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A Sad Day For the New Zealand Internet

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the if-you-can't-read-this-you-know-why dept.

Censorship 221

An anonymous reader writes "Another one bites the dust, as New Zealand's Internet filter stealthily goes live with two smaller ISPs, and three of the largest already rumoured to have signed up to do the same. However, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is apparently 'committed to helping people to circumvent government internet filtering,' so perhaps the USA will launch an invasion to free the poor downtrodden Kiwis from their own evil government?" Clever of one of the acquiescing ISPs to have named itself "Watchdog."

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221 comments

Um why (4, Interesting)

SolidAltar (1268608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449430)

Why would an ISP implement a filter voluntarily?
Unless this is a filter designed to reduce bandwidth use (Torrents, P2P) I truly don't understand the logic here.

I did RFTA.

Re:Um why (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449470)

It's called politics, mutual backrubs, one hand washes the other and so on; probably somewhat of a longterm investment that pays back in the form of favours and goodwill from the government.

Politics and business are about benefiting on the back of the least powerful party, i.e. citizens/customers. Communication companies help the government with their surveillance. In turn, governments keep new regulations and consumer protection laws to a minimum or erode existing ones.

Re:Um why (3, Informative)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449504)

It's not voluntary.

If they don't their government will intervene.

Re:Um why (2, Interesting)

SolidAltar (1268608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449570)

I'm not saying you're wrong, but could you source this? It's not in the article.

Re:Um why (4, Informative)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449676)

I'm not saying you're wrong, but could you source this? It's not in the article.

I'm going to go ahead and say he's wrong. Pulled from this page, it was linked to in another comment [techliberty.org.nz]:

The scheme is currently voluntary for the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) as there is no law to force them to use it.

I'm hoping that this causes non-cooperating ISPs to start advertising the fact to attract customers. That, and that this falls flat on it's face and injects some sense into the Australian filter plan.

Re:Um why (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449764)

"voluntary" in politics is doublespeak.

It's doesn't mean: do whatever you feel like, there will be no consequences one way or another.

It means:
For now we leave you a choice but you better pick the right one or we'll just pass a law that will be even worse for you. By the way, nice tax-free service you're offering there, would be a shame if something happened to it.

Re:Um why (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449946)

Yeah, good advertising campaign. Try fitting "Use us instead of our competitors, because they attempt to filter child porn and we don't! No, really, we don't want you using it for child porn, we just think that automated filtering is a technically unsolvable problem, and prone to corruption, so it's better to not have them in order to prevent legitimate sites from getting blocked." into a slogan.

Re:Um why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31450002)

The internet, the whole internet, and nothing but the internet.

Re:Um why (1, Troll)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450142)

and nothing but the internet

But my ISP comes with a free* VoIP account with a DID (Direct In-Dial) number. Claiming to offer nothing in the way of addons isn't the best way to go.

* There are some fees for making long distance calls

Re:Um why (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31450124)

How about "NewZeelandInternet: for FULL control over your internet!"

Re:Same "it's voluntary" ploy here in Finland (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449900)

That's basically the same ploy that was used here in Finland to get ISPs to censor certain (claimed to be) child porn domains. If the ISPs wouldn't do it "voluntarily", then it was understood that government would step in and make it mandatory. Interestingly, after a couple of years, some ISPs have turned off the censoring by default and allow people to explicitly order the censorship "service". Basically it felt like it was all about making politicians look good at that moment, nobody really cared about if it worked or not.

It's just stupidity and ignorance of technology. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449566)

New Zealand is a country of 4 million people [cia.gov] and 60 million sheep. No, I mean actual sheep.

There was a site about New Zealand called Adult Sheep Finder [owensworld.com]. I notice that it has been shut down, but that image shows how it looked.

"Why would an ISP implement a filter voluntarily?"

A lot of stupid things happen in the government of New Zealand. However, they have not been stupid enough to invade Iraq, so they don't qualify as being really stupid.

Re:It's just stupidity and ignorance of technology (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449716)

I'm sorry... are you from the past?

Bloody Aussies... check your facts next time.

As any Kiwi could tell you, sheep numbers are plummeting with the dairy boom. 32 million sheep and 5.8 million dairy cows in 2009.

I have to agree that the government does some stupid things sometimes though. Mostly when they try to copy Australia.

Re:It's just stupidity and ignorance of technology (1, Informative)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450164)

As any Kiwi could tell you, sheep numbers are plummeting with the dairy boom. 32 million sheep and 5.8 million dairy cows in 2009.

As a Kiwi, I wasn't aware of that. Not all of us obsess over the sheep population.

Re:It's just stupidity and ignorance of technology (3, Funny)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450460)

It is a very important topic taught to us every year at schools, universities and even in the news.

Re:It's just stupidity and ignorance of technology (2, Funny)

Volguus Zildrohar (1618657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449728)

To be fair, a lot of our stupidity results from our proximity to Australia. It's like trying not to have the volume too loud when you're living beside the airport.

(It's a friendly rivalry, really)

Re:Um why (5, Informative)

alanw (1822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449758)

In the UK it was recently reported that the government will not buy services from any ISP that does not implement the IWF blacklist.

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article7055882.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

And in the USA, the Minnesota Senate is considering a proposal to prevent state employees staying in hotels that offers "violent" pornography.

http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=843624 [kare11.com]

Re:Um why (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450452)

Surely, for Minnesota at least, that is an issue for the electorate to decide?

I'm sure they would much prefer that all state employees should not be brutal knife-wielding homicidal maniacs, as opposed to just prevented from ever entering the Kitchenware department of a local store.

Once again, the regulation has gone the wrong way. Regulate the officials, not the environment they live in.

Re:Um why (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449820)

We're talking about a filter that only filters child pornography. Since everything that's on the internet stays on the internet, those pictures and movie clips will come back to haunt them from time to time throughout their lives. It would be comforting for the victims if they could be sure that the pictures of them as children being raped are not readily available.

One possible way (and a cheap one) to limit the damage is to use automatic filtering. A pedophile who is looking for some child porn probably has limited time and resources that he or she can devote to that activity. If it takes too long to get to the pictures he's gonna jerk off to something else. That also means he's not gonna send it to his pedo buddies through p2p or IM. That slows down the rate at which child porn spreads.

I'm not sure how well this filter works, but if it works as advertised it might be something that many ISPs will want to install voluntarily.

Re:Um why (5, Insightful)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449888)

You *do* understand what an encrypted ZIP file is ?

Rapidshare is full of them, and no filter in the world can block randomly encrypted bits.

Unless you are suggesting shutting down every FTP, filehost, P2P application, Yahoo Group and other massive swathes of the Internet, this filter like all others is a waste of taxpayers money and government resources and time.

I don't know why you think pedos are so dumb that they will name their files "little_naked_boy.jpg" ?

They are possibly some of the most sneaky and conscientious people around when it comes to incriminating evidence, simply because of the very act they perform.

Re:Um why (3, Insightful)

davepermen (998198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450166)

politics response: block rapidshare. solved. (they don't understand that the internet doesn't care about domains, about fixed servers.. a file can be anywhere, a link can go anywhere.. but they won't ever understand that. first, music, film and game industries should understand that copy protection never works :))

Re:Um why (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449892)

First they came for the Pedophiles...

While this filter ostensibly targets child pornography, what is to stop it from being used to censor other 'obscene' or 'unwanted' material? It would not take much to tailor this filter to target political speech.

Re:Um why (4, Insightful)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450294)

Aside from the fact that this stuff generally doesn't work at all I'd hazard a guess that you're wrong about pedophiles and their relative degree of laziness.

Ya see, these are people who do something which is pretty much universally reviled. Even serial killers, drug dealers, murderers, and normal every day run of the mill rapists hate people who do this sort of this to kids. If they were capable of just "jerking off to something else" I reckon they would have. There's plenty of freak porn that won't have your neighbours trying to burn down your house and/or kill you. Terrorists are more popular than these people.

The corollary of this is of course that the automatic filter is supposed to be targeted at people who are likely to be more careful and paranoid than, as previously stated, terrorists. It would be harder to eliminate child pornography than it is to defeat terrorism, and we can all see what a lovely job the governments are doing at that.

I'm perfectly happy for them to block child pornography(though I confess that the recent court decisions here in Oz about the old Simpson's cartoons we all saw back in the late 90's are going a bit too far). The problem is that these filters don't work, they're not even particularly good at stopping accidental exposure to this sort of thing let alone deliberate exposure, and they require resources and add a burden to internet connectivity which should not be born for so little benefit. The example I alway give is that even oppressive regimes who have the authority to burst into your house and shoot your for no real reason at all(China, North Korea, Iran) can't actually make them work.

Like many fads, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449432)

internet censorship too will never last.

Re:Like many fads, (4, Insightful)

SolidAltar (1268608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449440)

"Like internet censorship too will never last."

Censorship will exist as long as either

1.) There are governments with secrets to hide
2.) ZOMG SAVE TEH CHILDREN

I forsee neither of these going away anytime soon. As in, Ever.

Re:Like many fads, (1, Troll)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449482)

I forsee neither of these going away anytime soon. As in, Ever.

I don't see 'em going away, either - not when we have power-hungry groups who have been including the Internet [newamericancentury.org] in their thinking for some time.

Re:Like many fads, (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450384)

internet censorship too will never last.

It might last, but it wont take long before people find other ways to do the things they want to do. it's always been like this. All it takes is enough people adjusting to it, it spreading and becoming more convenient until it raises brows enough to slap it down.

And then, the next alternative will sprout up.

Two words (2, Informative)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449436)

Encryption

Proxies

Re:Two words (3, Informative)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449512)

Dropping connections that want to hanshake encryptions / look encrypted.

IP-bans of proxies; general useleness of open proxies; ease of proxy detections.

---

Do not solve social problem with technical means, it will never work (see: drm).

Re:Two words (4, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449536)

So drop all e-commerce and anything that requires a password, including half the forums on the internet? Yeah, that won't have any blow back.

Re:Two words (5, Insightful)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449608)

Dropping connections that want to hanshake encryptions / look encrypted.

IP-bans of proxies; general useleness of open proxies; ease of proxy detections.

---

Do not solve social problem with technical means, it will never work (see: drm).

That's probably true, but I wonder how far things will go? For example, where I live, there are already kids setting up local wireless mesh networks to share their music collections and other stuff around. Sure, these are small and operated by pizza-munching geeks, but if the idea gained general traction and the Internet as we know it simply became something similar to cable TV today (plus perhaps a comms network similar to email), would not the people be able to steal the Internet revolution back? I'm also interested in whether this might mean a return in some form at least to the ancient (and perhaps default) mode of human life: that of small, tightly-knit communities.

Re:Two words (1, Troll)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449698)

Dropping connections that want to hanshake encryptions / look encrypted.

IP-bans of proxies; general useleness of open proxies; ease of proxy detections.

---

Do not solve social problem with technical means, it will never work (see: drm).

If you allow HTTPS site you can't block SSH tunneling.

And there are also VPN connections.

Re:Two words (2, Informative)

t0p (1154575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450000)

If you allow HTTPS site you can't block SSH tunneling.

They don't need to block every https site. They block a list of named sites, and that list grows over time. The police add pedo sites to the list. Other agencies add other sites that they deem "inappropriate". The IWF maintain such a list and governments say it's good because it's targeting child porn sites. But there are also lists maintained by various governments, and they often filter for political sites too. It's impossible to run properly effective filtering by algorithm. So there will be lists involved. But who maintains the lists?

Re:Two words (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450200)

They don't need to block every https site.

They do if they just block all encrypted traffic (which has nothing to do with blacklisting URLs), which is where this thread originated.

Re:Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31450038)

There was a reply on Slashdot to that same assertion, "technical means cannot solve social problems", which I'd hoped would quiet that lame argument forever, but I guess lame arguments never die.

Before irrigation, starvation was a social problem. Technology solved it.

Re:Two words (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450208)

Before irrigation, starvation was a social problem. Technology solved it.

Solved it? There are still a lot of people dying from starvation every day.

Re:Two words (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450380)

Encrypted traffic :
All VPN's
All Secure transactions

Proxies, which are almost universally used by businesses as a security measure

Well that's all business off the internet - do you want an economy?

P2P Traffic - Well that's BBC iPlayer and similar streaming services, many game updates etc ...

Almost everything that has been used for nefarious or illegal purposes was originally developed and is still widely used for legitimate reasons ...

While you are at it you had better stop people using envelopes in the mail, and monitor all phone calls ?

circumvent to destabilize (5, Interesting)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449456)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is apparently 'committed to helping people to circumvent government internet filtering,'

You might have got that a bit confuzed: US only circumvents in the case of the Cuba's, Iran's etc of the world - it helps destabilize our enemies. For everyone else like NZ, WE are committed [ustr.gov] to forcing the world [iipa.com] to filter as conditions on our trade treaties. (in this case, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (TPP FTA [iipa.com]) with Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Australia, Peru and Vietnam.

Re:circumvent to destabilize (2, Funny)

SolidAltar (1268608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449490)

Crap, it's too bad the International Intellectual Property Alliance is against stealing website templates. It's like 1997 all over again.

NZ Filtering FAQ (5, Informative)

BeagleBoi (87688) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449534)

If you want to know more about it, check the NZ Internet Filtering FAQ at: http://techliberty.org.nz/issues/internet-filtering/filtering-faq/ [techliberty.org.nz]

Re:NZ Filtering FAQ (2, Funny)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449616)

"The DIA say that the filter will not be used for law enforcement."

AHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH H AHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAH AHAAHAHAHAHAH HAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAH

*breathe* AHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAH

  HAHAAHAHAH *wipes eyes*

The entire justification for the filter is CP with a side order of bestiality.

And it won't be used for prosecution. That's rich.

*Snort*

--
BMO

Re:NZ Filtering FAQ (5, Insightful)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449714)

This, to me, is the strangest thing about these filtering/censorship proposals. On the one hand, it's claimed that only really, really illegal stuff will be blocked by it -- the worst of the worst that pretty much guarantees a prison sentence merely for possessing, and that the lists will be accurate and won't block legitimate content. On the other, people who are detected trying to access this stuff won't be charged or even investigated?

It seems very strange. Obviously there's simple explanations for this lack of coherency, but the self-contradictory nature of the proposals is so much more transparent than usual in politics.

Re:NZ Filtering FAQ (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449866)

Well, if having child porn is a crime of posession it'd be weird to get charged for failing to find a way to obtain some. It'd be like locking somebody up for having expressed at some point the desire to get some heroin, but failing to find a dealer.

Re:NZ Filtering FAQ (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450018)

That's not weird at all. In most countries I know of, conspiracy to commit murder or attempted murder carries much the same penalty as murder, by and large (parole conditions etc not withstanding).

What IS weird is that pictures of murders (and movies with with murders in them) are so very, very common- played on our household TVs, in our movie theatres and present on almost any media you can find today... but the mainstream view is that this is harmless, just a fantasy, and not harmful to adults even in gratuitous amounts. I certainly think so.

So why is it then that hand-drawn porn of the Simpsons is considered extremely harmful and dangerous, when the Simpsons are not real people, never were... and in any event are (in a technical sense) ALL over the age of 21 (even Maggie)? There's not even a real "actor" there. Just ink and paper, nothing more. I'll say it again: "Just ink and paper, nothing more."

And yes, IAAA (I Am An Australian).

Re:NZ Filtering FAQ (2, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450092)

it'd be weird to get charged for failing to find a way to obtain some.

No, actually. There are plenty of ways of being convicted of a crime if you fail to suceed. They call it conspiracy.

"Vadim has hit the server 50 times this year. We should get a warrant to search his computer for illegal activity that wasn't stopped by the server. Also, we should get a warrant to arrest him for conspiracy to acquire child pornography"

Or...

"Vadim has been blocked by the server 50 times this year. Let's look at the logs of where he goes. Oh, this looks interesting. Let's see if it needs to be blocked or not. *visits site* Hmmm... illegal content. Call Judge Judy to cut a warrant to search his computer"

Honeypots already exist for this purpose. This is something that the East German Stasi only wish they had. This will be a nice centralized honeypot with all your internet activity neatly filed away, sorted and scored by "relative illegality" and when you hit a certain score, you're hosed.

It won't end with CP. As we've seen with Australia, a whole bunch of things are censored in the name of "Protecting the children". Scope creep happens. Scope creep in government (or bureaucracies in general) is a foregone conclusion.

It sounds like tinfoil, but if you told me 15 years ago countries would be doing national firewalls and censoring, I would have accused you of shiny haberdashery.

You know it's going to happen.

Re:NZ Filtering FAQ (5, Informative)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449702)

Everyone should read this.

The scheme is currently voluntary for the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) as there is no law to force them to use it.
How does the filtering work?

      1. A list of banned sites and their internet addresses is maintained by the Department of Internal Affairs.
      2. The DIA then use a routing protocol to tell the participating ISPs (Internet Service Providers) that the ‘best’ way to the internet address of the banned site’s web server is through the DIA’s filtering server.
      3. When a person tries to access a site (banned or not) on one of the filtered addresses, their ISP knows to divert the request to the DIA’s server.
      4. The DIA’s filtering server then looks at the request. If it is to a banned site, the request is refused and a message is sent back to the person. If it is to a non-banned site, the DIA’s filtering server passes the request on to the real server through the DIA’s internet connection.

Does the filtering work with HTTPS (secure HTTP)?

HTTPS (secure HTTP) is used for security on sites that need it for services such as internet banking and online shopping.

HTTPS requests can’t be examined by the filter server (because they use encryption for the security). This means that all HTTPS traffic to an internet address that has any banned content (possibly for a completely different website) will be passed through the filter.

Does the internet filter only apply to web browsing or does it apply to other traffic as well?

All traffic (web, email, P2P, etc) for a filtered internet address will be forwarded to the DIA’s server.

All non-web Internet traffic will be forwarded through the filter to the destination site.

What type of material is censored?

The trial scheme was used to filter child pornography including video, photos, and text articles. Other illegal material (as defined by New Zealand law) is not filtered.

Can other types of material be censored in the future?

There is no technical reason why the same technology could not be extended to block websites with other types of content.

Apparently the NetClean software is contractually restricted to only being used to block child pornography.

So far, so good.

But these are bad:

Is it possible to check whether a website is on the filtered list?

The only way to check whether the website is filtered is by attempting to access it.
If a website is filtered is it possible to find out why?

No.

Re:NZ Filtering FAQ (2, Interesting)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450006)

Based on that FAQ, it's time to switch your webserver to HTTPS, they don't block *any* HTTPS traffic, even to 'blocked' addresses.
So those in the biz of hosting kiddy porn simply need a self signed certificate and the vile scum they call customers will still be able to access them, come to think of it, i can't believe they'd pipe that content over the web unencrypted anyway

Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449542)

If this becomes a real problem, it would become a test for democracy. Next elections nobody concerned should vote the current party in power. Next time they'll think about that before doing something so stupid.

Re:Democracy (3, Informative)

BeagleBoi (87688) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449560)

We have two major parties in NZ (Labour and National).

The filter process was started when Labour was in power.

It's now gone live while National is in power.

At least the Greens are against it! Oh, pity they only get ~5%.

Re:Democracy (1)

Konster (252488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449722)

So...start a new party.

Call it the Packet Party.

Re:Democracy (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449780)

...which will get even fewer votes than the Greens.

I think the next step for democracies is to scrap the party system and have voting based on particular policies, not on some nebulous notion of a "party platform". The common system of voting in a bunch of drongos every few years and writing to representatives and hope they'll support your views is far from ideal, and modern technology makes it quite feasible to enable voters to have a much more direct say on particular issues.

But I'm not sure any of the major political parties would ever support such a scheme; certainly not while they're in power.

Re:Democracy (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449890)

4 million people isn't a lot and perhaps half of them are eligible to vote.

So Start a Party call it th will of the people and if elected will take the majority view on any issue. Each topic would have a poll I doubt it would be able to be a huge part of Politics but every vote would b e reflecting what people want. Just as the Green Party doesn't control any countries government it certainly influences both the left and right.

In a PR system 5% of 4 Million is 200,000, probably could be a working reality with 100,000 people voting for it.

could kick something like that off with a facebook page.

Re:Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31450360)

Oh, pity they only get ~5%.

That's because NZ has only 4 million people.

question (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449544)

is there an asshats tag?

invasion ? probably yes (4, Funny)

Atreide (16473) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449550)

"so perhaps the USA will launch an invasion to free the poor downtrodden Kiwis from their own evil government?"

That is probably true.
Since there is rumor CNN might have proof that Bin Laden has been seen there for vacation.

People also say he is accompagnied by Sadam Hussein and Joseph Stalin.
Who are said to have found some oil offshore.

Sorry, won't work until you talk funny (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450162)

Oh, you speak the queens english? That is good enough. Prepare to be liberated! (Also known as kiss your ass goodbye)

Human Rights? (3, Insightful)

teslar (706653) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449552)

Ok, I do have to admit that this is the first time I heard about the filter... but how can they possibly square that with human rights [hrea.org]? Especially this part:

Article 19
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

I get that various dictatorships and so on around the globe might not care all that much about human rights, but New Zealand was still a democracy last time I checked?

Re:Human Rights? (2, Insightful)

SolidAltar (1268608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449590)

Just because it's a democracy doesn't mean people care about freedom. People vote in dictators all the time.

Re:Human Rights? (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449624)

I get that various dictatorships and so on around the globe might not care all that much about human rights, but New Zealand was still a democracy last time I checked?

Democracies don't give you good government, they give you the government you deserve. If the people don't pay attention, the government will be corrupt. If the people is willing to put up with human rights abuses, the government will be willing also. If the people are willing to put up with unbalanced budgets and lack of healthcare for some people, the government will be willing to also. See also slavery in America prior to the civil war.

Re:Human Rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449926)

Mod parent up.

New Zealander here. I don't think enough people here are bothered by it, at this stage anyway. Why? "Think of the children!!!" of course. The sad thing is that the common public opinion is something along these lines: "I'm totally opposed to censorship but I'll make an exception in this case because it's child porn. What a sick pervert you must be if you don't support this! It's the least we can do!" The *really* sad thing is that this view also seems to be shared by some people who seemingly are tech-savvy and claim to value civil liberties.

We are not helping ourselves.

Re:Human Rights? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449682)

A democracy is just a dictatorship trough sock puppets. The puppets can change to simulate non-existing free choice.

Re:Human Rights? (1)

t0p (1154575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450040)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights dates from 1948. I think the authorities would say the internet was not taken into account back then. Anyway, the USA signed up to that as well, and they are probably the greatest violator of human rights in the Northern hemisphere. So I think that old document is rather irrelevant.

Re:Human Rights? (1)

geezer nerd (1041858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450076)

Me, too. I live in NZ, and this article on Slashdot is the first I have heard of this filtering in NZ. That seems strange. On the other hand, the government can and does spend huge amounts of time sensing the opinions and feelings of the people only to then ignore them and ham-handedly put into place whatever policies it wanted to in the first place. All the while beating its chest over how democratic it is. BS.

Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449584)

Nice RSS Widget for replying!

We'd be happy to help (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449644)

"so perhaps the USA will launch an invasion to free the poor downtrodden Kiwis from their own evil government?"

The USA would be more than happy to overthrow your government for you and install a dictator friendly to our interests. We can also free you from your public health care system and bring in a less efficient private system that will only cost you 2X as much. We will though commit to spending billions to rebuild your country after our war of words. And finally the issue at hand. We promise to bring you the same great internet service that we have in the USA. If you haven't experienced dial up before you're in for a treat!

Re:We'd be happy to help (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449754)

The USA would be more than happy to overthrow your government for you and install a dictator friendly to our interests. We can also free you from your public health care system and bring in a less efficient private system that will only cost you 2X as much.

Well shit. You mean John Key wasn't installed by America?

Why? (1)

exallon (1653007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449670)

It keeps amazing me that the governments of the "free" world does everything they can do stop internet freedom. It would also be very interesting to know who decides and on what grounds a site should be filtered on. Also what kind of filtering, http? smtp? p2p? msn? twitter? Facebook? youtube?

NZ 2nd least corrupt government?! (1)

baker_tony (621742) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449684)

This comes as a great surprise to me, considering the NZ government is SUPPOSED to be the 2nd least corrupt government in the world: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/gov_cor-government-corruption [nationmaster.com] All this talk in the article of secretly implementing crap to filter the internet doesn't bode well for NZ. Internet there is already shiit.

Re:NZ 2nd least corrupt government?! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449732)

this has very little to do with the government, they recommend that isp's enable it, but it is not compulsory (as of yet) many of the isp's that are agreeing to implement it are ones generally regarded as companies that like to keep a strong-hold on their customers, many of the other isp's are relatively small ones that still value their image to consumers

Re:NZ 2nd least corrupt government?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449876)

Yeah but that list also puts the UK only at number 11, and even the top number Iceland is kind of dubious when you look at the complete screw up they made with their banks, and their decision to make the choice of fixing the solution between not fulfilling their commitments to repay their international debts, or force their citizens to repay it, rather than, you know, going after the people who ran off with a large portion of the cash. They've not exactly got a great history of honesty in fulfilling their international obligations on fishing and so forth because they also enjoy the money it brings it regardless of the legality of it. Hell, even Sweden is number 6 and look how the RIAA was able to install a puppet judge in their courts, and how their ministers were able to force a police raid at the request of the RIAA on TPB.

So either the bar for being low on corruption is so low that anyone can simply step over it and still be hailed a hero on the list, or the listing is completely and utterly useless. Sadly, I'm inclined to believe it's probably actually the former, however seeing Canada 3 places behind the UK does make me question that- the idea that Canada is more corrupt than the UK is laughable.

Re:NZ 2nd least corrupt government?! (1)

geezer nerd (1041858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450098)

And how does this discussion relate to government corruption? Not at all that I can see.

Re:NZ 2nd least corrupt government?! (1)

baker_tony (621742) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450240)

Sounds like they're acting corrupted to me, from the article: "The DIA (Department of Internal Affairs) refuses to say which other ISPs will be joining the filter, claiming the right to negotiate in secret." DIA had something to do with the government last time I checked... www.dia.govt.nz

That graph doesn't mean what you think it means (2, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450464)

Corruption takes three forms:

  • There is the pure and simple corruption: Here is 10.000 give me the contract.
  • There is the common american corruption: I donate 10.000 to your election campaign, now how are you going to vote on this bill that is not directly tied to me, but benefits me quite by accident?
  • And then there is corruption of the mind, the ivory tower. When politicians and those in power become so estranged from the real world that they might as well be on the take.

This last one is actually most insidious, because the above leave a paper trail and can land you in jail. Being incompetent carries no such penalty, if it did, most judges would be in jail. These kind of measures are not introduced out of malice, but out of a sense "something must be done, this is something, therefor it must be done".

the problem is ultimately the voter. Politicians are like women, once they reach a certain age you should replace them with a new model.

NZ ISP experience (2, Interesting)

DigMarx (1487459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449694)

Having recently moved to NZ, I'm still not used to having a 25 gig/month data cap, but at least my ISP (Slingshot) has taken a stance against the filter. We'll see how long that lasts. Having dealt with numerous account issues (overcharges, undercharges, VoIP issues, you name it) in the two months I've had it, I have a pretty dim view of their professionalism. At least I can reach an actual human being in customer service. They're usually quite polite and helpful (I make it a point to be also). Gotta give them kudos for that, at least.

Re:NZ ISP experience (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449712)

Wow ... I was going to suggest that you just moved to a higher plan, but I took a look at their website and 25 GB is the highest. Wtf?

I thought we had it bad here in Australia with data caps, but yours are way worse. For the same $50 as you're paying for 25 GB, plans here are generally in the upwards of 60 GB (TPG will even give you 130 GB for $49.99). Plus even 200 GB plans are still under 100.

It's weird that Slingshot doesn't have any higher plans (even expensive ones!).

Re:NZ ISP experience (1)

DigMarx (1487459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449962)

Actually if you factor in the landline (who uses those anymore?) it's pushing $100 NZ. I've got a package for $80/mo. using a dedicated VoIP line. It's not a big savings, but it's better than nothing. The upside is that the speed's uncapped, so I get 12 mbps or so down. It's a big contrast with Thailand, where they don't really have data caps but the fastest DSL sub they offer is around 8 mbps, severely bottlenecked outside SE Asia.

Re:NZ ISP experience (1)

geezer nerd (1041858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450144)

Where on earth do you live in NZ that you can get 8-12 mbps internet? I have never heard of that being possible. Remember in NZ, anything over 256kbps is still considered broadband.

Re:NZ ISP experience (1)

geezer nerd (1041858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450130)

Back in October I was looking for a new broadband plan since my old one was being discontinued by Telecom. I don't think at that time I saw ANY that offered as much as 25GB. Certainly I did not see any for $50. I wound up taking a "naked DSL" plan with Voip telephone and unlimited-speed internet for which I pay by the GB used, giving me essentially no cap. It is only $1 per GB. Given the 1-3 mb/s service I get typically, I don't know how I could manage to download as much as 25 GB. I am having trouble reconciling the figures published here with my own experience in NZ.

A bad precedent (3, Insightful)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449696)

Nooo...

That means there's more chance the proposed filter might come to fruition in Australia. Now the Government can point and say "see, NZ did it!".

Although it's sorta funny ... I was being berated by a kiwi on this very forum a few weeks ago, who was going on about how crap Australia was and that he couldn't wait to go home to NZ where there was "no chance of an internet filter". Joke's on him now, I guess. At least our 'filter' is still only an (unpopular) proposal, rather than actually implemented. Yet.

Don't forget us brits (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449704)

And don't forget us brits [iwf.org.uk] too.

Re:Don't forget us brits (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31449942)

I do find our government's attitude to the whole child porn thing somewhat amusing.

Firstly, the subject gets brought up every time the government wants to win brownie points with the great unwashed - yet the reality of the situation is that kids are far more likely to suffer mental and physical abuse from bullying peers at school rather than the supposed paedophiles that we're told are there on every street corner.

Secondly, the whole child porn thing could be stopped in its tracks if spineless governments actually took on the big financial corporations & forced them to police themselves. Thankfully I'm no expert on child porn but the solution seems fairly logical - the stuff is being produced to make money for someone, therefore there are lots of credit card transactions going on in the sale of the stuff. Therefore force the credit card companies to police those transactions and stop them happening - if they don't, name and shame them in the public media.

Re:Don't forget us brits (2, Interesting)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450420)

"herefore there are lots of credit card transactions going on in the sale of the stuff. Therefore force the credit card companies to police those transactions and stop them happening - if they don't, name and shame them in the public media."

They do, they are, and this is the police's main weapon in fighting it, the credit card companies are very cooperative ....

Re:Don't forget us brits (2, Informative)

t0p (1154575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450250)

Yes, you may be surprised to learn that various ISPs in the UK have been taking part in a voluntary filtering scheme since 1996. The Internet Watch Foundation is a "non-governmental charitable body" that "operates in informal partnership with the police, government, public and Internet service providers" (from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]). So there's no legal standing to what it does. What's more, it compiles a black-list of sites whose content the IWF considers is potentially illegal, and ISPs block the sites accordingly. So sites get blocked if the IWF thinks they might be illegal. This has resulted in cases like when Wikipedia was blocked in 2008 [wikipedia.org]. Internetarchive.org was also blocked in the past. Similarly to the NZ filter, IWF does not inform sites that they have been blacklisted, nor does it make its list available to the public. So IWF has nothing to do (officially) with government or law enforcement, yet it is part publicly funded (through national government and EU grants), and an awful lot of UK citizens find their internet access is filtered according to its list. Who needs official censorship when you've got a voluntary system like this?

Go for the invasion (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449856)

I say go for the invasion. That's what you disgusting americans are best at.

It's easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31449860)

Australia/New Zealand is a testbed for how extreme western democracy can go. They tried one through the front door, and the other via a backdoor. Sorry you kiwis got it up the backdoor, but it's far more embarassing up the front door.

but don't we all already really know.... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450346)

the target result that will be eventually achieved is censorship and control over what is communicated publicly over the internet.
And all that is really going on here is the effort to water it down little by little in public semi acceptance and the newbees that simply don't know better.

Freedom is a simple word to understand.

And its easy to see this sort of censorship does not support freedom.

Read the Declaration of Independence if you doubt the intent of the government, any government.

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