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Filter Vendor Agrees Aussie Censorship Can't Work As Promised

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the packets-resent-blockage dept.

Censorship 143

Acidspew writes "The Australian Government's plan to filter the Internet has caused furore and has been met with vehement objection. Many people have put their opinions forward regarding this matter, but this time around, M86 Security — the vendor that provided many ISPs equipment during the initial filter trials — has finally weighed in on the discussion. Six of the nine ISP participants in the URL-based Internet filter trial last year used M86's R3000 filtering kit. According to ARN: 'Internet filtering won't prevent people deliberately looking for inappropriate material from accessing blocked content, according to security vendor M86 Security.' The company continues by saying its filter gear was designed to be implemented into schools and enterprise businesses, not for an entire country. The article also touches on M86's views on censorship."

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143 comments

First sentence (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31475652)

.. and has been with vehement objection.

Did something get filtered out already?

Re:First sentence (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475888)

I think he accidentally the sentence. I'm sure of.

Keep up the pressure (4, Insightful)

Mortiss (812218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475686)

Unfortunately, it seems that even if God almighty would have stepped down and told Mr. Conroy that filtering of this sort is a bad idea i wouldn't have helped much. However, keep up the pressure and they will relent (do not look at NZ!).

Re:Keep up the pressure (4, Funny)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475780)

God spoke to Conroy and warned him that a great flood of information was going to engulf the sinners of the world and commanded him to build Virtual Ark 1.0 in which he would put his people into to protect them from the horrors of information.

Re:Keep up the pressure (4, Funny)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476022)

Shame they couldn't use Virtual Dyke 1.0, but that was filtered out too...

Re:Virtual Dykes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478548)

Forget it, mate -- no way Conroy'll ever admit to enjoying any girl-on-girl action.

EJECT! EJECT! EJECT!!!! (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476136)

;-)
Eghads, man!
You all are doomed in Oz! Doomed I say!

Everyone knows that Virtual Ark v1.0 is not supported by Web v2.0!!!!

I wouldn't expect Conroy to know this(from his past escapades), but this sub-contractor/consultant fellow God should have clued him in.
Or maybe this God fellow only deals with coding for legacy app's? ;-)

Re:EJECT! EJECT! EJECT!!!! (1)

TikiTDO (759782) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477226)

Pretty sure that god fellow trolls on 4chan for kicks. Could you really blame him for trolling an entire NATION?

Re:EJECT! EJECT! EJECT!!!! (2, Funny)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477920)

Pretty sure that god fellow trolls on 4chan for kicks. Could you really blame him for trolling an entire NATION?

Just a tramp like one of us? Just a stranger on a bus trying to make his way home?

Re:Keep up the pressure (4, Interesting)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475882)

A comment posted below article linked to sums up the problem very succinctly:

"every one of the content types stated by Senator Conroy for implementing the proposed net filter are already illegal in Australia and already filtered by the ACMA blacklist. [...] What Conroy actually wants to block is stuff that isn't determined to be Illegal in Australia but fall under the much much broader category of Refused Classification."

I think that illegal material should be blocked (it usually is, by removing the associated IP addresses from DNS servers). On the other hand, blocking refused classification material is censorship. The government needs to clearly justify the proposed block for RC material rather than pointing to illegal material to attempt to justify it.

Re:Keep up the pressure (5, Insightful)

W3bbo (727049) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476024)

The problem with blocking "illegal material" is the definition of "illegal material". For example, at what point is a medical textbook photo of a paediatric condition considered "indecent"? From this you can get into debates about intent, and if there's titillating intent is that a "thought crime"?

Another example is text relating to the formulation of explosive materials: should that be considered "illegal information" too? From this we return to the concept of illegal numbers, then it all starts getting ridiculous.

I believe it's easier to hold the position that no information or data is inherently illegal, neither should possession (which becomes a strict-liability offence, a can of worms) than to get stuck in the debate of what is and isn't illegal. Besides, if you're really after a piece of information or data then you're eventually going to be able get it.

Re:Keep up the pressure (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476336)

Laws are always careful balancing acts between the rights of the involved parties. If you want to believe that no information can be illegal I think that you could make a good case for your belief, but I don't find the "it's too difficult" argument very compelling. I agree that in many existing definitions of illegal material the correct balance has not been found, but I don't think that the best balance is to be completely permissive. In any case, that's a different debate entirely.

Like it or not, there are materials that are illegal and the government has a responsibility to uphold those laws. When the government tries to censor legal material, it should be promptly voted out for assuming powers that it doesn't legally have. The public needs to be clear about what is being censored to make an informed choice and Mr. Conroy is deliberately blurring the issue to push his agenda.

Re:Keep up the pressure (4, Insightful)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476534)

The problem with blocking "illegal material" is the definition of "illegal material".

Indeed! The point of passing legislation through parliament is to make law. The material being blocked will be "illegal material" by definition.

Or at least it should be. We won't be able to tell, of course, because the list of what is being blocked is secret. And that is the very worst aspect of the whole scheme.

For example, at what point is a medical textbook photo of a paediatric condition considered "indecent"?

To solve this "problem" we have courts. Judges deal with these sorts of marginal cases every day. It's not a big problem. (One doubts that a bona fide medical textbook of paediatric medicine would ever be judged indecent. As the Henson debacle shows, however, the question of 'art' is more vexed). But again, if the list is secret, how will it be subject to curial oversight?

The real problem is that some random public servant (Sen Fielding's cousin maybe?), will be deciding which site does and which site does not fulfil the legal requirements for being placed on the list AND they will be doing so without the requisite transparency.

Compare this to how classification is done now. When the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board decide to refuse classification for a film (effectively censoring it), we all know which film has be refused. We can also read the reasons for the decision. We, as a public, can then debate the question of whether the particular item ought, or ought not be refused, and possibly get the decision overturned.

As the people are the ultimate sovereign in Australia (ACTV v C'th), it is to us that the censors must be answerable. Yet Sen. Conroy proposes not to answer to us. What to do with a servant like that?

While secrecy might be an operational necessity in matters of national security (as courts recognise), it can hardly be argued that the threat from online information is so serious as to require the abrogation of normal democratic process. We've survived, relatively unscathed, for a decade or so.

... the concept of illegal numbers, then it all starts getting ridiculous.

What is ridiculous about illegal numbers? If the parliament says a number is illegal, (and that parliament has the power to legislate with respect to the legality of numbers), then that number is illegal. It's all terribly straightforward. ;)

Obligatory (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477572)

What is ridiculous about illegal numbers? If the parliament says a number is illegal, (and that parliament has the power to legislate with respect to the legality of numbers), then that number is illegal. It's all terribly straightforward. ;)

Yes, terribly straightforward. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Obligatory (1)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477894)

Yes, terribly straightforward.

My point precisely. Don't try to understand legality/illegality by reference to physical reality, morality or any other kind of "inherent" quality. Sadly not the best illustration because, as the page you cite states "The bill never became law." I was trying to find a reference to the old NSW Measurement Act, which I believe (but don't quote me) implied that the world was flat (by defining parallel lines, for the purposes of land surveying, as extending on an infinite horizontal plane), but it seems to have been repealed in the era before online legislation. :(

Oh, and the the smiley was there to dispel the notion that this could not in fact lead to situations which might properly be called "ridiculous."

Here's an obscure one for you... (4, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478004)

This warn you. THOUGHTCRIME in docs after. Make Report. If fail to make report, is INFOCRIME. Make Report. If report made on failing to make report, this paradox. Paradox is LOGICRIME. Make Report.

Re:Keep up the pressure (3, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478324)

Production of the material can be quite readily defined as illegal, blocking the material is pointless, pursuing those that create it and publish it, is the obvious point of focus regardless of how difficult it is. Now it other countries don't wish to cooperate in the producers and publishers of that content, simply block the whole country, no selective deceitful censorship, if the production of the content is so harmful then the only true choice is to block the whole country or, is the whole censorship to protect children thing a lie, a huge disgusting corrupt lie.

It appears the true target of censorship is anything that might harm corporate profits including the truth targeted at false advertising, copyright protection where everything is claimed as being owned by default, of course political dissent and anything eve loosely tied to the concept of 'free' speech.

The truth is if the want to protect children from the adults internet then they should create a completely separate children's internet, one that's monitored for let's see cyber bullying (children remorselessly targeting other children), late teens targeting early teens for sexual encounters, early teens talking younger more gullible children into doing destructive things and the most evil of all adult marketing executives seeking to psychologically manipulation children into purchasing products via abusive peer pressure and distortions perceptions of what is of true social value. Of course those first ones governments will have no problem tackling but that last one, I'm sure corporate greed via lobbyists and corrupt politicians will do everything in their power so that they can continue to manipulate the choices of children regardless of the psychological or resulting physical harm done to them.

Re:Keep up the pressure (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476080)

I think that illegal material should be blocked (it usually is, by removing the associated IP addresses from DNS servers).

I don't. Slippery slope, and all that. Once the system is in place to remove anything unwanted from the internet, it takes a whole lot of public oversight to prevent from abuse. Remember, politicians are people you know are lying for a living.

Re:Keep up the pressure (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477020)

I think that illegal material should be blocked (it usually is, by removing the associated IP addresses from DNS servers). On the other hand, blocking refused classification material is censorship.

Would you care to explain to this dimwitted American the effective difference between "blocking illegal material", blocking material that is "refused classification" and "censorship"? From where I sit, if I can't access a Web address because of government-mandated interference, well ... that material has been censored. What particular arbitrary classification a particular government regime places that information into is irrelevant: I cannot get to it. Governments like to play games with words in order to make their sanctimonious crap more palatable to their respective publics. It sounds to me like that's exactly what's happening in Australia, and you personally seem to be buying into it.

Re:Keep up the pressure (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31477370)

Well, let's take the usual example of child pornography. This material is clearly illegal under current Australian law, and as such it's a criminal offence to produce, possess or distribute it.

So if that material is blocked, that's "blocking illegal material". It's censorship, yes, but if the process is subject to public oversight, no big deal - so long as a process exists by which it can be guaranteed that all the material that is blocked is illegal, there's no big deal, it's just a government enforcing the law.

Now if material is "refused classification", that's slightly different. That then becomes a matter of state law - in some states, it's illegal to possess, whilst in others it's only illegal to sell. For instance, if a resident of Western Australia were to possess an uncensored copy of Left 4 Dead 2, that would be illegal, whilst the same act is legal here in New South Wales.

This IS censorship, and the whole idea of refusing a work classification is offensive. This is material which hasn't broken any laws, but which has been deemed offensive by a review board. For films, this isn't a problem - there's an X18+ classification which covers anything which is offensive but not illegal (well, usually. Some of our laws are pretty vague). But notably, games don't have such a rating, so we can't have Left 4 Dead 2, or any game which mentions the name of real drugs, or any number of other things (Aliens Vs Predator was recently refused classification here, but, for the first time in nearly 2 years, won an appeal on the grounds that the violence was justified within the fantastical Science Fiction setting).

The whole system is riddled with problems. Material which is offensive but not sexual in nature (ie. violence) can be awarded R18+. Material which is offensive but not violent in nature (ie. porn) can be awarded X18+. Material which happens to be both (ie. porn with a plot), even if the violence is not of an offensive nature, is eligible for neither classification.

Re:Keep up the pressure (2, Informative)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478256)

Now if material is "refused classification", that's slightly different. That then becomes a matter of state law

Not just state law. The Classification Board and Classification Review Board act under the aegis of the Federal Attorney General's Dept. But yes, the states are free to enact their own control regimes.

This IS censorship, and the whole idea of refusing a work classification is offensive. This is material which hasn't broken any laws, but which has been deemed offensive by a review board.

Not so. The refusal of classification has to be made on strictly legal grounds. Either the material has broken laws (by depicting violent sexuality, promoting drug use &tc.), or the decision of the Board is wrong. And the classification scheme is, as you say above, but in regard to prohibited material, "subject to public oversight." [classification.gov.au] Conroy's secret censorship proposal would (dare I still use the modal verb) not be!

Now I happen to think that the legal criteria for restriction are misguided, (I don't actually feel threatened by pot-smoking BDSMers), but that's a different question from the offensiveness of refusing classification per se.

Re:Keep up the pressure (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477390)

Okay. If you access refused classification material you are within your rights to do so. If you access illegal material (child porn, for instance) the FBI may show up at your door and arrest you because you have committed a crime. Blocking of either is censorship, but I have no problem with the later class of material being blocked. What is considered illegal and what is refused classification is a different debate entirely (if you want to argue that possession of child porn should be legal, go for it).

Re:Keep up the pressure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31477838)

Would you care to explain to this dimwitted American the effective difference between "blocking illegal material", blocking material that is "refused classification" and "censorship"? From where I sit, if I can't access a Web address because of government-mandated interference, well ... that material has been censored. What particular arbitrary classification a particular government regime places that information into is irrelevant: I cannot get to it. Governments like to play games with words in order to make their sanctimonious crap more palatable to their respective publics. It sounds to me like that's exactly what's happening in Australia, and you personally seem to be buying into it.

The only difference is that illegal material is a super set of refused classification.

When the censorship board declares material illegal it gets the classification "Refused Classification". The point of the filter is to censor material that is known to be illegal or RC to be precise. I'ts not really possible to filter "illegal material" that isn't RC because it hasn't been classified as such.

My main problems with the filter are that it doesn't solve any real problems and will have a large impact on law abiding Australians.

Problem:
Save the kiddies: Doesn't help because there is heaps on legal material that I wouldn't want children to view. False sense of security etc.

Save me from accidently seeing nasty stuff: Not relevant any more. You have to look for the nasty stuff and google+others do a good jobs of keeping us away from this unless we want to look harder. I haven't stumbled on anything bad (i.e RC) for nearly a decade.

Save me from deliberately accessing illegal content: Not effective. Basically it only protects the public www leaving the many other (more private) means of accessing information.

Re:Keep up the pressure (1)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478086)

Would you care to explain to this dimwitted American the effective difference between "blocking illegal material", blocking material that is "refused classification" and "censorship"? From where I sit, if I can't access a Web address because of government-mandated interference, well ... that material has been censored. What particular arbitrary classification a particular government regime places that information into is irrelevant: I cannot get to it.

It may be irrelevant to you, however to those of us who worry about democratic process, the fact that the classification is the result of an arbitrary decision, as opposed to a decision made lawfully and subject to public scrutiny, matters a whole lot!

To answer you question, I believe the OP is trying to draw a distinction between down-right prohibited material (the canonical example of which is child porn), and material which on a case to case basis has been refused classification. The effect of an RC decision is, I believe (and I claim no special knowledge of this branch of law), that it is illegal publicly to show, or to offer for sale (and possibly even to import) such material. It is indeed a form of censorship.

As a "dimwitted American" :) (I'm quoting you in good humour, no offence intended) what you might not know is that the Australian public has at every opportunity resisted the introduction of a Bill of Rights into our Constitution (and it is the people alone, not the parliament, who have to power to amend that document). And I'm in the minority who want such a Bill. As such the Australian public are not restricted from coming to a democratic decision, via our parliament, to enact (or approve of) a regime of censorship.

Even though I'm in the minority I can't object to that on democratic grounds alone (well I can if it involves censorship of political speech ... but I digress). What I can object to, however, is that it be an arbitrary regime. That is inconsistent with the rule of law. Nor, as is the case with th(on moral grounds perhaps yes)e current proposal, ought its workings be removed from public view, since it will then develop a tendency towards the arbitrary. This lack of transparency I object to most vehemently.

Re:Keep up the pressure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31477608)

Or, they could just not. That would be a better idea all togerther.

Re:Keep up the pressure (2, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476118)

Unfortunately, it seems that even if God almighty would have stepped down and told Mr. Conroy that filtering of this sort is a bad idea i wouldn't have helped much.

Chances are he turned to God, looked down at him and sneered "You a god? I am my own god. I will ignore the drivel coming from a being such as you".

Most people consider good and bad to be two extremes of a straight line. I see them as opposing points on a circle. If you go too far one way there is a chance that you will end up where you didn't mean to be. The best place is somewhere in the middle, IMHO. No, its not a perfect view, but what is?

Re:Keep up the pressure (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476400)

Most people consider good and bad to be two extremes of a straight line. I see them as opposing points on a circle. If you go too far one way there is a chance that you will end up where you didn't mean to be. The best place is somewhere in the middle, IMHO. No, its not a perfect view, but what is?

Sounds similar to the concept of the Yin-Yang [wikipedia.org] , although that's dealing with much more than just good and bad. I feel it ranks among the most sophisticated ways of seeing the world.

Re:Keep up the pressure (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478480)

I feel it ranks among the most sophisticated ways of seeing the world.

I was always taught that looking at the world in black and white was a bad thing.

Re:Keep up the pressure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478014)

He probably just put on the blacklist and no longer has to put up with his annoying interruptions.

Re:Keep up the pressure (1)

charm101 (1767314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476262)

I think God would give Mr. Conroy a spank so he would be awaken with his slumber. -Turning Winds [slashdot.org]

Over to the line judges: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478432)

(do not look at NZ! ).

Do we call a Goodwin on this play?

Nice upscale (1)

ZP-Blight (827688) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475688)

Nice upscale for M86's filtering tech, designed to nanny kids, scaled up to nanny the whole country.

Pull the plug... (2, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475746)

If the filter vendor agrees this is a rogue use of their technology... why are they cashing the check?

Ban the use of the software that way in the TOS, and the Aussie government can go jump in a lake!

Better yet, send out a rogue update to their servers where it disables the whole internet for the whole country... pirate software users don't have any reason to expect the software is going to behave honestly.

If you do something that tweaks a software vendor, there's no telling that they're not going to tweak you back.

Copyright has no requirement for publishing... there's some works done just to put it in a box and make sure nobody else can do the same.

Re:Pull the plug... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31475900)

If that happened, the government would switch to a different provider. Then any cries of "that won't work!" by the vendor will be seen as sour grapes. But if they continue to supply the government, they're in a very good position to push this view (since it's against their own interests, so obviously they mean it). Given such a strong suite of testimony (large ISPs, the vendor, various well-known web geeks) saying that the filter just won't work, it makes it easier to push against the scheme.

As an Australian, I know who I won't be voting for next election; the incumbent (liberal) "Labour Party". Unfortunately, seeing as the majority opposition "Liberal Party" (conservatives) also support this scheme, I guess I'll have to find a third party that isn't insane..

Re:Pull the plug... (1)

atheistmonk (1268392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476034)

Vote for the Greens. They're far from insane. They're probably the most reasonable of the lot. But even then, it's good to toss some votes to the Sex Party and (if they're officially registered by the election) the Pirate Party. The latter two will never get into power, but can function as pressure groups.

Re:Pull the plug... (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476088)

Vote for the Greens. They're far from insane. They're probably the most reasonable of the lot.

They are insane. http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2010/03/15/australian-greens-demand-japan-release-terrorist/ [sankakucomplex.com]

Re:Pull the plug... (1)

atheistmonk (1268392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476180)

"Australia’s crackpot left has once again thrown its lot in with eco-terrorist group Sea Shepherd, demanding Japan release operative Peter Bethune, arrested for illegally boarding a whaling vessel on the high seas, supposedly in an effort to capture it." Totally unbiased website on a website run by Japanophiles :)

Re:Pull the plug... (1)

NMEismyNME (725242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476294)

Oh please, that article is hardly a credible piece of journalism. It's an op-ed piece masquerading as a news story. It's full of baseless claims, inflammatory language, speculation and rhetoric. If you're trusting a site with articles written like that for your news, you can hardly be trusted to articulate an intelligent position on anything.

The Greens have their problems, but they're not going to run (or ruin) the country any time soon. The Greens are useful as a minor influence on the unilaterally right-wing homogeneity of the two major parties in Australia. Minorities in the Australian Senate would be a lot less trouble when they held the balance of power if the major parties weren't so "us against them" and could work to build real coalitions of consensus around policies and issues.

Unfortunately, I'm not actually sure of their position on internet filtering. They seem to be doing that fence-sitting thing they love to do instead of presenting a clear and obvious policy distinction in keeping with the principles they say they have. What makes it seem sillier is that the issue is a no-brainer! How could you possibly need to take a "wait-and-see" approach to an idea so fundamentally flawed in its conception and implementation?

Re:Pull the plug... (0, Offtopic)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476978)

Unfortunately I've had the experience of dealing with the Sea Shepherd and her crew, and any group that supports those escaped mental patients deserves to be called crackpots and everything else in the book.

The crew and Captain of the Sea Shepherd are terrorists hiding behind a good cause and nothing more. Its time they were treated as such.

Re:Pull the plug... (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477172)

Um, have you read anything about the Japanese justice system? It only recently re-introduced juries and has numerous [amnestyusa.org] and well-documented [nytimes.com] cases of corruption that defy common sense and blatant violations of both domestic and international law.

They have a 98% conviction rate, they execute mentally ill people at about the same rate as Texas and defense attorneys have their hands tied by judges who don't even hide the fact they sympathize with the prosecution.

We in the US have 12 maybe 16 people dead from Toyata's run away cars, in Japan they did not put in cross-bar bracing in Japanese models because it costs an extra few hundred bucks, so 1000's more people have died there as a result of safety issues. In Japan because they have virtually no car safety regulation, one full time inspector and 4 part-time for the WHOLE country this is an ongoing problem with all their industries.

They are just now going through the nascent steps for unionization and they are being crushed by legal vendettas by large corporations against any individual attempting to organize for better working conditions or for consumer protection.

That is why you can't get a fair trial in Japan.

Re:Pull the plug... (1)

Monolith1 (1481423) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478618)

OK, I'll bite. Are you serious? Other recent "news" from that site: "A Day in the Life of a Schoolgirl Pantsu Seller", "Exciting Schoolgirl Gymnastics on NicoNico Douga", "8 Reasons Why Girls Should Date Sad Virgin Men", "“What’s Wrong With Having Sex With Your Teacher?”" Couldn't you find anything more ridiculous?

Re:Pull the plug... (0, Offtopic)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476142)

the greens would ruin this country. the wealth of this country is based on natural resources, how the hell is a party with environmental blinkers on going to manage? not to mention they support the sea sheperd whackos. i'm against whaling, but i hate sea sheperd because they are nothing more then self glorified pirates who do nothing but harm. they are the type of people that think anything they do is justified by their cause, so when they start making the wrong choices they justify it with their zealotry and aren't able to see they are wrong.

Re:Pull the plug... (1, Offtopic)

atheistmonk (1268392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476216)

They support a group which is battling Japan's illegal whaling. Sure, I don't dig some of Sea Sheperd's actions, but there is far more to the Greens than the environmentalism. While they're the only ones who would actually go through with cutting down emissions, their other policies are far more grounded in (secular) morality than either of the two major parties and they are against the filter. 250% less evil than the ALP or Libs.

Re:Pull the plug... (1, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477052)

what makes their whaling illegal, it's in international waters?

The greens whole platform on things like climate change an nuclear energy is based on pipe dreams and bad science. 40% cuts to CO2 emissions, who do they think they are kidding? they don't have any kind of real polices on things like health, law enforcement or social security. they are fine in the senate as a counter balance, but as a government it'd be like the pink batts saga only for everything....

Re:Pull the plug... (1)

atheistmonk (1268392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477232)

I guess it isn't technically illegal because while the commercial whaling is banned, they use legal loopholes to do it with the whole killing for research for eating. http://greens.org.au/election/policy.php [greens.org.au] Inform yourself. If you want to dismiss them as crazies afterward, then fine.

Re:Pull the plug... (0, Offtopic)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476304)

Are you suggesting I should let down my rights only because the mining giants would suffer?
If you are not, can you come with a suggestion on how to get rid of Internet censorship without voting greens? (I'd be happy to hear one, given we are in an electoral year).

Re:Pull the plug... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477086)

for a start, if the mining sector suffers, we all suffer 10 fold.

if you think voting greens is the only option, then you haven't done much thinking. the liberals solution was perfectly fine - free filtering software for anyone that wanted it. MUCH cheaper then a national filter, only people that wanted it got it and as effective as any other soltion.

so there you go, vote liberal.

Re:Pull the plug... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31477918)

(Original AC that kicked off the sub-thread here).

I agree that mining is important (what do you think has kept us out of the recession?), and I would be more than happy to vote Liberal, if that were still their policy. But that doesn't seem to be the case [zdnet.com.au] . If he were against this scheme (like the opposition damn well should be), he'd have said so from the start, citing the mountains of evidence of how this is a bad idea and offering something else (like the old plan of "free filtering software available on request") - get the best of both worlds.

Besides, what can I expect of someone who has explicitly eschewed fiscal conservatives in favour of social conservatives [smh.com.au] (and is also notorious for his social conservatism)? If anything, he's more likely to back this legislation than Rudd. (FWIW, I'd have voted Turnbull in a heartbeat over Rudd, but he's gone).

PS. Yes, there are other issues I care about, but I feel that both major parties have done poorly on most of these - another reason to vote third party, if I can find a good one.

Re:Pull the plug... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478000)

Still off-topic - only as an exercise to debunk "scare tactics" in argumentations (don't take me for a fool easy to scare - i'm not pushing towards voting greens, I only asked: "Instead of trying to scare the s*t out of me, why don;t you come with suggesting alternatives?" I see you did, thank you for it, but again don't expect me to suddenly fall on my back of scare)
Why do you think that greens coming over will demolish the mining giants?
Is it likely that China will find cheaper coal or iron ore anywhere else? Or do you think they'll invade Australia if the greens come to power?
Granted, the miners will be impacted, but I don't reckon the impact as "Yet another world crisis".

Re:Pull the plug... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31476550)

Tim, you are a complete dickhead.

Rather Sea Sherpard that illiterate fucks like you.

Re:Pull the plug... (0, Offtopic)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476996)

for a start, it is SEA SHEPERD. www.seashepherd.org

"Rather Sea Sherpard that illiterate fucks like you."

illiterate fuck am I? your just as 2 faced and incompetent as sea SHEPERD

Re:Pull the plug... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31477768)

you just got trolled!

Re:Pull the plug... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31475986)

Seriously? Because it's a check. If you've warned the customer it's an inappropriate use, you document the warning, and sell them the boxed set when they say "I think it's good enough"

When they come back for support you:
    1) provide it at a normal rate (gain money, and probably take a long time)
    2) refuse to provide it (no gain, but you might not lose money providng support)
    3) decide it's worth supporting, and lay out terms at 5 to 10fold your normal rate because it's an unsupported use that will require more experienced staff than normal

Re:Pull the plug... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31476116)

So you're telling me you wouldn't cash a huge cheque if the government handed it to you on a silver fucking platter? Fuck off you git.

Re:Pull the plug... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476252)

If the filter vendor agrees this is a rogue use of their technology... why are they cashing the check?

To answer to this specific question: it is called "Limited warranty", more specific the "Fitness to the purpose" disclaimer.
If a customer is stupid enough to still insist paying for something it was publicly warned is not fit for a certain purpose, I reckon the supplier should be even more stupid not to take the money and provide the goods.

This is not to say that ozzies should accept a minister that persists in making stupid decision (but if they do, they'll worth their faith).

Re:Pull the plug... (2, Insightful)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476414)

What the hell are you smoking? Rogue use? Australia pirated the software? Somehow turning into copyright means you have the right to steal your stuff back, just like OJ? TFA says they agree with the idea, but don't think it will work very well, since determined people will find their way around any firewall. Nowhere does it say they even disagree at all. As for "why are they cashing the cheque", they aren't, RFTA

M86 has yet to settle on pricing should it chose to supply technology for the proposed Internet filter.

As in, they're putting in a bid, they HOPE to be the one to provide it still, they just want to be on record that it won't work as a miracle cure, just a good first step towards protecting the children.

Re:Pull the plug... (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476608)

If this company said no, it wouldn't stop the filter, all it would do is to lead to the contract going to someone else.

Re:Pull the plug... (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476740)

Ban the use of the software that way in the TOS, and the Aussie government can go jump in a lake!

And the next story here, Evil Network Vendor Prohibits fair use with EULA.

Better yet, send out a rogue update to their servers where it disables the whole internet for the whole country

Yeah, ever heard of the AFP? These guys will be investigating the case and will have a very strong need to find someone to punish. Hint: it won't be a politician.

... pirate software users don't have any reason to expect the software is going to behave honestly.

Section 183 of the copyright act. They're not pirates. For the Americans in the audience, think eminent domain.

Re:Pull the plug... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477046)

If the filter vendor agrees this is a rogue use of their technology... why are they cashing the check?

I'm impressed. LostCluster managed to spell "rogue" correctly not once but twice. Not that I have anything against rouge.

Fuck its a DOS! (0, Flamebait)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475750)

Fuck, did I just fucking get slashdot fucking filtered in Australia? Well, to celebrate that possibility please watch this clip: Fuckity fuck fuck [youtube.com] . Seriously, what happens with user generated content and naughty words? Easy denial of service?

Conroy?!? (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476140)

-1 Flamebait == Conroy is that you!?? ;)

Censorship is more dangerous than terrorism. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31475754)

Censorship ALWAYS eliminates freedom. Terrorism only eliminates freedom if the affected citizens allow it to.

Re:Censorship is more dangerous than terrorism. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31476076)

Censorship ALWAYS eliminates freedom. Terrorism only eliminates freedom if the affected citizens allow it to.

Terrorism causes the loss of freedom by politicians.

Re:Censorship is more dangerous than terrorism. (1)

Anci3nt of Days (1615945) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477588)

This comment implies that all freedom is beneficial. I am not free to murder strangers, nor publish child pornography - yet I would consider these restrictions on freedom beneficial.

Bags not being the scapegoat (2, Insightful)

Jaxar20 (1767294) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475846)

Sounds like a PR job by M86 getting in a pre-emptive 'not my fault' for when this all goes South. I cannot say I blame them because it doesn't take much stretching of the imagination to see the finger pointing that would go on if this all fell through. I would not want my company blamed for other people’s incompetence either.

Re:Bags not being the scapegoat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31477180)

Sounds like a PR job by M86 getting in a pre-emptive 'not my fault' for when this all goes South.

You mean Tasmania?

Re:Bags not being the scapegoat (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478094)

...when this all goes South.

Should that be North, given it's Down Under? *ducks*

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31475884)

Now what?

Confusion (5, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#31475908)

See now, I'm confused by where the article states that the filtering is predominantly aimed at preventing kids from accidentally stumbling on child pornography. Now, it strikes me that given that such images are strictly illegal pretty much everywhere it's actually quite difficult to 'accidentally stumble' on.

In fact, the mere fact that the article then goes on to say that criminals already have ways around it that are not prevented by this kind of filtering suggests to me that you're not going to just enter keywords somewhere and have it show up.

The whole premise of the network filter - stopping kids from accidentally finding kiddy pron - is utter baloney. If it was so easy for a kid to find it accidentally, law enforcement wouldn't need to go to such measures to shut it down.

'Think of the children' is, as always, an excuse. Given that's not the real goal of the filter, one can imagine what the actual purpose might be.

Re:Confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31475956)

It's entirely possible to accidentally stumble upon child pornography. I run an image board that is decidedly hostile to cp, but I just do not have the time to go through all the shit people post and eliminate the cp. Believe me it's out there and it's just barely under the surface.

posting anon for obvious reasons.

moot?! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31476198)

is that you? :)

Re:Confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31477244)

Then the filter won't exactly help, then, would it? Given that their filter blocks the whole site, and will just make your site unreachable, instead of fixing the problem of people who post?

Re:Confusion (1)

bane2571 (1024309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477462)

The trouble is that with the current proposed filter, the way the filter tries to fix the problem with your site is to block Australia entirely from accessing it. No notification, no oversite, no appeal. Suddenly you just lose all your Australian audience and don't know why.

Re:Confusion (1)

kaptink (699820) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476012)

The proposed filter has nothing to do with the practicality of removing such things as pornography, assisted suicide, illicit drug information. It is simply selling the idea that these things will no longer be accessable by children. A recent poll found that most everyday Australians didn't really care too much about the idea of a manditory filter and thought it would be a good idea in the sense that it would protect children. This is exactly what the government wants and is marketing too. And the christian lobby just loves the idea. The actual reality of the whole thing is another matter entirely. Unfortunately as everyone on slashdot knows, within days every preschooler, n00b and computerphobe will have the knowledge to bypass the whole thing making it more of a speedbump than a preventative measure. Conroys crew have already bitten off way more than they can chew with their Australia wide FTTN plan. Good luck to em I say because I see a world of fail comming labours way.

Re:Confusion (4, Insightful)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476112)

I know that, you know that and I'm willing to bet even Senator Conroy is aware of that. Considering that he's been buddying up with the media companies on every front (reducing tv license fees, skiing with the head of one of the stations, backing big media in the iinet trial), that the filter, in it's current state, will certainly become the thin edge of the wedge.

I watched "The Boat That Rocked" again the other night, and It reminded me that history seems to have a way of repeating itself. It may not be rock 'n roll this time, but it is certainly something the powers at be don't fully understand and cannot control. This scares them.

Re:Confusion (4, Informative)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476234)

As someone who used to work in a filtering company...

The point of a filter to nanny kids is not to stop kids finding porn. It's to stop them wasting their time in school using sites like Facebook, MySpace, etc. This kind of nannying is also useful for keeping an eye on your employees and making sure they don't spend all day on Facebook. Quotas can be enforced, access patterns allowing certain sites during certain times can be configured.

The filter does a reasonable job of ensuring things like Google's safe search are always forced to on and stopping users accidentally stumbling on things they shouldn't. We had filter categories like 'porn', 'hate speech' and 'terrorism' which could be used to block a fair amount of stuff but that kind of automated decision making is not perfect and stuff slips through - even without a sufficiently determined attacker trying. It's just not possible to automatically block everything bad. The more accurate your automated blocking, the more intensive the CPU and memory requirements.

It is possible, and reasonably cheap to block access to a number of known bad URLs. This is only possible if the blocker also controls the gateway firewall and only allows HTTP traffic to pass through it. If any other traffic is allowed to pass through the gateway we have immediate back doors (SSL, VPNs, SSH tunnels, TOR, etc) available to us.

SSL-based traffic can be snooped with an intermediate key, but you also need to get a wildcard certificate to match. That's been proven fairly easy to do. If you control all machines behind your filter you can also have them trust your dodgy CA and issue your own certificate. What's interesting enough is that most users simply click away at SSL warnings until they get to the site anyway. No matter how annoying the browser is about it users just want their content.

I see the most serious point of contention here is that people's banking and other fairly personal details will be inside the filter/proxy UNENCRYPTED. This means that a 3rd party has access to that and if the system is exploited so does any number of evil parties. I lost interest when I stopped being in the industry to an extent, but Conroy had initially wanted to disect SSL traffic as well. Did he go ahead with that requirement?

Censorship on a whole country level is silly idea; there's too many back doors unless the country wants to restrict information flow to HTTP-only, which would have a devastating effect on the Internet. Even China isn't that strict and there exist dissidents who use technology to get around the Internet filters there.

Re:Confusion (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476498)

"Green shares Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s sentiments regarding the need to protect citizens against ‘indecent’ material but questions how far the filter will go in terms of deciding what content to block."

How about you let the people decide what's indecent and then protect themselves from said material. And while you're at it go tell the nanny state to STFU and mind their own fking buisiness. You can't keep people from accessing "INDECENT" material if that's what they want to see. Americans learned this from prohibition back in the 30's....oh wait drug war damn never mind.

highly unusual (3, Insightful)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476008)

The fact this vendor has announced this is highly unusual. I think they have been burned:

a. Either their involvement in Australia has cost them other more valuable contracts.
b. They mis-stepped and are being forced to maintain the system beyond their expectations.

Either way, I suspect this contract is now a ball & chain around their ankle. They want out.

Re:highly unusual (2, Informative)

mikael (484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476332)

I think it is (b).

Two alternative news media websites were blocked accidentally:

Thankfully, this draconian measure does not effect all internet users in New Zealand however. It appears to be confined to those whose internet server providers, (ISPs), use Asia Netcom for their international internet traffic. Telstraclear, Vodafone and Worldxchange Communications users are not effected, while Woosh, Orcon, Slingshot, Telecom and Ihug users are.

An avid fan of Infowars.com and a 9/11 truth activist, Jeff Mitchell, reported on Saturday that he contacted his ISP, Orcon, to establish what was causing the block, and was advised by a computer technician who did a traceroute, that the break in traffic to the two websites was found to be occurring at Asia Netcom's router in Sydney.

Since many countries use and share satellite uplinks/downlinks for communication as well as underground fibre-optic cables, and that these are split into private networks for corporations, it makes enforcing filters that bit more trick. Many multi-national corporations actually have their network point of connection with the outside world through their corporate headquarters, rather than through local connections. That makes the enforcement of security policy far simpler. Long distance communication companies do the same as well. So applying filtering at one router is going to affect a whole load of countries at the same time. They would have to split up the IP addresses according to country and then filter them using individual routers.

Re:highly unusual (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476438)

They aren't maintaining the system at all, because it doesn't even exist yet. They're not saying they are against it, they are saying they are totally for it to protect the children. They just want to make it clear that all it will do is stop casual browsers from finding child porn, but that determined individuals will always find away around filters. As in every article, Slashdot made up an almost entirely fictional summary to go along with TFA.

Won't stop Palpatine err I mean Conroy (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476272)

The man has shown he has no regard for what Australians want.

Re:Won't stop Palpatine err I mean Conroy (1)

Samah (729132) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476596)

Won't stop Palpatine err I mean Conroy...

Stephen Conroy: Something, something, something, DARK SIDE.
Michael Atkinson: Something, something, something, COMPLETE.

Re:Won't stop Palpatine err I mean Conroy (0, Offtopic)

mdemonic (988470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476912)

You're driving your car, but they're riding their bikes there.

Were where this when I needed it?

URL based? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476298)

the URL-based Internet filter

Really? That’s really dumb!
I don’t see my instant messenger using URLs to send messages. Just IP addresses. Which can go to proxies too. Etc, etc.

Nice to see the incompetency of government work for us for a change. ^^

Re:URL based? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31476366)

Yep. Freedom of speech issues aside, this ALONE is a reason to oppose the filter. It's completely useless and is sidestepped in about 0.3 seconds. Complete waste of taxpayers' money, if nothing else.

Re:URL based? (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477378)

And how does that work for HTTPS?

XS4ALL (5, Interesting)

RogerWilco (99615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476628)

In related news, I want to add that the biggest and oldest ISP of The Netherlands (XS4ALL) has also taken a stand against internet filtering. Unfortunately the site and documents are only available in Dutch:
http://www.xs4all.nl/overxs4all/maatschappelijk/dossiers/downloaden.php [xs4all.nl]

What they have done is write a very thorough 32 page document explaining why internet filtering should not happen. It centers around a couple of arguments:
- It's very expensive
- It introduces single points of failure and bottlenecks, doing the opposite of what an ISP should be doing
- It can't work without also blocking a lot of legal content, no matter what method you choose
- Blocking legal content and censorship is against the idea of free speech, but more specifically the Dutch constitution and the European treaty on human rights.

It's really well written, I wish there would be an English version. It's well worth the read.

They have sent this to all Dutch political parties and the committee for copyright legislation. I was very happy to see them get involved in this discussion. We're having national elections next june, and it looks like at least some political parties are picking this up and making it a point in the elections.

Re:XS4ALL (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476900)

It's really well written, I wish there would be an English version. It's well worth the read

Courtesy Google's Language Tools, link to translation here [google.com.au] .

Re:XS4ALL (1)

RogerWilco (99615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477466)

While a valiant effort, Google translate gets a little lost in the translation, especially of the 32 page detailed PDF.

I wish I had time to do a proper translation myself, but it's such an extensive document, with very intricately language, trying to explain details of law and technology to politicians, that the automatic translation makes a bit of a mess of it. Some of it might still be understandable, but other parts are pure gibberish.

Re:XS4ALL (2, Informative)

RogerWilco (99615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477566)

I've made a translation based upon your link of the page I link to:

Position of XS4ALL on (il)legal downloading:

Now everyone has access to a broadband Internet connection, consumers changed how they interact with entertainment, music and movies because they themselves can now download and watch whenever and wherever they want. Because the entertainment industry still has not sufficiently adapted to the changes that the Internet brings, many consumers download without paying. To prevent this, there are people calling for ISPs to enforce automatic tracking software to inspect and filter al the contents of Internet and email traffic of their customers. Every citizen on the Internet would get permanent control of a police-type robot and to who is not compliant, the Internet would be closed.

Artists have a natural right to compensation for their work, but it is highly undesirable to require ISPs to take on a role of law enforcement and investigate any e-mail, search, or travel picture sent to their Internet customers. That would be a severe breach of fundamental rights to privacy and confidentiality of communications, information and freedom of speech.

XS4ALL therefore urges all parties in their election program to take a stand for the protection of civilians, and to force the entertainment industry to a new business model that fits the current time, instead of criminalizing citizens massively by siding with an industry who refuses to meet a real - but new - consumer demand.

To help all parties to carry the debate wisely, XS4ALL has sent information to the Houses of Parliament, the Ministries of Justice and Economic Affairs and the program committees of political parties to clarify the legal and technical risks of the current plans. The report and accompanying letter can be downloaded here.
Report [googleusercontent.com]
accompanying letter [googleusercontent.com]

Re:XS4ALL (1)

aXis100 (690904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31476918)

All good reasons but I think the best ones are:

5) It doesnt work - anyone who wants to bypass the filters can use an encypted protocol or VPN

6) Anything actually badly illegal (eg kiddy porn) does not need require filtering. It gets terminated by federal/international police shortly after it is found.

Re:XS4ALL (1)

RogerWilco (99615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477476)

Your point 5 is my third point. You would have to block all encrypted traffic.

They do make this point, but I think it's not going to be the key in this discussion, or the discussion would not exist.

Our internet filter (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31477218)

I am posting as anon because I do not want anyone to know who I am, however, I do know people involved in this project and I know what I am about to say is true. It is designed to be a rudimentary fix to a possible political problem the govt will inevitably face from the conservatives in the opposition when the new NBN (National Broadband Network - a fibre to the home network for almost all homes, work places and institutions) has been rolled out.

You see the Labor govt has young(ish) knowledgeable tech savvy people working for it. Most of the opposition have no idea how to use the expensive tech that they have access to as ministers. The opposition screwed up our whole telecoms sector while they were in Govt, and the Labor plan is to replace the entire telephone network in Australia with a proper data network (not a phone network), and separate wholesale and retail arms of the sector. This should have been done 10-15 years ago - it is projected to cost around 42 billion $AUS.

Labor is also giving children in all govt schools laptops to use instead of their normal books.

The opposition will inevitably ask why the Labor govt irresponsibly connected children to the porno-interwebs and use a family values scare campaign. The IP blocking filter doesn't work the way you think it should, and they all know it, and they don't care. When primary school kids hook up their laptops to the NBN, or the police, or the hospitals (patients and staff alike) - they will have to actually *want* to subvert the firewall to access this stuff......and politically - that is enough for Labor to point the finger back at the user, and tell them it is not the Govt fault, and the user should be held responsible. Oh and as far as I am aware - there is not law that will penalize you if you do get around the firewall.....no one is going to arrest you (like in China or other less liberal countries).

I actually agree with this approach. I do, however, think that the list should be publicly available, blocked sites should have the right to ask why their site is blocked, and a system of appeal to get it unblocked. I also think that people in Australia should understand that while we do not have a bill of rights, we do not have an explicit right to free speech......so ask your pollies why they haven't introduced one yet (Victoria has one...but it is a bit crap ).

Re:Our internet filter (5, Insightful)

Wuhao (471511) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478348)

This is a dangerous door that you're opening here. Let's take your assertion at face value. Let's say that the firewall is indeed defective by design; that Australians are meant to be able to bypass it should they have the desire; and there is no law punishing you for bypassing it. What makes you so sure that it will stay that way?

Do you really believe that no one will notice that the firewall doesn't work? When they do, do you think they'll a) say "whoops, this was a mistake" and tear it down, b) say "eh, shucks, leave it be," or c) say "GOOD HEAVENS THE CHILDREN" and try to "fix" it? If you said b), then you've just stalled. What will they do next year? Lather, rinse, repeat until they take one of the more conclusive options. It'll be a) or c), and once you have that damn firewall in place, a) will be political suicide. That leaves c).

On a technical level, secure Internet filtering for censorship does not work, and never will work. When the technical consultants come back and say this time and again, moralizing politicians will stop looking for technical solutions, and start looking to more traditional ones: fines and jail sentences. It will be a crime to visit certain websites, and the infrastructure will be in place for the government to find out that you did it. It won't be perfect. It will still be perfectly evil.

This seems like a mighty steep price tag for fast Internet and laptops for school kids.

Re:Our internet filter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31478356)

That's all very well, but that exact same argument that says it's the end-user's responsibility if they subvert it can be used to support an optional system whereby it's the end-user's responsibility to enable it or disable it.

Re:Our internet filter (1)

stub667 (1603191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31478438)

And letting people select if they want filtered or unfiltered content when they subscribe to a service wouldn't provide the same warm fuzzies? You could even mandate public and workplace systems get filtered if you want.

The current plan should die because my freedoms are being removed by other peoples morals and potentially other peoples political opinions. I currently live in a country with censored Internet and know just how pointless and annoying this filtering is. There is just too much outcry when you block major sites, so YouTube didn't stay offline for very long, and you can't do it for long and banning small sites is whack-a-mole with a million moles and a single mallet. It will be pathetic if when I finally return home to Australia it has censorship on par with the third world with all the underlying hypocrisy. What is Conroy's electorate again and is it a safe seat? I might see if I can change my registered voter's address.

Please, won't somebody think of the adults for a change? The kids aren't even old enough to vote!

trouble ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31477288)

I'm sure, that somewhere in the world, that some one is working on a "fix" ( causal vandals, political enemies, spammers) where, for a short time at least, Australians will be able to see nothing but kp.

Missed Opportunity - Equity Pie Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31477298)

M86 Security could have made a fuckload of money just selling the government network hubs:

The Government thinks its gotten what it wants (they're too incompetent to know otherwise)
The Public gets what it wants
M86 gets money

EVERYONE WINS!!!!

Already said in the original report (1)

Wizarth (785742) | more than 4 years ago | (#31477646)

The original report from the trial, mentioned in the summary, said this very thing. Yet the government called it a glorious success and rushed through decisions to implement it.

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