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Australia Waters Down, Delays Internet Filter Policy

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the weak-sauce dept.

Censorship 122

An anonymous reader writes "Looks like Australia's government is running a bit scared of a population enraged by its controversial mandatory filtering project. The Government today announced a suite of measures designed to provide controls around the filter project, including independent oversight and a review of content which would be included. In addition, some Australian ISPs will voluntarily censor any child pornography URLs. But the whole project is still going ahead — it's just been delayed and slightly modified."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Next election will be crucial (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847862)

I plan to put all Labour senators last, and to put the Greens ahead of labour in the lower house.

Die in a fire you nigger lover (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32847868)

Fuck you, you nigger faggot. I hope you get lynched by the Aussie KKK.

Re:Die in a fire you nigger lover (-1, Flamebait)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847900)

And this has what to do with anything? Wish I saved a point for you asshole.

Re:Die in a fire you nigger lover (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32847990)

Oh shut up!

Re:Next election will be crucial (5, Insightful)

CoolGopher (142933) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847886)

It would be an even stronger statement to only put Conroy last, not all of the Labor candidates. That way there is no doubt whatsoever what you're voting against.

Re:Next election will be crucial (5, Insightful)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847910)

Problem is it's not his personal policy, he's just driving ALP policy. Boot him out and the party just grows another arsehole to take his place and enact their policy.

Re:Next election will be crucial (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847928)

Yeah but if Gillard realises Conroy is poison she will keep clear.

Re:Next election will be crucial (1)

zblack_eagle (971870) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848008)

No she won't. They'll just pass legislation for the filter just after the election and then have three years to distract the electorate before the election after that.

Re:Next election will be crucial (3, Insightful)

CoolGopher (142933) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848282)

Maybe, though that is open for debate.

However, if people who are voting e.g. Greens are also putting Conroy last - that will definitely make the Labor strategists take note (and hopefully discard the policy altogether).

Re:Next election will be crucial (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848514)

Here's the deal: Justin Bieber makes my putter stand up. Seriously. I'd blow that boy to kingdom cum.

Re:Next election will be crucial (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847912)

In the wiki

Because each state elects six senators at each half-senate election, the quota for election is only one-seventh or 14.3% (one third or 33.3% for territories, where only two senators are elected). Once a candidate has been elected with votes reaching the quota amount, any votes they receive in addition to this may be distributed to other candidates as preferences.

So is Conroy up for reelection this time? I can't tell at the moment.

Re:Next election will be crucial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32847962)

So is Conroy up for reelection this time? I can't tell at the moment.

Nope, not till 2013. DAMNIT!

Re:Next election will be crucial (2, Informative)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848456)

Yes [aph.gov.au] . His term expires in June 2011, so the next election will be the last one before his term expires and therefore he is up for the vote.

Re:Next election will be crucial (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847934)

Who ya gunna put first? It's not like Liberal has a different policy on the filter.

Re:Next election will be crucial (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847944)

Better the devil you know. Give labour a slap in the upper house then put them ahead in the lower house, but behind the greens. Thus well trained they will come to heel faster than the liberals. Thats my theory anyway.

Re:Next election will be crucial (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848744)

HORSE SHIT!!!!

the previous howard government policy was to provide free filtering software to anyone that asked for it. as effective as anything, far cheaper then a national filter and totally opt in.

the current liberal policy has not changed from this.

Re:Next election will be crucial (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848862)

Oh their policy is "different."
Abbott was at an event a couple of months ago where he said he disagreed with the Krudd/Conroy filtering plans. Sounds good? During the handshaking afterwards a friend of mine asked him to clarify his position. He said, "You'll probably be disappointed, but.." and went on to say that he felt Conroy was wasting too much time consulting with biased parties and that the filtering list didn't go far enough in blocking things that no Australian wanted on their computers.
Still, a few hundred people left that meeting thinking that a vote for Liberal was a vote against internet filtering. It's not Abbott's fault they misinterpreted him, is it.

Re:Next election will be crucial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848012)

We appreciate your efforts, but it actually is the Labor Party, not Labour.

Re:Next election will be crucial (5, Funny)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848068)

I still can't let Abbott get into power.

As a lefty trade unionist, here is my hierarchy of voting in Australia this election:

As a lefty trade-unionist my hierarchy of voting in Australia this election: Greens > Being Kicked In Crotch (Men's Size 10, Sharpened Wing Tip) > ALP > Skeletor > Stabbed By Transvestites In Mexican Cantina > Demi-crats > Nationals > Liberals > Suicide Booth > Family First

Re:Next election will be crucial (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848084)

And now I realise what the 'Preview' function is for.

Re:Next election will be crucial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848132)

Sometimes the formatting doesn't matter. You still owe me a new keyboard. :)

Re:Next election will be crucial (1)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848392)

Speaking as a secular centre-right capitalist, my hierachy is Food Poisoning > Liberals > Nationals > Malaria > Democrats > Polio > Greens > Anthrax Leprosy Pi > Labor > Ebola-AIDS-Justin-Bieber-Remix > Family First.

So we agree on one thing. On the other hand, I'd sooner eat salmonella-infested eggs raw than see any of the major parties win the next election.

Re:Next election will be crucial (3, Funny)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848680)

I'm similar, but the modern world has wiped out Leprosy and the Democrats.

Re:Next election will be crucial (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850052)

Fantastic. It's a shame you haven't been modded up for that one yet. :D

Re:Next election will be crucial (2, Interesting)

Joakal (1317443) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848176)

If you really are against Labor, it works better to vote parties that are least for the parties. There's a most opposing parties method [shockseat.com] that will put Labor senators last to get votes so you don't have to understand the big list [abc.net.au] of candidates and preferences.

Disclaimer: My website

Re:Next election will be crucial (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848688)

You may need to update that page and remove the Rudd references.

Greens aren't the only alternative (4, Informative)

timbo234 (833667) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848294)

For those like me who aren't so sure we want to vote Green there is at least one other viable alternative:
The Australian Sex Party are contesting senate seats for the first time this coming election http://www.sexparty.org.au/ [sexparty.org.au]

One of their policies is to oppose compulsory internet censorship.

Re:Next election will be crucial (1)

optevo (941585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848388)

Or put http://www.senatoronline.org.au/ [senatoronline.org.au] first. If they get a senator in, you can direct them to vote how you want and lobby your friends to do the same..

Re:Next election will be crucial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848470)

It is a conundrum ....

Labor (there is no "u" in Labor) has to realise they did NOT win the last election.
The Liberals lost.
There is an important distinction ...
Unfortunately the policies that have eventuated .. well ...

And Abbot ... puleese (even though someone I know classes him as a good friend)

sigh

Labor in the lower house and the Liberals in the upper
or vice versa

I'm getting too old for this shit.

Election doubts (1)

tumutbound (549414) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847864)

With an election looming, the government can't afford to alienate anybody as their chances of re-election are marginal at best. Every vote will count.

Well dont Australia (4, Interesting)

CommanderEl (765634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847878)

Massive props to the major ISP's in Australia for standing up and showing the Government with action, what is the best course of action for Australia and it's citizens.
.
It's really disappointing listening to the arguments from the Labor government as to why Australia needs an internet filter. Tugging on the heart strings of the parents promising to "help protect their children" with a defunct solution.
.
I congratulate every Australian working hard to petition and protest about their rights and what is good for Australia. The people have spoken.

Re:Well dont Australia (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847888)

But [theage.com.au]

In the meantime, major ISPs - including Optus, Telstra and iPrimus - have pledged to block child-abuse websites voluntarily. This narrower, voluntary approach has long been advocated by internet experts and brings Australia into line with other countries such as Britain.

Re:Well dont Australia (1)

CommanderEl (765634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847914)

That article doesn't change what I said. The major ISP's are having an influence on what happens here. This somewhat interim solution is a much more effective solution to the percieved problem.

Re:Well dont Australia (5, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847936)

To place a rebuttal on your "but" (FTFA):

The use of a standardised block page notification, which will allow ISPs to notify users that the content that have requested has been blocked, and how to see a review of the block

This I can live with. It basically says:
Yes, the site you wanted exists, but it's on a no-no list, so you can't see it. This is why (link to review of site). Don't agree with the review? Complain.

That seems to be somewhat more "filtering I can live with" even as a pretty outspoken libertarian :)

Re:Well dont Australia (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848010)

But done that way the filter is easy to circumvent. Write a browser extension or spider which registers blocked pages with an external https mirror. Once they tell you a page is blocked (rather than just not there) the filter doesn't really exist.

Re:Well dont Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848128)

And? Unless a mandatory secret filter is your objective, I don't see a problem.

Re:Well dont Australia (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848342)

how is that any easier than the supposedly secret list [wikileaks.org] ?

Re:Well dont Australia (3, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848014)

That seems to be somewhat more "filtering I can live with" even as a pretty outspoken libertarian :)

Except we don't know if the list is secret or not.

Those behind the filter do not want people to know what is being blocked as "it lets people know where child porn is". It's almost as if they have some delusional idea that if people know about child porn they'll instantly become paedophiles. This has the effect of hiding false positives.

Rant aside, all this will end up being is a button on my iinet control panel saying "do you want to take part in voluntary filtering (_)YES (_)NO" and if it becomes a pain the "NO" box will get ticked by default.

Re:Well dont Australia (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848766)

What I haven't heard argued much is "If the filter is as reliable as Conroy says it is, what good would having the list do us anyway?" As in, here's a list of things you can't access, feel free to test the filter.

Re:Well dont Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848498)

This you can live with. It basically says:
Yes, the site you wanted exists, but it's on a no-no list, so you can't see it. This is why (link to review of site). Don't agree with the review? Identify yourself and register in our database. We are watching.

Re:Well dont Australia (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848692)

But how can you review the site if you can't access it?

Seems like they are putting a frog in hot water (2, Interesting)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847894)

and slowly bringing it to a boil.
Seems like that has been happening all over the world the last few years. Phase things in gradually so people don't notice, but always under false pretence. But what does in it matter to the government? There will never be another revolution of any kind because now they have the technology to stop any kind of uprising (isn't the constitution against the government keeping a standing army?)

Re:Seems like they are putting a frog in hot water (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848038)

Except that's not what's happening. The frog has become a little distressed. The scientist has turned down the temperature slightly.

Chances are that any opposition government will realise cancelling this is a vote winner (the present government has a choice between looking weak or continuing with an unpopular policy).

Re:Seems like they are putting a frog in hot water (1)

Chowderbags (847952) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850604)

This is a story about Australia, a country that is not owned by the US (also the standing armies bit was a gripe from the Declaration of Independence about violations of longstanding British custom and established laws, etc, etc). As a bonus, here's the unabridged Aussie constitution:

G'day mate. All swagmen have the right to take jumbucks by the billabong, Vegemite shall be the national food, every mention of Australia must be accompanied by a picture of the Sydney Opera House [wikimedia.org] , and Michael Atkinson must be a douche. Now, let's all hop inside some kangaroo pouches and ride our way to the future. Also, those Kiwi's from New Zealand can suck it!

They seem like a rowdy bunch. It's a good thing they've got their own island.

Don't be fooled (5, Insightful)

dmiller (581) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847916)

The changes announced today seem to be little more than a delaying tactic to remove the issue of mandatory Internet censorship from the agenda ahead of the election that is expected to be announced any day now. This issue has turned quite toxic for the government; the people who are for it are only weakly so, but the people who are against it are furious and are already organising campaigns against the government on various social media.

I don't think the government can be trusted not to bring it back in a essentially unmodified form after the next election. Vote accordingly.

Re:Don't be fooled (2, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847974)

Agreed. Those opposing the filter (i.e. any thinking person who knows a bit about technology and the Internet) should be pleased with their efforts so far. This is fantastic news ... and it's actually a much bigger backflip than the summary alludes to (for some reason, /. always tends to overstate any 'filtering will happen' news, and understate any 'filtering is looking like it probably won't happen' news - "delayed" in political terms means "possibly never going to happen, depending on feedback we get/election results").

But we have to keep the pressure on the Government.

If we keep the pressure up, this 'delay' will become a 'very long delay' and eventually 'indefinite'. I'm confident already that mandatory filtering will never actually happen in this country (the population are too against it, and rightfully so). It may eventually come to fruition in a watered-down version. But I think that's still a win. I personally have no problems with an opt-in or opt-out filter - so long as users have the choice, there's no harm in that. Even if that extends to whole ISPs - e.g. Telstra and Optus may filter compulsorily, but all the other ISPs out there won't (including those which wholesale Telstra services, which you can get anywhere that you can get Telstra so you will always have another choice).

Re:Don't be fooled (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848070)

agreed! one question i may ask is how long it will take for the filter 'black-list' to be downloaded & then hacked as individuals see fit...is this a real solution? we on SlashDot know better me thinks :) Changing ISP's (unless outside of Australia's jurisdiction) will do nothing, it's blocked from the DNS servers at the top level (@Cimexus) what will it take other than a election to make these people understand in the government we can be responsible for our own browsing habits! the people they're targeting will only use proxy servers to circumvent their illegal activities anyway...all it amounts to is goverment sponsored spying on the general populous. i have nothing to hide, but i'd like to know my kids can do homework & research on the internet without having a "government approved" "sanitised version" from an "approved" wesite... who are they kidding...really?

Re:Don't be fooled (2, Informative)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848090)

The changes announced today seem to be little more than a delaying tactic to remove the issue of mandatory Internet censorship from the agenda ahead of the election that is expected to be announced any day now.

I view it more as a strategic backdown while trying to save whatever dignity they have left. I think most people in the industry knew it was flawed from the start and would never come off.

I don't think the government can be trusted not to bring it back in a essentially unmodified form after the next election. Vote accordingly.

You can be sure I will. Unfortunately there are other issues at stake that trump internet access.

Re:Don't be fooled (1)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848518)

You can be sure I will. Unfortunately there are other issues at stake that trump internet access.

Issues on which Labor has a sound position? Name one.

I doubt that the Liberals would be significantly better; however, I doubt that they'd be significantly worse. And they won't be Labor, which is a big plus.

Re:Don't be fooled (2, Informative)

bug1 (96678) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849416)

If you live in Victoria then you can vote below the line and Put Conroy last for Labor, no need to change which party you vote for.

See http://filter-conroy.org/ [filter-conroy.org] for more info

Re:Don't be fooled (2, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848194)

So we have a choice between a censored internet or becoming slaves to corporate overlords. This is the issue with the two party system.

Re:Don't be fooled (1)

heathen_01 (1191043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848874)

Well you wouldn't want the wrong lizard to get into power.

Re:Don't be fooled (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849428)

So we have a choice between a censored internet or becoming slaves to corporate overlords. This is the issue with the two party system.

Are we talking about the same country here? This article is about Australia, not the United States. Australia is not a 2 party system. While there are two parties that are larger than the others the National Party, the Greens and Family First all have sentators. Granted only one of those three has representatives, the National Party, which is for most purposes the right wing end of the Liberal Party, but the point should be clear. By most standards Australia doesn't have a two party system (if you want deal with a real two party system go to the US). This seems somewhat connected to this XKCD http://xkcd.com/661/ [xkcd.com] .

Re:Don't be fooled (1)

yuna49 (905461) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849304)

You may be surprised to hear that I saw nothing about the Internet filtering issues when Gillard took office. At the time I was in Europe and reading the International Herald-Tribune and the Financial Times. The conflicts over carbon trading and the mining tax were the ones described in the foreign media as the keys to Rudd's departure. Here's a representative sample from another, well-respected paper: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2010/0624/Julia-Gillard-takes-helm-in-Australia-after-Kevin-Rudd-ouster [csmonitor.com]

I read some of the follow-on stories in the days after; Internet filtering was never mentioned.

It's voluntary filtering (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32847922)

But customer of both Optus and Telstra will be unable to opt-out.

Re:It's voluntary filtering (2, Informative)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847988)

True but there are many other ISPs. So your 'opt out' in that situation is churning to another ISP. Plenty of ISPs wholesale Telstra services, so if you can get Telstra you can get service through another ISP ... one exception to that is the Telstra and Optus HFC (cable) networks I suppose. But that will eventually become redundant anyway as the NBN rolls out and you will be able to choose any ISP in any location in Australia.

Re:It's voluntary filtering (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848058)

Sucks for people like some of my friends who have no alternatives to either Telstra or Optus cable.

Re:It's voluntary filtering (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848204)

Go with ADSL. Cable isn't worth having to put up with the jackasses at Telstra. As someone who once had cable and has moved on to ADSL, there is little difference and the benefits far outweigh the minor loss in speed.

Re:It's voluntary filtering (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848794)

True but there are many other ISPs. So your 'opt out' in that situation is churning to another ISP

Not all of us can do. Example:
– in the present - residents in the Telstra's Smart Communities [telstra.com.au] - wired with Optical Fiber to the premises, all the comm infrastructure (phone and Digital TV included) is owned by Telstra, no other ISP can get into
– in the future - who is going to operate the NBN for the remote areas? Will they be able to churn?

Another thing that upsets me: I'm not able to know what are the entries in the black-list (and no, I'm not referring to KP). TFA states:

The use of a standardised block page notification, which will allow ISPs to notify users that the content that have requested has been blocked, and how to see a review of the block

Now, that would allow a sense of control from anyone on: what's in the blacklist and why. But until this would become operational^^^, my situation of being "mandatory opted-in by my ISP" is not pleasant at all.

^^^ my very strong preference would still be no filter
The next choice (fallback) - an opt-out (default is "Filter on") approach available to all Internet consumers individually. But this creates an interesting problem: "filter an Internet connection" or "filter a user"? (i.e. "Think of your children: what do they see on internet" taken together with "Think of you searching something on WikiLeaks")

Re:It's voluntary filtering (4, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848112)

I can just imagine the call to Telstra to opt-out... "Yes valued customer, we will be happy to take you off of our internet filter and place you on our 'pervert' plan. Please download the necessary forms and fill in the exact nature of your perversion. Your next payment will be identified as 'Telstra Internet Pervert Plan' on your bank statement, in extra bold print. You can be sure that Telstra will be the first to give up your details when the government is hunting down potential internet predators. Thankyou for calling Telstra, you sick bastard."

Re:It's voluntary filtering (1)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849532)

Well, if you get your internet from Telstra, you deserve what you get :-P

Re:It's voluntary filtering (1)

jobst (955157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848130)

But customer of both Optus and Telstra will be unable to opt-out.

that is not true ... they CAN go somewhere else.

Re:It's voluntary filtering (2, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848830)

But customer of both Optus and Telstra will be unable to opt-out.

that is not true ... they CAN go somewhere else.

Like what? Take their home and leave the community [telstra.com.au] ? (fyi: that's the only downside in my eyes of the area I'm living: everything in communications is Telstra only - the only wire is Telstra's optical fiber, no mobile but Telstra's has coverage. Cannot install a satellite dish - would cast a shadow on my solar panels).

Thanks to people (1)

ZeRu (1486391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847926)

This wouldn't have happened if their censorship plan wasn't met with such strong opposition from Australian people, ISPs and organizations like EFF. Thumbs up for those who stand for their rights!

Re:Thanks to people (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847940)

Yup, now its such a hot potato they are trying to patch up something to get the vote of the "think of the children" (anti-child porn, which lets face it, is not a bad thing to block) and the people who would have voted for them but the whole filter was a deal breaker.

Re:Thanks to people (3, Insightful)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848864)

NO!

And let me say again NO! You are 100% entirely wrong ,sir.

If you see a man being beaten to death by the side of the road, do you
  1. turn your head and ignore the *blindingly obvious evidence* or
  2. DO SOMETHING (eg call the police)?

"Filtering" the internet actually encourages child abuse and paedophilia, because it shows YOU DO NOT WANT TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM, you just want to pretend that it doesn't happen.

Mission succeeded (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32847932)

You want to place restrictions on the internet, but you know people wont like it. Now - just place those restrictions is not going to work, because people would protest and you would have to remove everything.

What to do?

Well - Give a very harsh restricted policy and everybody jumps up and down and jells...

Now - water down a bit, and people are going to be happy and like you again. They have forgotten they did not want anything in the first place and are happy it turned out lighter than feared.

Result? You have your restrictions in place - with the strength you had originally planned without too much protest....

Mission succeeded indeed...

Everything happened just I have forseen (4, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847942)

For a long time now I've said that this will be kicked around parliament with no real action being taken. Every time KRudd bought it in the last year up he faced a rebellion from the back bench from those MP's who relied on a narrow margin to keep their seats. Gillard has not gone one way or the other remaining ambiguous on the subject (she's a lawyer after all). I don't think Labor needs the fundie vote and Abott is more likely to get the fundies on side with Gillard being "non-religious" but Labor is not willing to alienate any voters at this point in time.

This bill will get kicked around some more and dismissed or watered down so much that it's never truly implemented. With any luck, Conroy will lose his seat in the senate (dearest Victorians, this is your problem, we westies have our hands full supporting the nations economy right now) and a Labor/Green coalition will remain in power. I have no doubt the ACL (Australian Christian Lobby) will pressure Tony Abott to implement some kind of filter if he wins and I don't think Abott has the stones to deny the ACLs request.

Re:Everything happened just I have forseen (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848244)

with Gillard being "non-religious"

Wow. I've noticed many prime ministers actually are christians despite us being nowhere near as religious a nation as America. However she isn't the first. Whitlam was a proud atheist who removed the sales tax on the pill much to the hatred of religious nutters.

Penny Stocks (-1, Offtopic)

monamaria (1852018) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847966)

Nice ghoulish article very fitting for the season and impressivly damn interesting.That was awesome! Probably one of the more interesting reads in awhile. http://www.stocktrains.com/ [stocktrains.com]

Checks and balances (2, Interesting)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847972)

Well, at least it's good to hear the concept of "separation of power", as developed by ancient Greeks as a model of democratic governance, is still in full swing downunder! No matter what everyone thinks about filtering and the so called freedom of speech (I personally think we have such an increasing amount of shit in our brains, filtering out child porn isn't going to revolutionize anything, though my take is that it's a good thing). Anyone whining about potential issues with your rights - take a few deep breaths - Australia isn't turning into North Korea overnight - there are more important issues to whine about. Millions of people are being incarcerated, hundreds of thousands are jobless, and more kids than you know are left without parents, which leads me to the conclusion - it's always better to deal with the root of the (perceived) problem.

-----
Realise!

The review of RC scares me (1)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847978)

Going by the Shotgun testing of the Filter trials by Tennex, the scope adjustments mid-project allowing the trials to complete with a 100% success rate, the lack of consulting from the Ministers Office to Telstra, Optus, iiNet and other major networking players, I'm worried we will see a similar thing with the RC review.

Who will review it? What will be done to ensure that the review will be transparent and all voices can participate and it won't be a front for the Australian Christian Lobby or Family First to get whatever they find morally objectionable banned for all of Australia.

When reviews of censorship happen they very rarely get relaxed or reduced and its more likely we will see RC grow.

Re:The review of RC scares me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32849102)

Dear Spook,
  Off the top of my head, provided that the review is done by a federal government agency (and I can't see how else it could reasonably done), you'll probably be able to seek merits review at the administrative appeals tribunal, which is reasonably open and public. ( You might want to look at this - http://www.wentworthchambers.com.au/marobinson/legal96.htm [wentworthchambers.com.au] , it's a basic primer on commonwealth administrative law ). What worries me about these schemes, to be honest, is that there's a potential to get a situation where the person who runs the challenge isn't the best person for the job, so to speak, gets decided against, and then future attempts to challenge the decision are swatted down with "we already re-looked at it once, geez".

  It will be interesting to see if they try to write administrative law exceptions in for this stuff... or just dick people around. Ben Grubb had tremendous trouble trying to get the Panel of Experts' National Broadband Network Report under our FOI legislation.

(captcha: "coddle")

All this filtering... (2, Informative)

eld101 (1566533) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847984)

Why don't people in China and Australia just get Cheap Linux Servers [linode.com] in the US and just tunnel into them when they want to hit some blocked content? I use mine whenever I travel and/or use public wifi. Then I know anything I do on the web is encrypted until it his my server in NJ.

Re:All this filtering... (1)

spam_probable (1852036) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848032)

Thanks for that. Be back after I've signed on.

Re:All this filtering... (3, Insightful)

smasha (1849308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848368)

Why don't people in China and Australia just get Cheap Linux Servers [linode.com] in the US and just tunnel into them when they want to hit some blocked content? I use mine whenever I travel and/or use public wifi. Then I know anything I do on the web is encrypted until it his my server in NJ.

That is a valid way of bypassing the filter, but the main point is that we shouldn't have to resort to anything like that to be able to view the internet uncensored.

www.kiddiporn.com? (2, Insightful)

gizmonty (1636241) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848000)

Child pornography URLs? Really?

Re:www.kiddiporn.com? (3, Funny)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848604)

Just have a seat over there.

The problem, I suspect, is Scope Creep (4, Insightful)

igb (28052) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848046)

The UK has an effective system which enjoys largely popular support. An independent organisation, with clear governance, provides a list of URLs that contain illegal content. Those URLs are blocked on a voluntary basis by consumer ISPs. The performance hit is a red herring: the technology used is two-stage, so only the IP numbers that are hosting the material are proxied (it's done by injecting local /32 routes to a transparent proxy, mostly). Although there's an iron fist in the velvet glove of voluntary filtering, in that government has threatened to legislate, in reality every ISP is on board. Business connections may or may not be so filtered.

There have been fuck-ups, most notably the Virgin Killer affair which (a) revealed that Wikipedia doesn't play nicely with ISP-level proxying and (b) there are edge-cases in the law on child porn. The argument that the record cover in question isn't child porn is weak, but the whole affair was mis-handled.

Is the system perfect? No. Because it was never intended to be. A proxy or an https tunnel or any number of other things will subvert it. The effect is more straight-forward: it removes the ``oh, I stumbled over it accidentally'' defence, and prevents pressure to impose filtering for anything other than illegality. In the grand British spirit of compromise (which tends not to sit well with the American desire for 100% legal clarity) it does a reasonable job reasonably, and if it lost public confidence it would rapidly have to adapt.

The Australian problem is that (a) it's being imposed by legislative fiat, rather than emerging from industry debate (the UK system arose from a couple of the major ISPs) (b) Australia has some states that are culturally conservative that the central government isn't prepared to overrule (a problem we don't have in the UK) and (c) there's a skein of support for strong censorship that neither the UK nor the US suffers from.

Re:The problem, I suspect, is Scope Creep (1)

uberjeep (1667223) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848334)

A couple of questions: 1) Does the British ISP level filtering cause any reduction in speeds? 2) Wouldn't the presence of a botnet trojan on a seized computer establish some reasonable doubt as to whether the owner chose to download the files? It seems to me there are still going to be legal grey areas. 3) How much does it cost? 4) Is it worth it?

Re:The problem, I suspect, is Scope Creep (2, Informative)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848796)

1. No, presumably because they are not actually censoring very much. When a Wikipedia page got onto the list, the performance went to hell.
2. Yes. I believe this has happened.
3. Hard to say. Presumably the cost is that of the filtering hardware, plus the cost of the people who maintain the list. All of it seems to be paid for by the ISPs themselves.
4. It can't be. There can't be many kiddie porn websites, given that they are illegal everywhere, so if there's any real trade in that sort of stuff it will be underground, so unaffected by the censors. My guess is that it's main effect is to allow half-a-dozen or so perverts to spend their working days looking at stuff that secretly turns them on, without any fear of reprisal. And, of course, the filtering hardware is all there ready for the day when the government decides that we shouldn't be allowed to see whatever it is that they are going to ban next.

Re:The problem, I suspect, is Scope Creep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848454)

> The UK has an effective system which enjoys largely popular support.

No it doesn't. The IWF can fuck right off, and you can too if you think having an unelected unaccountable quango censoring the Internet is a good idea.

Re:The problem, I suspect, is Scope Creep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848666)

That's the same "effective system" that blocked Wikipedia due to a Scorpions record cover, isn't it?

Color me unimpressed.

It doesn't have UK support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32849018)

But the UK populace was so downtrodden they had bigger fish to fry than to protest this. Random stop and search without suspicion springs to mind as an example.

They did protest many times, but the act of protesting could put you on a watch list.

Re:The problem, I suspect, is Scope Creep (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850314)

So in the UK the ISPs are the only entities that are acknowledged to possess will, though even they are offered a Hobson's choice. Of course if you think record covers are a means of distributing porno, that "largely popular" is anything more than bullshit, and that eliminating the never-effective "accidental" defense is a measure of effectiveness, then I guess the grand British tradition justifies itself.

Re:The problem, I suspect, is Scope Creep (1)

igb (28052) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850968)

if you think record covers are a means of distributing porno

Several countries had a problem with the Blind Faith album, and I think unsurprisingly so: it's such a fine line between clever and stupid, and in that case I think paying 11 year old girls forty quid to pose naked in order to get a buzz about an album half of which consists of a shapeless jam is pretty bad. The Scorpions album is often credited as being the inspiration for Smell The Glove. I don't think either The Scorpions or Eric Clapton would do the same thing today. Both of those records overtly sexualise pubescent girls so that sexually inadequate rock fans can get their jollies, and although I don't think either of them justifies banning or censorship, they represent an attitude towards sex, children and women that is today unacceptable. They're bad cases to fight censorship over, because they are both ugly, stupid and exploitative (like, in both cases, the music on the album).

Protect the Children! (2, Informative)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848052)

I know it has been said before many, many times but if you want to protect children from stuff they shouldn't see on the internet then it is the parents' duty to monitor what they see and do on it. Simple as that. State butt out of families. Keep it free and nasty and abolish Windows!

Re:Protect the Children! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848168)

stfu noob.

Re:Protect the Children! (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848716)

The counter argument is that it is quite a good idea to protect children by not letting paedophiles freely exchange information and pics/videos. It's not the children potentially visiting kiddie porn sites that are the problem.

" population enraged by its controversial..." (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848088)

No its not.

Great idea! (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848140)

All they have to do is arrest the volunteers for being paedophiles!

Re:Great idea! (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848408)

All they have to do is arrest the volunteers for being paedophiles!

I wonder if we may see the end of the religious-driven Great Porn Panic now that the Catholic Church is being hit hard in that area. Catholics are the biggest religious group in Australia, with about 25% market share. The Catholic Church has big problems. Search Google for Catholic priest porn [google.com] . (I didn't realize, until I did that search, how many cases there were.) Priests have been caught by FBI sting operations. [kmov.com] Dozens of priests in different countries have been caught with child porn in the last few years. Last week the Belgian police raided the headquarters of the Catholic Church in Belgium, and they've been interrogating church officials. The Vatican has been in full damage control mode for months.

Now the Vatican is scared because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, at least under some circumstances, priests may be considered employees of the Vatican. (A pedophile priest was transferred from Ireland to the US, where he caused further trouble. If a multinational corporation did that for a criminal employee, they'd be liable.) Several archdioceses in the US have already gone bankrupt over molestation suits. Now the bills may be sent to Rome. There's frantic diplomatic maneuvering by the Vatican over their "sovereign immunity", but nobody in politics wants to support the Vatican in this now.

It just keeps getting worse. Just in two days ago: [nypost.com] "A Catholic priest stole $1.3 million from his Waterbury, Conn., parish to finance a gay old time in New York, authorities charged yesterday. The Rev. Kevin Gray allegedly blew the money he looted from his financially struggling parish over seven years on male escorts, rooms at hotels, including the Waldorf, designer clothes, trendy restaurants and tuition for several young studs." That's just pathetic.

As for Australia, last week there was "Australian priest jailed for 'sadistic' child sex abuse " [asiaone.com] . "The indecent assaults involved multiple children, often significant planning, were frequently sadistic and overall persistent, objectively serious, criminal courses of conduct. The offender's actions contributed to a culture of fear and depravity, especially at the school, which allowed these disturbing offences to occur and then remain unpunished for years."

The Catholic Church is no longer in a position to make pronouncements about sexual morality. That may be the one good thing to come of this.

Re:Great idea! (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848790)

The Catholics aren't the problem. It's the AoG / Hillsong / Family First people. If these guys can rig Australian Idol, they can probably rally some political support. Let's hope Steve Fielding can damage the brand a bit more.

hadis (0, Offtopic)

hadis (1852096) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848402)

Hadis [hadis.biz] kayserispor [kayserispor.biz] The UK has an effective system which enjoys largely popular support. An independent organisation, with clear governance, provides a list of URLs that contain illegal content. Those URLs are blocked on a voluntary basis by consumer ISPs. The performance hit is a red herring: the technology used is two-stage, so only the IP numbers that are hosting the material are proxied (it's done by injecting local /32 routes to a transparent proxy, mostly). Although there's an iron fist in the velvet glove of voluntary filtering, in that government has threatened to legislate, in reality every ISP is on board. Business connections may or may not be so filtered. There have been fuck-ups, most notably the Virgin Killer affair which (a) revealed that Wikipedia doesn't play nicely with ISP-level proxying and (b) there are edge-cases in the law on child porn. The argument that the record cover in question isn't child porn is weak, but the whole affair was mis-handled. diyaliz [blogspot.com] aliramazandinc [blogcu.com]

porno izle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848578)

siki [taviz.net]

australia.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848792)

I never really took australia for a backwoods censorship type country before... I mean wasn't the country founded by inmates?

more nails in the coffin (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848806)

gillard has a major fight on her hands to stay in power. she's too much of an ice queen to win voters over with any kind of warm feminine touch, and she's got too many of krudd's failures on her hands to win a vote of compertence. i'll list for non australian's the current governments screw ups: billions wasted on the pink batts scandal, plus several people killed.

failed to implement ETS scheme after wasting 100's of millions on a "climate change" department.

after announcing 149 new child care centers to be built, only a dozen have opened.

announced the creation of "gp super clinics". not one has opened.

failed to reform the health system after much promising.

wasted millions on the halls for schools program.

the so called education revolution amounted to nothing more then an expensive website.

they said they'd take on japan over whaling, they haven't.

failed to act on illegal boat people.

ran the country broke bank rolling cash hand out's during the GFC.

wiped 10's of billions off australian retirement funds through their botched handling of the so called super profits tax.

it's really really hard to think of ANYTHING redeeming about this government, and you have to remember gillard was in on ALL of it. it's a shame, but it seems all abbot has to do is keep his mouth shut and he'll be PM in a few months.

cmon they are just trying to grow an industry (1)

andre1s (1688402) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849044)

of VPN/Proxy services :)

I want to participate (1)

computational super (740265) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850400)

I'm thinking about starting my own ISP. Please reply with a list of all of the URLs that contain information you don't want me to be able to see.
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