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Australian Enterprises Block Sex Party's Political Site

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the be-the-change-you-want-to-see dept.

Australia 160

schliz writes "Corporate web filters in some organizations are blocking web access to the Australian Sex Party, which is a registered political party that is contesting Australia's upcoming August 21 Federal Election. The site features policies and campaign material, including opposition to the Government's mandatory internet filtering proposal. Party convener Fiona Patten said that although the term 'sex' in the party's website URL could be responsible for its filtering woes, the party is unlikely to consider a name change: 'I think the fact that people are still blocking our site just because of the word "sex" in the name shows that we need this political movement.'"

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Though to ponder. (2, Interesting)

sjwt (161428) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012354)

Just because they think the reason it is bolocked is because of the word sex in the URL, dosent meen that is the reason.

Re:Though to ponder. (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012382)

What could be another reason and would that reason be any better?

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012468)

Most of the filters are made somewhere else and block all sorts of strange stuff in the default lists. We used to have 'New Guinea' blocked for RACISM. It was easier to to turn that filter off. Our current filters decided to start blocking a local pizza joint as PORNOGRAPHY. Does anyone know why the categories are always in all caps?

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013080)

Clearly, they're acronyms. I assume this PORNOGRAPHY thing is something about Pizza related Obesity etc...

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013532)

Does anyone know why the categories are always in all caps?

Because they are YELLING!

Re:Though to ponder. (2, Informative)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33014302)

Because the product started out being developed on MS-DOS 2.0, and back then it took extra effort to support both upper and lower case, so they just went with upper-case. And like most Windows software, it was modified just enough to work with the newest operating system.

Re:Though to ponder. (3, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013460)

What could be another reason and would that reason be any better?

Maybe they also have a few other words mixed in that the filters object to:

"We're upset about business blocking us - we have absolutely no pornographic content whatsoever!" said Marsha Sexsmith, a resident of Cockburn Street, Originally from Scunthorpe, England, she's an anthropologist. She's traveled to Matiti (French Polynesia), Clitheroe, Fistina, Woody Bay (UK), Pisset, Balsac, and Pussy (France), Bastardo (Italy), Hashita (Israel), Youfukyou and Fuxingmen(China), Labia (Egypt), Licking (US) and Titicaca (Titicaca, Peru, Titicaca Creek in the US, and of course Titicaca court in Western Australia). "It's only in Titicaca, Washington, that I saw anything as silly as this! Even Suckstem and Cassman Spring (also in the US) weren't as bad!" Ms. SexSmith was commenting from her campaign office on Fistula Street in Queensland.

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

Artifex (18308) | more than 4 years ago | (#33014042)

What could be another reason and would that reason be any better?

They could be being blocked simply because they're a political party that's in the minority.
If political speech is protected there, they should sue.

Re:Though to ponder. (2, Informative)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012436)

"sex" is a word associated with pornography, but also with a huge number of non-pornographic meanings.

"sex party" on the other hand has less non-pornographic meanings. A google search for "sex party" gives the Australian political party web site as the first result. A number of the other results on the first page are not related to political parties. A google image search for "sex party" with safe search turned off gives a page full of skin.

If I was stupid enough to develop an internet filter, I might omit the word "sex" by itself from filtering, but if it appeared next to the word "party" it would definitely get a higher ranking.

As you say, just because their site contains the term "sex party" it doesn't necessarily mean it's the reason for the blocking. I think it's likely though.

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012534)

Unfortunately the main flaw in your rational is that most companies work with a whitelist rather than a blacklist. I've only worked at a few places with a blacklist, and they are usually set up for specific sites, rather than terms.

The fact users can get to an other political party's site rather than the ASP's site would generally mean it's been whitelisted. I'm sure a friendly word to the network admin would open it up. Then again, why are you looking up political material at work? I can't think of anywhere I've worked that has said you are allowed to bring your political preferences to work with you. I'm pretty sure here in Australia it's against EEO to be political at work. Add to that the basic rule that computers at work are for work purposes only...

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012570)

I can't remember anywhere I've ever worked where you were allowed to surf the fucking internet.
Some jobs obviously would require it - blogger, journalist, Corporate PR person searching out bad publicity fires to put out, etc.

But the general worker really has no reason to be browsing, period.

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013044)

I can't remember anywhere I've ever worked where you were allowed to surf the fucking internet.
Some jobs obviously would require it - blogger, journalist, Corporate PR person searching out bad publicity fires to put out, etc.

And I've never worked anywhere with a total ban on personal browsing during work hours. I just recently handed in my notice from a Fortune 50 company with something on the scale of 100,000 employees, and even they allow reasonable personal use of company resources.

Accept that your experiences aren't everyone's.

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013078)

Wow, I'm glad I don't live in your world. Every place I've ever worked didn't mind some surfing, and I probably wouldn't even work in place that didn't let you surf through downtime.

Re:Though to ponder. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33014010)

I can't remember anywhere I've ever worked where you were allowed to surf the fucking internet.

That doesn't count when your only job has been mowing the lawn for dad ;)

Re:Though to ponder. (2, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012578)

Add to that the basic rule that computers at work are for work purposes only...

wtf? I can't tell if you are trolling or just clueless.

Some organizations do indeed have policies that prevent any use of company computers for personal use, but most aren't that inflexible. It's a matter of policy, not a "basic rule".

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012626)

"Reasonable, personal use" is usually the term I've seen. It's seen as better for the boss if you jump on the net for five minutes rather than taking an hour off to stand in line at the bank or other variations on the theme. That being said we're running into a generation that complain about us blocking Facebook, IM and streaming audio / video.

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013062)

Hi! Nice to meet you. I am that generation. I'm a millennial, raised in a schizophrenic constant bombardment of media chunks measured in minutes. Consequently I rarely focus on anything for more than an hour without starting to fall asleep. If I'm not able to sprinkle a few random periods of entertainment into my work day, I will lose focus and literally start to fall asleep. The upside is that I work faster than my predecessors when I do work, and I am capable of handling more work items at any given time. There may not be any net benefit, but really, would that be a reasonable expectation anyway? Is the behavior made natural by my developmental conditioning only justified if I am able to exceed the performance of previous generations? One standard or no standard I say.

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013112)

Hi! Nice to meet you. I am that generation.
...
One standard or no standard I say.

It seems to me that last bit you said conflicts with the rest of what you said, but maybe I just misunderstood.

The problem is that facebook and the like can become too much of a distraction for some (and it doesn't seem to matter that much what generation they belong to). Just like most people can have the occasional alcoholic beverage without any problems, some people become addicted.

If you want one rule to bind them all then that rule is going to be "no facebook for you!".

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013184)

I was talking about standards of performance. If I can do the same job as one of my colleagues while watching YouTube videos, but if he did the same his performance goes down, that doesn't mean I should be barred from watching YouTube videos. I am not responsible for other people's deficiencies. If I can do my job to the same level expected from everybody else it should not matter that I intersperse snippets of non-work into my day. Especially considering that if I were forced to drop those to zero, my productivity would decrease rather than increase.

Luckily basically every place I've ever worked has realized this, and I wouldn't work very long at any place that didn't.

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013132)

"Reasonable, personal use" is usually the term I've seen.

Same here. As long as people don't go to excess and spend all day on it then there is seldom a problem. For a bank or something where security is an issue I've seen personal use banned outright (and rightly so) but rarely at other workplaces.

I remember one guy resigning not long after ebay was banned at one place (ebay traffic dwarfed everything else). He was running a business on it when he was supposed to be doing graphic design work completely unrelated to ebay.

Blocking facebook does seem to be an increasingly frequent request though.

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013190)

Exactly so. Most of the issues with excessive or improper use shouldn't be handled at a technical level. It's standard 'not doing the job' disciplinary action. We've blocked Facebook et al, mostly because of the traffic. Before the block social networking was about 25% of the traffic through our proxies.

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013900)

Blocking facebook is a good idea in general, but companies that block entire sites like that should also have a computer free from the blocks, like in the break room or something. It's entirely reasonable to want to check facebook before leaving work for the day.

Having a separate computer and network would also let companies avoid security issues that unfiltered internet access can present, and also have a network to put visitors on who come in with unsecured laptops. Setup a separate, unfiltered network, stick a computer in a public place for employees on it. (A rate limited network, of course, so people don't run around downloading stuff on it.)

And it would solve the problem of 'Facebook is blocked but the damn customer sent me his cell phone number last night on facebook.'. issue that people on filtered networks run into.

Re:Though to ponder. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33012972)

Unfortunately the main flaw in your rational

Unfortunately, the word you were looking for is "rationale", not "rational".

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

srothroc (733160) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012760)

Even more than the word itself, consider the combination of letters, since it's a URL. For example, anything with the pattern *sex* would be filtered, whether it was actually a word or not -- consider "expertsexchange.com" or something.

Re:Though to ponder. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33012860)

I'd rather go to expertsexchange.com for my operation than amateurSexChange.com

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

Gumbercules!! (1158841) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013422)

Blocking the word "sex" in a URL is just dumb - an argument I frequently had at an old employment of mine, a very large IT organisation, consisting of 3 letters. They also blocked the word "sex" from URLs.

I worked in the Microsoft Exchange (mSEXchange) team.... anyone else see the problem here? I just loved it when I had a problem with an Exchange box, googled the error code, found a google result that told me how to fix it but couldn't open the URL because it has "sex" in it...

Re:Though to ponder. (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013282)

Just because they think the reason it is bolocked is because of the word sex in the URL, dosent meen that is the reason.

Indeed. Just think who will benefit from this news about the blocking... ;-)

A filter method doomed to fail? (3, Interesting)

kaptink (699820) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012358)

I have to admitt that seeing www.sexparty.org.au does not make me think of politics at a first glance. But it's interesting however that filters will pick it up as adult content when i'm sure other sites contain sex somewhere in the url - for example deliveriesexpress.com.au. I assume since sex is the first part of the url it is picked up. What about sextantrepairs.com or any of these http://www.morewords.com/starts-with/sex/ [morewords.com] ?

Re:A filter method doomed to fail? (1)

Netshroud (1856624) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012364)

Or the old joke of ExpertsExchange. Apparently that's why they put the dash in the URL - to stop it being read or blocked as ExpertSexChange.

Re:A filter method doomed to fail? (2, Funny)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012478)

Strangely enough, I still get links to them when I'm looking for information about mSexchange.

Re:A filter method doomed to fail? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012754)

Don't you mean MS Exchange?

Re:A filter method doomed to fail? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013234)

No, I was talking about Microsoft Exchange Server. Whoosh.

Re:A filter method doomed to fail? (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013908)

Oddly enough, M. is the abbreviation for monsieur, so M. Sex Change is the french equivalent of Mr. Sex Change.

Re:A filter method doomed to fail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33012390)

[insert link to picture of KIDSEXCHANGE store sign here]

Re:A filter method doomed to fail? (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012528)

lemonparty.org seems legit though
http://www.cslacker.com/images/file/mediums/lemon_party.jpg [cslacker.com]

(note -- the first link is NSFW, the second one is SFW)

Re:A filter method doomed to fail? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013310)

lemonparty.org seems legit though http://www.cslacker.com/images/file/mediums/lemon_party.jpg [cslacker.com] (note -- the first link is NSFW, the second one is SFW)

Actually, the only link is safe. lemonparty.org on it's own is NSFW.

Re:A filter method doomed to fail? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012624)

Maybe it picks out all words besides sex (using a dictionary), then if one of the unmatched segments is "sex", it filters it?

Re:A filter method doomed to fail? (2, Informative)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012880)

Here are 2 other examples of harmless words that are filtered by DansGuardian (which is the filter we use in my company, and probably the one used here):

cluster -> because of 'lust' (there is one link on Microsoft's site with this word in the URL)
ptit (which is a contraction of the word petit in french) -> because of 'tit'.

After that, we disabled keyword and content filtering, because of the false positives, but we are keeping the sex filters anyway.

BTW, if you want to have nice links, just download DansGuardian's blacklists ;-)

Re:A filter method doomed to fail? (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012964)

Here are 2 other examples of harmless words that are filtered by DansGuardian (which is the filter we use in my company, and probably the one used here):

Nice to see the "Scunthorpe Effect" is still going strong :)

Re:A filter method doomed to fail? (1)

SpammersAreScum (697628) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013916)

Yes, it is. See my login? I tried to register it on a particular deal-posting forum, and had it rejected as unacceptable. Wanna guess which part of "SpammersAreScum" I had to change? (Hint: My initial guess that they didn't like references to "spam" proved to be wrong.)

Re:A filter method doomed to fail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33013054)

I have to admitt that seeing www.sexparty.org.au does not make me think of politics at a first glance.

Oh yeah...me too. Apart from the large logo in the top-left saying: "Join Australia's Newest Political Force, The Australian Sex Party" and the many references to policies, and politics.

Re:A filter method doomed to fail? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013344)

Um, that would require you to follow the link and go to the site. Maybe I should start the Goatse / Tubgirl Party. That wouldn't give you any problems, would it?

Come to Australia (4, Insightful)

acehole (174372) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012388)

In the (Blacked out) of the [Censored].

I've been making plans to get a job in another country. This [smh.com.au] is something you'd expect to see in North Korea or East Germany circa 1980, not Australia.

Re:Come to Australia (1)

omi5cron (1455851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012428)

i really am saddened. i always thought of australia as pretty cool, and it probably still is, but it seems some of your governmental types are whacked in the head. or should be!! 'premature unnecessary debate' , heavens, can't have anybody know what they are going to vote on!! good luck on your search for a better place, and when you find it, please let the rest of us know! thank you in advance.

Re:Come to Australia (-1, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012430)

Why don't you go, chicken? Being an expat is a lot of tough work in areas it never even occurred to you to think of as tough. Whiners and moaners don't last long, and that's exactly what you're doing here, whining and moaning. Get it done, man. Make a plan, do it tomorrow. If you don't, you're yellow.

Unless, of course, you're all talk and just want to make insane moral equivalence statements like Australia is equal to North Korea.

Re:Come to Australia (1)

acehole (174372) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012520)

Plan is already down. I've done the expat thing before and I'm going to do it again.

Re:Come to Australia (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012586)

Welcome to Slashdot, where the flames are modded flamebait, and the flamebaits are modded up.

Re:Come to Australia (0)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012552)

The document was censored because, more or less, it wasn't ready yet. It's part of the "deliberative processes", and releasing it "could, more than likely, create a confusing and misleading impression." The letter [smh.com.au] from the legal officer of the FOI and privacy section was very clear that sending out the uncensored document is more like spreading misinformation than spreading information. The "premature unnecessary debate" quote, in the article, was taken waaaaaay out of context, and even then, far from the only component in the decision-making process.

I applaud SMH for bringing such censorship to light, but I must say I'm not impressed with the quality of the journalism.

Re:Come to Australia (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013224)

It's part of the "deliberative processes", and releasing it "could, more than likely, create a confusing and misleading impression."

And at what point is the public entitled to be a part of this deliberative process? After all of the decisions have already been made?

Re:Come to Australia (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013462)

Somewhere between "This will be law now" and "Hey guys, wouldn't it be awesome if we filtered all the vowels out of the internet?" That is, after the people who are proposing actually make a proposal, and are not just considering it.

Re:Come to Australia (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013654)

Wrong. The public should know who's making such proposals from the beginning, so they can vote them out in the next election. You make not like to see the process, but the rest of us might like to know how they make the sausage and what they put into it. We certainly have that right. We should put the entire government in a glass house to keep it honest, regardless of whether it makes it a bit less "efficient".

Re:Come to Australia (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 4 years ago | (#33014144)

Query:
What type of people do you get when power is vested in Parliament? Answer: Subjects.
What type of people do you get when power is vested in The People? Answer: Citizens.

Re:Come to Australia (2, Informative)

qwerty8ytrewq (1726472) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012630)

I support your outrage, As an Oz resident, and a netizen. This is not cool. I also am considering to leave, although a pa$$port burning is not yet on the cards. Do not forget the Australia gov' has a pretty nasty track record in a lot of areas. At least this info is being leaked/discussed, not completely censored.

Re:Come to Australia (4, Insightful)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012904)

I've been making plans to get a job in another country.

I'm an Aussie living abroad. I have been to many, many countries and I've got to say, that there will always be something wrong with most places. I think it is once thing to see something bad happen in your own country, like seeing your own house in flames is worse than your neighbours, but you can never find a country which is how you like it.

This story is a beat up anyway, this is just private internal networks, they can block the Labor, Liberal, National, Greens or whoever they want for all I care. I think doing stupid shit in your business is part of the great freedom that Australians enjoy.

Getting back to the point, where will you run to? The world is full of conflicting social agendas. There will always be things you can say and things you can't. I caught my Chinese girlfriend wearing this extraordinarily racist T-shirt. She told me that she should be able to say what she wants about the Japanese because she doesn't like them. She can wear it on the streets of Beijing without a hassle, but would be at least severely reprimanded in most "free" countries.

I have not been to Australia for close to a year, but last time I was there, the amount of stuff you can get away with saying, looking at online, keeping for personal use or doing in your bedroom was astoundingly high by world standards. My advice is that unless Family First and Christian Democrats form a coalition government or Sharia law is established in Western Sydney that moving somewhere else for more freedom may be a counterproductive piece of theatrics that only has the consequence of giving the country one less supporter of liberal policies.

By all means, if you want to own a big gun, go to somewhere like the Philippines, if you want drugs and porn, you could go to Amsterdam. If you want to escape racism, you can go to somewhere diverse like Singapore or if you want to indulge in racism, just pick any other country in Asia. If you want freedom to be in a legally sanctioned Homosexual marriage, you can go to Belgium, or if you want freedom to say you hate homosexuals you can go to Saudi Arabia. But I guarantee you, something about wherever you are will piss you off and you will act like your standard whiny Aussie expat moaning about how Australia does X better. Something akin to the flood of wannabe refugees threatening to pour over the Saint Laurence river in either direction whenever some unpopular policy comes up on one side of it.

The problem with Australia is the bitching. Some people complain about "hostile workplaces" so they bring in filters to block porn. The porn filter apparently blocks this "sex party" because someone thought it referred to a site about orgies so it is met with another tide of complaints.

Australia is unfair, just like the planet on which it is located. By all means, decry your country at the pub, but just remember, that kind of behaviour is enough to get you flattened by rednecks in other free countries. And honestly, if you think redacting a non-binding discussion paper released to the public is on the same level as what happens in the "Democratic People's Republic" of Korea or the German "Democratic" Republic, then that just shows how sheltered you are in your little country and how much of a shock you'd get if you left.

Re:Come to Australia (1)

timmans (1288762) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013752)

As an Australian living overseas, I couldn't agree with you more. I was living in another "first world" country for 3 years and am now living in a "3rd world" country for about 3 years. Compared to either of these two, Australia is by far and away the best place to live with minimal crime, racism, corruption and social disharmony. I agree, Australia is not perfect, but it would be quite hard to find a better place to live.

Re:Come to Australia (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013212)

Wow, that's even more brash than the secrecy around ACTA. They're not even making up bullshit excuses about national security, they're just telling you straight that you don't need to see it, citizen.

Definitely GTFO of there ASAP, Australia is looking worse than the US at this point.

As an Australian... (-1, Troll)

Mr Stubby (1122233) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012400)

I can tell you the 14 people who would have voted for them are very upset.

Re:As an Australian... (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012474)

I couldn't care if it was 14, 14,000, 14,000,000 or just 1 person. Blocking a political party because "sex" is in the name is wrong. If you can't figure out why, you're part of the problem with those that want to stomp on democracy.

Re:As an Australian... (2, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012572)

I can figure out why you think it's wrong. Perhaps you can similarly figure out why I think that forcing private companies to use their internet connections a certain way is wrong.

Read it wrong (3, Informative)

nten (709128) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013598)

The GP probably read the summary wrong like I did. If I had RTFA, I would have realized that it wasn't the great firewall of OZ blocking information about a political party (which would have been anti-democracy), it was instead a sensationalistic bit about a few corporate web-filters blocking the site.

Re:As an Australian... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012590)

For a long time the system where I work blocked games.slashdot.org because it had games in the name. They don't block general news sites but some sites are banned on the grounds of "Entertainment". They have a process where you can argue for sites to be permitted but frankly I would just go outside the office and use the free wifi on my eee 701. Its easier and more likely to succeed.

Re:As an Australian... (0)

Mr Stubby (1122233) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012592)

haha i shoulda guessed this would get modded down, its hard to explain the Australian sense of humour.. But that said being blocked by a corporate web filter because it has sexual related links with some graphic content and has triggered its rules or whatever has little or nothing to do with democracy.

Re:As an Australian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33012792)

Blocking a political party because "sex" is in the name is wrong. If you can't figure out why, you're part of the problem with those that want to stomp on democracy.

This is the age of context-free grammars in natural languages..

Re:As an Australian... (1)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012938)

Blocking a political party because "sex" is in the name is wrong. If you can't figure out why, you're part of the problem with those that want to stomp on democracy.

This is a side effect.

This has nothing to do with democracy, and everything to do with bandwidth availability.
At my company, we set up DansGuardian, which is probably the same filter used here.
DansGuardian can block sites based on their URL (or reverse DNS), by keywords filtering (a word can block a link), and content filtering.

Because we have bandwidth problems (in this case, people at work abusing it), DansGuardian was installed.
It was first configured to use all the possible filters, but after a few days, we realized that it was not possible to do anything because of the settings.
So now, there is no more keyword filtering nor content filtering.

However, we are trying to monitor the bandwith to find who abuses the system.
Recently, one of the employees streamed 800 megabytes, meaning that he watched something on TV during 2 hours during work hours !
Now, this site is blocked, and I'm pretty sure it contains political insights, but frankly, why do you consult such sites AT WORK ?

Accessing sex from work could be dangerous for your job.

If you really want to watch sex, just do it from your home.

Re:As an Australian... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#33014092)

Recently, one of the employees streamed 800 megabytes, meaning that he watched something on TV during 2 hours during work hours ! Now, this site is blocked, and I'm pretty sure it contains political insights, but frankly, why do you consult such sites AT WORK ?

I think a serious talk with that particular employee would be a better idea than just blocking that site.

Re:As an Australian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33013508)

You're mixing up two distinct issues here into one.

1) There are bad(cheap) corporate site filters that exist for a valid reason and they block a political party, this might be because it has the word sex in the url.
2) The Australian government wants to introduce a mandatory filter, this has completely valid reasons for existing also.

I can figure out why it isn't wrong to block url's with sex in the url (it's 99% of the time it's going to be correct - and it's cheaper than checking them all), and I'm pretty certain I'm not part of the problem with those that want to stomp on democracy.

Who is part of the problem are people who want to make rash blanket statements and not listen to the arguments.

Re:As an Australian... (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012484)

Have you seen some of their campaign workers. I'm expecting someone to elect "Five Cougars, thanks."

Re:As an Australian... (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012490)

As one of the few parties putting censorship up as one of their most visible policies I hope that their voters will number more than 14. Unfortunately there are a whole load of other important issues going on here in Australia at the moment and you only get the one vote. You can apportion preferences accordingly but in the end you're still only deciding on one candidate.

sex party? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33012448)

Is this a real political party or just a joke?

If it is a real party, what are their policies?

I know .au has a legal requirement to vote, and preferential voting, so I am not surprised if they get this sort of thing.

Re:sex party? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33012466)

From Wikipedia (ie. probably authored by them, but still they're obviously serious):
Censorship
        * Bring about the establishment of a truly national classification scheme which includes a uniform non-violent erotica rating for explicit adult material for all jurisdictions and through all media including the Internet and computer games.
        * Introduce an R and X rating for computer games.
        * To overturn mandatory ISP filtering of the Internet (see Internet censorship in Australia) and return Internet censorship to parents and individuals.
        * Oppose mandatory retention of all Australian users' internet browsing history and emails by ISPs for at-will inspection by law enforcement agencies, and support strong judicial oversight over the ability of law enforcement to access individuals' internet and email data.

Education
        * To bring about the development of a national sex education curriculum as a first step in preventing the sexualisation of children.
        * Development of a national internet education scheme for parents.

Equality
        * To enact national anti-discrimination laws which make it illegal to unfairly discriminate against people or companies on the basis of job, occupation, profession or calling.
        * To bring about equal numbers of men and women in the Parliament through enabling the Federal Discrimination Act to have jurisdiction extending to political parties.
        * To create total equal rights in all areas of the law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
        * Overturn racist laws that ban Aboriginal people from possessing erotic and sexual media in the Northern Territory.
        * Ensure the sexual rights and freedoms of the disabled and elderly.

Health
        * To enact national pregnancy termination laws along the same lines as divorce law -- which allow for legal, no-fault, guilt-free processes for women seeking termination.
        * The listing of Viagra, Cialis, and other drugs used to treat sexual dysfunction, on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
        * Overturn restrictions on aid to overseas family planning organisations that reference abortion.

Protection of children
        * Convene a Royal Commission into child sex abuse in the nation's religious institutions.
        * Develop global approaches to tackling child pornography which focus on detection and apprehension of the producers of the material.

Workplace relations
        * Ensure that the introduction of paid maternity leave is fair and equitable for small businesses.
        * Abolish sex slavery and sexual servitude by introducing non morality-based immigration policies that allow bona-fide sex workers to work legally in Australia.

Other
        * Ending the tax exempt status for religions.

Re:sex party? (2, Interesting)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012722)

So they're the exact opposite of the fundamentalists?

They have my vote then.

Re:sex party? (2, Insightful)

travellersside (1227548) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012918)

They sound astonishingly sane. Sadly, I don't think that they have a snowball's chance in hell of doing too well, as they're going to step on far too many toes. But this is still one of the sanest platforms I've seen.

Re:sex party? (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013134)

Hard to argue with those demands. Of course, while on the one hand it's fairly broad for a "sex party", there are still a lot of areas that aren't covered at all -- economic policies, environmental policies, foreign relations, etc, etc.

Re:sex party? (1)

timbo234 (833667) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013968)

Yeah, the wikipedia info is a copy-paste of their policy page: http://www.sexparty.org.au/index.php/policies [sexparty.org.au]

Anyway reading through it it shows a stunning amount of common-sense, practicality and rationality. Really the Labor party should dump the shit that's currently in their social policies and replace it verbatim with this and they might be back on track.

Re:sex party? (2, Funny)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#33014130)

From Wikipedia (ie. probably authored by them, but still they're obviously serious):

This looks like a copy-paste from the sex party's own web site, the text at a glance is identical as what I just read there. So this is surely authored by them.

And when it comes to the core points of what a political party stands for, asking them directly is of course the most reliable way to get trustworthy information.

Re:sex party? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012480)

Compared to the regular crop of nut-bags we get holding the balance of terror in the Senate, these ones are at least easier on the eye. If they do less than Steve Fielding, we're ahead. I know, but my motto is "Aim low, you'll never be disappointed."

Re:sex party? (2, Informative)

sirlark (1676276) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012548)

Have a look at their actual website [sexparty.org.au] , if they are a 'joke party', I gotta say their policies look legit and sensible to me, but then I'm a sexual liberal, so what do I know?

Re:sex party? (2, Funny)

MoeDumb (1108389) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013698)

Do they have Aussie bestiality bondage? Tie me kangaroo down, sport!

Re:sex party? (2, Interesting)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012550)

"so I am not surprised if they get this sort of thing."

What sort of thing is that?

This is democracy at work. Dont vote for them then. Once you start suppressing who can run for parliament you may as well start putting out the tenders for Gulag construction now.

Re:sex party? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012576)

Its a real party if you can vote for them. If I get a chance here in Victoria I will put them ahead of Labour.

No polticial free speech... (3, Informative)

Gavin Rogers (301715) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012544)

Australia may rank 16th on the Press Freedom Index [wikipedia.org] , But unfortunately Australia doesn't have US 1st Amendment-like protection for political free speech. (The High Court has ruled that it's heavily implied in the constitution, but it's not absolutely stated). There's no "You can't block that, it's political free speech!" kind of laws.

Re:No polticial free speech... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33012618)

Not that a 1st Amendment style protection would help in this case since the blocking is not being done by the Government.

Re:No polticial free speech... (2, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012656)

The first amendment wouldn't apply here - a private employer has every right to block whatever they wish, it's not a freedom of speech issue.

Re:No polticial free speech... (3, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013970)

The first amendment wouldn't apply here - a private employer has every right to block whatever they wish, it's not a freedom of speech issue.

The amendment would not apply because its scope is limited to government, indeed, but it is a freedom of speech issue. The concept of freedom of speech is independent of the legal framework devised to protect it. Private censorship is still censorship.

Re:No polticial free speech... (1)

SJ2000 (1128057) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012658)

There's no "You can't block that, it's political free speech!" kind of laws.

To quote myself:

[...]many of Australia's rights are "implied" in the constitution and exist merely through the High Court's "creative" interpretations. Such as the implied right for Political speech in Australian Captial Television Pty Ltd v. Commonwealth (1992) which was also extended in 1994 in Theophanous v. The Herald And Weekly Times. Australia also took an active role in 1948 when drafting the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Unfortunately, many attempts to introduce entrenched Human Rights into the constitution such Lionel Murphy in 1973 and 1985 with the Federal attorney-general have failed before they even reached the stage of a referendum.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=436328&cid=22244392 [slashdot.org]

And if you compare it with other countries which do have explicit rights, it all comes down to how the courts interpret it anyway (Just take a look at the US). Mind you, I think even ethically I don't see why blocking access to anything from a corporate network is bad, in today's highly networked world it's hard to argue you're depriving anyone of anything and with even high profile sites being targeted by malware and hackers you could even argue that the company is blocking an infection vector. Think that's unlikely? Just the other day the Australia Greens Party website had an SQL validation 'problem' with it's electorate search...

Re:No polticial free speech... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012994)

The first amendment didn't seem to stop the US from being down at number 20, below a lot of other countries that didn't have such constitutional rights, and didn't stop it being even further down, past number 30, back in 2008, with 2007 being an even lower point.

Re:No polticial free speech... (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013726)

The 1st Amendment is little more than a toothless catch phrase now.

Gotta be a condom joke here, somewhere . . . (2, Funny)

wrencherd (865833) | more than 4 years ago | (#33012594)

"Prophylactic filters foil fornicators' free forum . . . film at five!"

CORPORATE filters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33012834)

... That means, filters on the work floor, right? Who cares? You shouldn't be doing politics while you work anyway.

Re:CORPORATE filters (0, Redundant)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013754)

You shouldn't be doing politics while you work anyway.

Absolutely.. I don't like working with people who are under the influence of any mind altering substances.

Gives an entirely new meaning to... (1)

vakuona (788200) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013100)

...swing voters.

corporate, people. (1)

Triv (181010) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013186)

CORPORATE. CORPORATE filters block access to the website from within their PRIVATE CORPORATE NETWORKS. Companies can filter the web searches of their employees however they please. How is this in any way close to news?

Re:corporate, people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33013922)

How is this in any way close to news?

Um, perhaps because AU is currently in the process of establishing a COUNTRY-WIDE internet filter, douchington? Perhaps even indicated by the mention of the "mandatory internet filtering proposal" in the FUCKING SUMMARY? Goddamn you shills are retarded.

Re:corporate, people. (1)

Triv (181010) | more than 4 years ago | (#33014258)

Douchington? Nice one, but troll harder.

  If the Australian government was filtering internet access to its citizenry that prevented access to political party websites, that would be a problem. But that's not what this article is about - the article's about companies keyword-restricting access to potentially inappropriate websites from computers on their networks. This is a spectacularly common thing for a company to do, but who cares? It's a private network. They can admin it how they like.

  The fact that the first part would be news doesn't make the second part news because they're about similar things.

Did they even think about this one? (1)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013198)

You know, I know this is in the context of a business, but if you're going to name your political party the Sex Party, do you even stop and think about it? Are they allowed to run ads during prime time? Are you going to have 8-year-old asking, "Daddy, what does sex mean?" I'm not sure I'd vote for a party that put me through that kind of hassle.

Re:Did they even think about this one? (3, Insightful)

amck (34780) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013696)

Had you thought that this might be the point of naming it so ?

Breaking down taboos about talking about such matters is ones of their aims. My daughter is 7 and long past asking such questions: she knows google and the internet and will look it up herself, even with filters on the PC. While most of the nastier bits of life have not been covered yet, kids at that age need to know the basics; what sex is, why you don't post personal details to the net, etc.

The idea of keeping kids ignorant until their 18 simply isn't an option, and honest, healthy discussion of such topics, rather than treating _adults_ in an infantile manner to preserve false innocence is part of the Sex Partys platform.
 

Re:Did they even think about this one? (4, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013996)

Are you going to have 8-year-old asking, "Daddy, what does sex mean?" I'm not sure I'd vote for a party that put me through that kind of hassle.

"Sex is the difference between men and women. When you fill out forms, they have a question about sex and you answer boy or girl." Wow, what a hassle.

Enough Already ! (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013314)

Can we stop with the sensationalist non-stories about people sitting behind corporate intranet filters.

Just because you use a computer at work, that doesn't mean you have carte blanche to surf wherever and whenever you want. You are there to work, not play Farmville.

And what corporate filter WOULDN'T have the word "sex" on it's blacklist ?

There are no sinister connotations, no "big-brother" censorship issues, this is simply what's called a false-positive.

Nothing more to see, please move along.

Re:Enough Already ! (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#33013808)

And what corporate filter WOULDN'T have the word "sex" on it's blacklist ?

Maybe if the computers doing the censoring had used a little common sense, the Australian Sex Party wouldn't be in this mess. But, no, they had to use a blacklist. How crude.

I don't think they're blocked because of "sex." (1)

Estanislao Martnez (203477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33014348)

I don't think they're blocked because of the word "sex." I think they're blocked because of the phrase "sex party."
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