Children. (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000861)

More sleazy capitalism than communism.

Precisely.

FWIW - that's also an apt description of the many pseudo-communists I've met.

Managing my digital rights, so I don't have to! (1)

Nourn (1415007) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000117)

This is a petition to stop this mess: http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/SaveTheNet/442 [getup.org.au] Continuing on, I personally cannot wait until my government takes the next logical step and begins to open and read every single piece of mail that's delivered in my home country, and look forward to my Emperor's glorious 15th term.

Re:Managing my digital rights, so I don't have to! (1)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000181)

Here's an idea - Can the thousands of people who are reading Slashdot sign the petition? Sure you're not Aussies, but Australia is not the first country to try something like and it won't be the last. Plus, the internet being what it is (without borders) there's a strong case for international involvement and international uproar to this filter.

Re:Managing my digital rights, so I don't have to! (1)

sakonofie (979872) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000591)

Can the thousands of people who are reading Slashdot sign the petition? Sure you're not Aussies, but Australia is not the first country to try something like and it won't be the last.

This seems kinda disingenuous to me. This petition doesn't seem to require that the person is australian, but it is kinda implied all over the place.
Here is the petition: http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/SaveTheNet/442 [getup.org.au]

"Senator Conroy, I don't want draconian government restrictions on the internet that will hold back the digital economy and miss the vast majority of unwanted content."

There is more to petitions than bumping the number of "signatures" up. I'm sure many of us here could code up a script to sign up around 100 email addresses per minute for this website (and contribute ~144,000 thousand signatures per day).* This is not really the point of petitions like these, and could ultimately hurt them if word gets out that a lot of "signatures" are "fake."

So I guess my point is, why not start a petition where it is clear that the people signing it are internationals? Sure each signature doesn't carry the same weight as a local's does, but it isn't a local's signature and it really shouldn't carry the same weight. Oh and if somebody sets this up/already has set this up, link please.
*If you take a look at the source, for the website it looks quite doable. and lol at the commented out javascript.

Re:Managing my digital rights, so I don't have to! (1)

Malekin (1079147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001001)

Here's an idea - Can the thousands of people who are reading Slashdot sign the petition?

That's a really bad idea. If the petition is shown to be open to fraud, it becomes much weaker. Those who are being petitioned may feel that it doesn't represent the will of a significant number of Australians, just a couple of crackpots who can write a script to register a thousand email addresses and sign the petition.

Giving up the moral high ground (4, Insightful)

Megaport (42937) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000119)

Just as the USA have lost their moral right to castigate countries who use torture as a tool of statecraft, so too has Australia now given up her right to criticise those authoritarian regimes who would limit the freedom of communication of their citizens.

Given that all the experts (yes, ALL the experts) agree that it won't stop anyone who actually traffics in this despicable content from peddling their filth even for a moment, can anyone here tell me what else we're buying for the price of our moral high ground on this issue?

China will be laughing their socks off at us next time we try to mention the censorship of news and internet in their country - no matter what language our leaders speak the message in.

--M

Re:Giving up the moral high ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26001123)

You said, "Just as the USA have lost their moral right to castigate countries who use torture as a tool of statecraft,"

Without disagreeing with your premise, I must point out that here in the USA we have just thrown out the morally, politically and Constitutionally-challenged cretins who dirtied our good name with their midevial - and useless - atrocities. From the very beginning of his successful election campaign, our incoming President has been explicit against torture and that position was among the reasons he won the election. I suspect that we will eventually see criminal prosecution of those scum officials who supported torture.

I don't know enough about AU law but surely you have some system for recall or removal from office? (I only wish our impeachment process had been invoked.)

Blocking more than 10k could/will degrade (1)

Aerynvala (1109505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000131)

network performance so they're only testing 10k? What happens when mass censoring goes live and, inevitably, blocks more than 10k?

Not So Radical? (1)

Meviin (1360417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000139)

From the article:
"The Government's approach will be informed by the filtering technologies adopted in countries such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Canada where ISP filtering, predominantly of child pornography, has been successfully introduced without affecting internet performance to a noticeable level."

I wasn't aware that those countries had filters. Their internet isn't so horrible, is it?

Where I stand is that I am not ideologically opposed to censorship so much as I think that you have to be very careful about it. If the IP blacklist was subject to public scrutiny and input, and if there were still some way to access the information if you really needed to (ie, people doing research on the kiddie porn industry), and there were strict limits to the expanses of the blacklist, and it didn't slow down internet speed, then it would probably be an OK plan.

Their plan probably won't fulfill at least some of those conditions, but I still think that it might be most productive to reach for a reasonable compromise.

Re:Not So Radical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000191)

Conroy is lying. Yes, those countries have filtering but on a much, much smaller scale. Just a few CP sites -- hell -- why don't they contact the web registrar and get them taken down?

Conroy still won't even say what he's censoring, and Family First (whose support he needs in the Senate) said they wanted to ban all pornography. I'll guarantee you *THAT* isn't banned by our good looking blonde nordic friends.

Uhmmmm... Excuse me... have to do some last minute downloading.

Re:Not So Radical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000445)

"I wasn't aware that those countries had filters. Their internet isn't so horrible, is it?"

In the Netherlands the predominant christian gov. is also trying to implement a CP filter. But it is not aimed at the die hard pedos, it is supposed to prevent ordinary citizens to accidently hit a CP site.

This system is implemented in the ISPs DNS, so simply switching to another DNS server (eg your own resolver of opendns) will lift the blockade.

The only good thing is that this has about 0% overhead, no child will suffer any less because of this plan. But atleast our citizens won't have to see them exploited.

Re:Not So Radical? (2, Insightful)

miquels (37972) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000543)

It's not going to happen. The police tried to run this scheme, and the ISPs almost fell for it. Then the minister of justice noticed what was going on, investigated it, and concluded that it was against the law (!).

Bit of a shame though. The agreement between ISPs and the police was much better then any future law will be .. which unfortunately is still just as likely as anywhere else in the world.

It had very good checks and balances built in. For example, the agreement was in the form of a contract, and it would become invalid the moment any non-child-porn site showed up on the list.

Oh well. All in all I'm happy it didn't go through. But I'm wondering what they will come up with next.

Re:Not So Radical? (2, Informative)

Trentus (1017602) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000547)

I wasn't aware that those countries had filters. Their internet isn't so horrible, is it?

That's just the thing. Some of them don't. And none of them have a mandatory government controlled filter system. Obviously some ISPs provide filtering for their customers, but they're opt in. The only mandatory filter systems in place are in countries like China or Iran.

When the minister was asked why he lied out his arse he just dodged the question by prattling on about the trials until his time was up. Bastard.

Re:Not So Radical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000647)

Yep we do have it here in the Netherlands as well.
most ISP do not have binaries anymore, and those who have, do not have *.(pre)teen or *.child and known CP sites get 404'ed if handled through the ISP-DNS. Nothing happens (that is: everything works) when getting through external nntp or DNS-servers

Re:Not So Radical? (3, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000867)

I wasn't aware that those countries had filters. Their internet isn't so horrible, is it?

Their filter works by redirecting the offending hostnames in DNS. That has zero impact on http performance.

The Australian system works by port blocking http and redirecting it to a proxy which checks every URL against the banned list. This way definitely impacts performance.

the real issue (1)

eniacfoa (1203466) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000143)

this whole thing is a farce they know wont happen. labor is just appeasing this other right wing christain party (family first) who they want on their side, for numbers against the opposition party. They know it will fail, but they can go to this "family first" party and say - 'we tried...it cant be done, you still owe us your vote.'

Poor scalability (1)

JTeutenberg (1222754) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000165)

What is the practical reason that a list of 100,000 domains is going to result in a less efficient network than 10,000? Is there something wrong with their implementation of a hashtable?

voting out socialism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000183)

remember this crap the next time you go to the polls.

nuf said

I'm with iiNet. (1)

liquidMONKEY (749280) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000199)

Unfortunately, I'm with iiNet, one of the ISPs who has agreed to test out the filter, but only to show how worthless it is. (The CEO is an outspoken critic.) But since things are going to be tough for a while, I'll now be accepting donations through my Nigerian brother-in-law's bank account...

Re:I'm with iiNet. (4, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000249)

iiNet, one of the ISPs who has agreed to test out the filter, but only to show how worthless it is.

I've always found the reasoning bizarre. It's like saying I'll do murder and rape just to show how horrible it is.

Re:I'm with iiNet. (1)

liquidMONKEY (749280) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000291)

But it's not like implementing the filter temporarily is going to hurt anybody in the long term. It's just to prove a point.

Re:I'm with iiNet. (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000373)

Where do I send that cheque?

Re:I'm with iiNet. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000897)

iiNet, one of the ISPs who has agreed to test out the filter, but only to show how worthless it is.

I've always found the reasoning bizarre. It's like saying I'll do murder and rape just to show how horrible it is.

liquidMonkey could report every 404 he gets as a fault with the filter. That'l keep them busy.

Is this in any way like the ebay/paypal debacle (1)

zMaile (1421715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000267)

Anyone remember the Australian part of ebay attempting to make paypal the one and only way to transfer money for a won item? I remember that they made paypal mandatory in all listings as a payment method, then they tried to make it the ONLY method. The ACCC put a stop to this, but the paypal payment method is still compulsory for all listings, even if you dont want it. Perhaps the Rudd govt is planning on doing a similar maneuver? Push the censorship thing further than it has to be, and then back down slightly, so everyone is happier, but still have some form of censorship?

Re:Is this in any way like the ebay/paypal debacle (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000307)

You're assuming Rudd is being smart. I'm not so sure. They already had their compromise case - what they said before the election: there would be a filter, but there was an opt-out. This satisfied people.

Then after the election Conroy turned around and said no opt-out. This is when people got angry.

Why would the government inflame so many voters for no gain, political or otherwise? I'd say ideology. Rudd is a Bible Basher. He's got three years out to the election and he knows he can do whatever he wants.

Re:Is this in any way like the ebay/paypal debacle (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001311)

Actually, Conroy did the about face a week after Family First agreed to support some financial bills. The ALP know this thing won't succeed but they've already got what they want.

Cooperation (3, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000339)

These concerns will be carefully considered during a 'live' pilot of ISP filtering which will test a range of content filtering solutions in a real world environment, with the cooperation of ISPs (including mobile telephone operators) and their customers.

- Ref, http://www.dbcde.gov.au/communications_for_consumers/funding_programs__and__support/cyber-safety_plan/internet_service_provider_isp_filtering/isp_filtering_live_pilot [dbcde.gov.au]

What "customer" would willingly go to an illegal Web site in order to test a government filtering system. Unless the government is giving them a list of banned URLs and an amnesty from prosecution then this testing will largely be bogus. Though I don't know how they define "cooperation".

Re:Cooperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26001155)

If my ISP participates I'm going to request that they add example.com to the filtered list for testing purposes.

Encrytped VPN - Safe Harbour (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000433)

Last night I signed up for a deal for an encrypted VPN outside of Oz.
$10/month or $120/year buys me my freedom if the world goes belly up.
I tried it for the first time last night. Random IP, switch on/off when you need it, slight increase in latency (450ms) - no probs when torrenting, I set up off-shore DNS servers too. Had to stuff around with router settings though.

Now if you pay an average of $50/month for broadband and an extra $120/year guarantees you privacy and freedom, then that's the way to go.

Stop hypermimicking the U.S. (2, Interesting)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000441)

It seems like lately the Aussies are mimicking the U.S., only more so, no matter how insane.  I hope for their sake that they stop soon.

Unless, of course, the U.S. is headed into an era of reasonable behavior, in which case I defy them to do _that_ in spades.

The difference between Australia and the US is.. (2, Informative)

acb (2797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001527)

that the US has a bill of rights and constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and association. Australia, a former penal colony and military outpost of the British Empire, has no constitutional guarantees of any rights other than there not being a religious test for public office. That, and the apathy of the citizens of the "Lucky Country", allows the government of the day to get away with things such as passing draconian sedition laws, banning online advocacy of suicide or euthanasia, banning video games unsuitable for children and controversial art-house films (never mass-market entertainment; if the films banned are French and highbrow, it wins them anti-elitist culture-war points), and now the national firewall.

There is no way that the US government could push something like this through.

The Struggle Continues (2, Insightful)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000639)

It is a rotten shame that Australia now has to battle with censorship. Obviously America and Europe also have a running battle with those that would control what we see and read.
          Any man that would censor what I read is my mortal enemy. I hope others will not be willing to play nice with such ilk. Censorship is always evil.

Scott Ludlum (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000709)

Been a labour supporter forever but this prompted me to become a paying member of the Greens, mainly to support Senator Ludlum for actually attacking Controy vigorously on the issue. Here's a video: http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/tv/senator-ludlam-questions-minister-conroy-internet-censorship

It's clear writing to Conroy would be useless.

But I thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26001453)

human rights are only a problem in degenerate third world countries like Asia...

Online petition to the government (1)

acb (2797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001495)

There is an online petition [getup.org.au] which will mail the government. So far, it has received around 80,000 signatures within a few days.

If you're Australian, you probably should sign it and tell your friends about it. Unless this meets with overwhelming opposition, the government will force it through.

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