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Australia's 2 Largest ISP's Start Censorsing the Web

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the look-away-kids dept.

Censorship 133

unreadepitaph writes "Looks like after Stephen Conroy's web filter went down in flames he went quietly behind the backs of Australians and struck a deal with Telstra and Optus to start filtering an undisclosed blacklist of sites from organization within and external to Australia. From the article: 'Electronic Frontiers Association board member Colin Jacobs also expressed concern at the scheme, saying the Government and internet providers needed to be more upfront about websites being blocked and offer an appeals process for website owners who felt URLs had been blocked unfairly. "There is a question about where the links are coming from and I'd like to know the answer to that," Mr Jacobs said."

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133 comments

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First post!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539218)

Yippee!!!

Re:First post!!! (1)

gtch (1977476) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539370)

Yippee!!!

If I was Stephen Conroy, I'd censor posts like that.

I wouldn't be too worried... (2)

mfearby (1653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539222)

...because the current government is utterly doomed at the next election, and all their half-baked ideas will be junked, like they should be. Given the current - and trending downwards for over 12 months now - opinion polls, they'll be reduced to a mere rump of their former selves. The Australian Labor Party federally has the same disease as their state-based comrades in New South Wales and will be severely punished in similarly spectacular fashion at the next election, you mark my words :-)

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539254)

Then Australia will have the Mad Monk for Prime Minister. You'd better pray the Liberals have another spill before then- all too likely given the fact that there's a few years to go before an election has to be called.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (3, Insightful)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539258)

Doesn't matter if they win or not. The Greens, who will have the balance of power in the Senate, have said they're opposed to any mandatory filtering, so the government would be unable to pass any filtering bills anyway.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539390)

The Greens, who will have the balance of power in the Senate

Will they? For how long? (yes, I'm planning to vote them, but if the Labor party go disastrously down, the Libs will have the majority even without Greens)

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (3, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539538)

I don't see them removing existing bills, though. This is the standard operating procedure: an unpopular law goes in, then after the election everyone mysteriously "forgets" about it.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (1)

Gumbercules!! (1158841) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540948)

Unless the government says something along the lines of "approve this net filter, which you only care about a little bit, in exchange for getting more of what you want in the carbon tax scheme". That's how politics works. The Greens will make a backroom deal, just like all other political parties and the Carbon Tax is waaaay higher profile and waaaay more important to them than a net filter.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539272)

Good thing I live in EU .... and its my right to have uncensored internet......but even if i wasnt .... we have vpns, ssh tunnels, and so on .... there's no real way to block a site ...so what's the point ? Stupid ppl think they can control the internet ? :) Super if you ask me :] That's why i like to encrypt huge files and send them to random servers from time to time :) If someone is listening on the pipe, let him code some double crypted porn ;]

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (2)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539560)

Keep in mind this is just a private decision made by two particular ISPs. I don't really have a problem with that - can always change ISPs to one that doesn't do this, if I so desire. Most people simply won't care though.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (3, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539586)

always

Use of that word is (almost) always inappropriate.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539656)

What if there is only one ISP in your area?

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (2)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539780)

A good point. However the proportion of Australia where there wouldn't be any alternative is considerably less than the proportion of some countries that there wouldn't be an alternative. Due to the fact Telstra is forced to wholesale access to its phonelines, if you have a phone line, you can most likely get a different ISP. In ~most~ cases (though not all).

Of course chances are that that other ISP will just be resold Telstra Wholesale access, but that would still get you around the filter.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (4, Insightful)

Lakitu (136170) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539768)

why do people say things like this?

"Voluntary compliance" with a government is never necessarily voluntary, considering the weight behind government suggestions. If the government wants people to do it, it should be a law. It's not a law because it's invasive and improper. This doesn't mean the government can lean on businesses to get what it wants extralegally, because it can be indistinguishable from a threat.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (3, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539878)

Good thing I live in EU .... and its my right to have uncensored internet

It is? DNS is filtered for child porn websites in at least the UK (for some major ISPs) and Finland (IIRC).

(In the UK last time I checked, by doing a DNS query on a blocked hostname, my small ISP returned the IP but my parents' large ISP gave a 'no such domain' message.)

For Finland, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapsiporno.info [wikipedia.org]

(At work, "Access to lapsiporno.info has been blocked as 'Adult / Sexually explicit'". Shouldn't that be 'Child / Sexually explicit' ... though I'm not going to ask them to change it;-)

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540094)

The link you provide for Finland explicitly states that all four major ISPs in the country to NOT censor anything, and many of those who sensor provide an "alternate sensored DNS" in addition to normal, non-sensored one. Only a few small regionals actually sensor (probably in attempt to market themselves to families with children).

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541922)

why do governments and people in charge want to censor the internet?? i don't get it?!?!!?

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539334)

Pity the Libs are just as technologically (il)literate as Labor.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539344)

...because the current government is utterly doomed at the next election, and all their half-baked ideas will be junked, like they should be.

Unfortunately for us, the Liberal opposition to filtering schemes is that Labor don't go far enough. When I last discussed it with my local Lib candidate, he said that Labor were missing the boat by not including gambling, abortion, and other such sites on the black list. And that I should vote for him to make sure we get a proper family-friendly internet in Australia, instead of the dangerous and scary half-assed Labor internet. Both sides are playing the family-fear card here. They've got Today Tonight viewers convinced that overseas pedos can crawl up your phone line and out of your computer to rape your kids! (Maybe we should start a campaign to glue your USB ports shut to prevent the pedos getting out. :-)

Currently, anyone who wants a free internet has to hope for the Greens. We're fucked.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (1)

mfearby (1653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539890)

The Libs' idea of family friendly internet is a voucher for free "security software" that families may *choose* to install if they wish (and families probably should). Thankfully, the Libs believe in freedom of choice (and strong law and order to hunt down illegal stuff and shut it down where necessary, to balance things out).

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540410)

"the Libs believe in freedom of choice" - Ha ha, ho ho, 'tis to laugh.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540046)

They've got Today Tonight viewers convinced that overseas pedos can crawl up your phone line and out of your computer to rape your kids!

Speaking of which: how many people here have seen the Brass Eye pedophilia special? Sadly it doesn't seem to have caused politicians anywhere to reform their ways.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539594)

Maybe, but the fact is the other party is the libs, a bunch of useless conservatives who don't think we should have fact internet, think we should ignore climate change, reduce taxes for mining companies, keep troops overseas, and a lot more stupid ideas. So Labor may get through again, especially with the leaders the libs have.

And in fact, apart from this obsession with the internet filter, the current government actually has the best ideas.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (1)

mfearby (1653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539926)

"And in fact, apart from this obsession with the internet filter, the current government actually has the best ideas."

Labor's last good idea came under Hawke and Keating in the 80s and 90s. This current lot are the crumbling shell of a once proud party, packed full of former political staffers and union apparatchiks. They are devoid of good ideas, and even if I agree with you for the sake of argument that they might actually have some, their implementation of them is a complete joke.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540528)

Unlike the current party, a bunchg of useless hippies who want us to have ridiculously fast internet (within the nation only, without bothering to improve our pipelines overseas - whoops!), want to pretend climate change is 100% anthropogenic and tax us to "fix it" but can't tell us where the money will be spent or how it will reduce "carbon emissions", increase taxes for all industries to pass on to consumers, tell us they want the troops home but in fact increase their presence (and get more troops killed in 3 months than were killed during the whole previous government), pretend they're atheist yet grant more funding to theist organisations and educational institutions than any other openly-theist leader, and many more stupid ideas.

Big surprise, the government pretends one thing but does another. Only difference with this one is, a lot more people believe them. Either they're better liars or we're a lot dumber now as a nation than we ever were.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (1)

Smirker (695167) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539624)

Agreed. I wouldn't be surprised if most Labor politicians were more 'half-baked' than their ideas. I wouldn't be surprised if, when asked, they couldn't remember where the links are coming from.

Re:I wouldn't be too worried... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540664)

I would be. The next election probably wont have the balance of power held by the Greens, and the Liberals will be only too happy to pander to the wishes of interest groups that want filtering.

Retail not Wholesale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539232)

I couldn't care less as long as they don't do it to their wholesaled connections since Telstra and Optus retail suck.

Re:Retail not Wholesale? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540142)

I dont think Telstra or Optus have the technical ability to mess with their wholesale customers in this way.

Did I just read ... (0)

getkashyap (678131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539248)

Australia's 2 Largest ISP's Start ____Censorsing____ the Web ?????

Censorsing the web ... oh how terrible. Now to wait for a nice WH40k joke with 'censers' in it somewhere .... all hail the Omnissiah!

Wait until the list is leaked. (4, Insightful)

Boltronics (180064) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539266)

WikiLeaks will show them the stupidity of this.

In the meantime, time to fire up Tor and change ISPs.

Re:Wait until the list is leaked. (2)

gtch (1977476) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539364)

time to fire up Tor and change ISPs.

Isn't that redundant?

Re:Wait until the list is leaked. (1)

Boltronics (180064) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539470)

Churning to a different ISP doesn't occur instantly, unfortunately. Not in Australia at least.

Re:Wait until the list is leaked. (4, Informative)

alanthenerd (639252) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539852)

Plus if you don't change they will think that their actions are acceptable. If at the point you contact them to cancel their service you tell them why and enough other people do likewise they may realise that filtering isn't acceptable and stop doing it.

Re:Wait until the list is leaked. (2)

rvw (755107) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539548)

WikiLeaks will show them the stupidity of this.

In the meantime, time to fire up Tor and change ISPs.

Better move to another country [nytimes.com] ...

Re:Wait until the list is leaked. (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539648)

Will that actually change anything though?

Or the internal workings of the filter (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539756)

Once dox relating to the internals of the filtering machinery are leaked, I would imagine someone will figure out how to cure the cancer by disabling the filtering machinery. Like everything, it's bound to have some weak points making it vulnerable to being compromised one way or another. Unfortunately, disabling the filter might involve disabling the ISP's routing altogether. I guess these ISPs must have already built into their business models that they are painting giant targets for international protest action against them, and are ready to lose customers, handle complaints, and clean up the mess after the inevitable backlash.

Re:Or the internal workings of the filter (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540182)

Like the GIANT ENEMY CRAB, it's bound to have some weak points making it vulnerable to MASSIVE DAMAGE one way or another.

Fixed that for you.

Proxy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539276)

Proxy Around Fascism
Time for other countries to step up and give the Australia some help

They can't ban everything or nobody will pay for nothing.
0.0.0.0/8
1.0.0.0/8
2.0.0.0/8 ...
253.0.0.0/8
255.0.0.0/8

Meanwhile keep exposing the globalists, make it so they never get anything to do with government.

Re:Proxy (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539580)

Er it's only two ISPs that have made a decision themselves to do this - not a law, and not something that affects 'Australia' as a whole. Easier to change to another ISP than to start talking about proxies and stuff...

"Second Largest ISP" (4, Informative)

Skythe (921438) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539286)

Just before someone chimes in with this, iiNet is the 2nd largest ISP in terms of Broadband DSL subscribers - Optus would have more combined subscribers with DSL/Cable/other (which is what OP would be referring to).

Re:"Second Largest ISP" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539310)

Just before someone chimes in with this, iiNet is the 2nd largest ISP in terms of Broadband DSL subscribers - Optus would have more combined subscribers with DSL/Cable/other (which is what OP would be referring to).

What matters is the number of people affected by the blacklist, even if they are on dial-up only.

Re:"Second Largest ISP" (1)

Skythe (921438) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539326)

What matters is the number of people affected by the blacklist, even if they are on dial-up only.

Yep. iiNet have been running a fairly extensive "The New No2" (ISP) after a series of recent acquisitions, although this reflects only DSL subscribers, so my comment was in relation to people that might dispute OP's post which stated that Optus was the #2 largest ISP.

Re:"Second Largest ISP" (1)

Smirker (695167) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539628)

Maybe they're referring to building size?

Hmmmmmm.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539322)

Why does everyone want to save me? I am happy to be damned!

Re:Hmmmmmm.... (1)

Shark (78448) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540474)

I think the real issue is that incentives to think make you dangerous to established structures.

Related to the NBN deal? (4, Insightful)

Boltronics (180064) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539374)

Gizmondo recently wrote that Optus and Telstra have just signed [gizmodo.com.au] a lucrative NBN deal. Coincidence?

Can't force it through parliament, so get the major ISPs to voluntarily do it via an offer they can't refuse?

Re:Related to the NBN deal? (1)

gtch (1977476) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539426)

Coincidence?

I say yes, I doubt one influenced the other.

Both the ISP filtering and the NBN/Telstra/Optus deal have been in the works for years now. Neither is a surprise, they both were obviously going to happen.

Re:Related to the NBN deal? (3, Interesting)

Boltronics (180064) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539448)

Telstra and Optus announced support for filtering back then [gizmodo.com.au] too.

Looking through the comments of that old link, I see the suspicions have long been present.

Re:Related to the NBN deal? (1)

axonis (640949) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539722)

As i say NBN = 'National Blocking Network'

The ALP wants to stop National party members from watching sheep facing web cams ! - Ha

Not cool! (1)

EsonLinji (723693) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539394)

Not cool Optus. Not cool Telstra.

err.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539396)

who the hell uses telstra or optus????

Re:err.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539876)

I have 100Mbit Optus cable and It's a shame they're getting rid of it. I guess that now we're returning a government monopoly I'll have to make do with a crackly intermittently failing copper line that can't run ADSL.

You ain't seen nufin yet - NBN will be the end (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539412)

This is only the start of it.

The NBN will kill the Internets as Australians know it.

The current plans to force everyone to connect to the NBN weather they want to or not gives the Grubbermint instant control over all net traffic.

FWIW, the biggest winners from NBN will be Foxtel and other media providers who will simply suck up as much bandwidth as they can get. The current cable TV networks will be shut down and everything will be moved to the NBN. Where do you think the bandwidth is going to go then?

All telephone lines including POTs will be routed though the NBN.

The people who actually believed the garbage about 100Mb to their homes were only dreaming. They never had a hope of getting those sort of speeds as it was never in the game-plan.

The NBN is going to make Telstras Bigpond look like a good deal. All of the current ISP's will simply be relegated to be billing companies. In one swoop the Grubbermint get the control they want and their friends in big corporations that will hire them when they get thrown out of office will have somewhere cushy for htem to sit while they continue to suck on the public tit with their pensions.

Australia, is having a lemon shoved down it's throat, while the vocal kiddies who dream of 100Mb porn to their screens are being flashed a pair of titties to tease them.

Re:You ain't seen nufin yet - NBN will be the end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539458)

Not necessarily correct, but an interesting take, nonetheless...
  -The Moderator

Re:You ain't seen nufin yet - NBN will be the dawn (5, Insightful)

gtch (1977476) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539464)

Or, to put it more rationally:

The NBN takes the aging copper network out of private hands where Telstra was using it to restrict competition, and replaces it with an open-access high speed network open to full competition.

Just to be clear: almost everyone being forced to switch to the NBN is currently using Telstra infrastructure. If you're on iiNet, Internode, TGP, Optus ADSL etc then you're using Telstra copper. The only people being forced to switch to the NBN who aren't using Telstra infrastructure now are the relatively small number of people on Optus Cable Broadband. After the switch to the NBN, you'll still be using iiNet, Internode, etc for your internet access (if you want to) but instead of using Telstra's infrastructure you'll be using NBNCo's infrastructure. And it will be damn fast and more reliable. And it won't be Telstra... which in itself is simply wonderful.

Re:You ain't seen nufin yet - NBN will be the dawn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539650)

Shirley, you can't be serious?

Perhaps you are dreaming of 100Mb porn while glancing at the huge titties being flashed at you.

If NBN own the infrastructure and the Grubbermint own NBN, who do you think owns and controls the infrastructure?

It won't matter who your billing company is, you will still be served the same slop as everyone else because NBN (the Grubbermint) will be controlling it because they will own the infrastructure.

Today, Gillard and NBN paid Eleven Billion Dollars to buy the Telstra copper network. Do you really think they're going to rip it out or decommission it?

Do your homework. All NBN will do is put a tiny ADSL exchange in each neighborhood. They're still serving ADSL to your home on the old copper network. Your max porn speed will be about 20Mb if you're lucky.
Google the first Tasmanian installs. It is as clear as mud. You're not going to be served fresh perky nubile titties. You're going to get your mommies titties served back at you except now they're down around her ankles and in desperate need of some silicon, which she won't be getting. To make it worse you'll only be able to suckle on them when someone else lets you.

It's really not that hard to see.
What part of this do you fail to understand?

Re:You ain't seen nufin yet - NBN will be the dawn (2)

gtch (1977476) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539886)

Today, Gillard and NBN paid Eleven Billion Dollars to buy the Telstra copper network. Do you really think they're going to rip it out or decommission it?

Yes, they are decommissioning the entire copper network: http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/350563/telstra-nbn_co_deal_telstra_plans_phased_copper_decommission/ [computerworld.com.au]

Re:You ain't seen nufin yet - NBN will be the dawn (1)

axonis (640949) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539738)

Whats all that copper worth recycled in China ?

Re:You ain't seen nufin yet - NBN will be the dawn (1)

mijxyphoid (1872142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539972)

Your assuming that the NBN is going to be accessible to everyone
You will notice the NBN roll out so far is in low density areas.

Have you ever tried to get cable in to an apartment / unit / business park ?
You will find that Telstra / Optus will force the strata of the apartment / unit / office park to foot the bill for each individual unit connection, as well as some of the costs incurred for the connection off the street.
This connection can cost up to and over a thousand dollars per each individual unit, which will be borne by the unit owner.

The NBN is going to be no different in the sense that there is going to be a significant cost for strata units to connect.
And with using Fibre, it means the average electrician / data cabler with their open cablers license will not have the necessary equipment to do this cheaply.

And with everyone being forced to use the NBN infrastructure, these poeple will be effectively blackmailed in to paying huge setup costs, as well the associated cost of fast data plans, for what ??? Checking email ? Posting on facebook ? A bit of online shopping on eBay ?

The NBN is a farce. Labor is betting everything they have on the NBN, and the tax payers are going to foot the bill !

Re:You ain't seen nufin yet - NBN will be the dawn (1)

forebees (1641541) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541582)

I know.

I'm always amazed by such comments.

The first thing is you have to have a floating paranoia. Then the paranoia become focused on something. The government is good because it's so vast, so integral to the functioning of the community and has such enormous power. Next you see conspiracies in most things (it goes with the paranoia) and finally whatever is being done by the 'Grubbermint' must be suspect thus the paranoid conspiracy theorist makes connections to to things were are not and fails to see the wood for their paranoid forest.

Re:You ain't seen nufin yet - NBN will be the end (1)

axonis (640949) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539638)

NBN - "National Blocking Network" ha ha !

Why are the so obsessed with this? (2)

enter to exit (1049190) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539418)

Why the hell is Conroy still pushing for this? He has a face saving excuse to drop it with the hostile parliament so why doesn't he just drop it?

It seems like he's taking it _way_ to personally. It's as if he wants to filter the net just to spite everyone.

What's the bet this is just going to be DNS filtering?

Re:Why are the so obsessed with this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539498)

Because Conroy is an utter Jack@ss and has no idea about the internet. He won his portfolio at a pub raffle.

Re:Why are the so obsessed with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539568)

Of course he is - he has been spammed through his portal.

Re:Why are the so obsessed with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539546)

Why the hell is Conroy still pushing for this? He has a face saving excuse to drop it with the hostile parliament so why doesn't he just drop it

My guess: too small of a dick, too many frustrations, feels the need to compensate.

He's that sort of person (3, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539574)

He takes a lot of things way too personally. One hysterical press release of his was about a "lesbian cabal" that was trying to stop the NBN. It turned out to be a female staffer that was insisting on sticking to tendering procedure to avoid legal problems and a female former member of his department that just happened to work for a potential contractor that agreed to wait until a contract had been drawn up before signing on. Two parties agreeing not a sign a blank cheque became a "lesbian cabal" in a bizzare press conference.
Thanks to the necessity of dealing with Telstra the Communications Ministry is almost a punishment post so it has been historically been given to a complete dropkick that a Government hates but has to give something to keep a powerful faction happy. Thus the long string of utter bastards and incompetant wankers in the job. Sadly Conroy is a competant wanker so actually manages to make progress on a filtering policy that his own party hates and only put up to get the reactionary weirdo vote. If he stuffed about on the policy for a decade saying it was a good idea and he'd do something soon (which is what the previous government did) everyone would be happy - even the weirdos that may get a few more paying customers in their fake churches.

Re:Why are the so obsessed with this? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539792)

Re: Why the hell is Conroy still pushing for this?
The faith based groups had a 20 year plan to infect both sides of politics.
They have their people in place now. "Family First: A Federal Crusade"
http://www.abc.net.au/compass/s1358912.htm [abc.net.au]

Ideological reasons. (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541208)

Conroy isn't doing this for "political" reasons (of the sort that most Australian politicians have were they back down when it polls badly). He apparently strongly believes in censorship. Also people who blame Christian and other faith based groups for this are wrong, Conroy is pushing for it for his own reasons and not to buy votes. The rest of his party have pretty much dropped it because they are polling at around sub-30% approval or something silly.

I am an Evangelical Christian and am against filtering not only because it is a threat to democracy (the government originally wanted to block material related to political debate like euthanasia) but because there is almost no evidence that censoring material related to certain acts actually reduces the rate of offences. Instead the evidence seems to be pointing the other way (eg access to porn reduces sexual assaults, violent video games reduce violence). And what we know from psychology's studies into behavioural theory backs this up (ie that if you are denied the opportunity to partake in a desired behaviour your desire for that behaviour just increases, hence why food restriction diets don't work).

People abuse children because they are either paedophiles and hence sexually attracted to children, or just get off on controlling and domineering others and children are easy targets. They don't do it because they saw a picture of a naked child.

Censorship (4, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539478)

The act of censorship is always more obscene than the material being censored. My personal opinion.

Re:Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539744)

The act of censorship is always more obscene than the material being censored. My personal opinion.

You're so profound. Inane comment is inane.

Re:Censorship (1)

ThreeDeeNut (1061050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539908)

Sounds Like Newspeek to me. War is Peace Freedom is Slavery Ignorance is Strength Sadly it seems this is what we are fed these days...

Breaking the Internet (1)

neurosine (549673) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539482)

It seems kind of silly to break the internet in this way. It was designed not to be broken. Policies created by individuals who really don't understand the engineering and underlying technology should never be introduced into the system. I do still remember when we were being asked, "Should governments control the internet." It doesn't really matter that everyone who did understand the tech said, "No, that's ridiculous." They did it anyway. People who want to circumvent these filters will still, of course be able to do so. Those few people who do leverage the internet for illegal activities are unlikely to be stopped, only inconvenienced. I don't know the numbers, but I feel safe in assuming that this is a huge waste of taxpayer dollars.

Re:Breaking the Internet (1)

ThreeDeeNut (1061050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539962)

I sure hope you are right. Unfortunately I think that if enough money gets behind it, they will be very successful. At least for the majority. Then just set up a few laws (which everyone will support by then) to jail the minority of people who visit IP's that are not "allowed". It wont happen overnight, but i dare say it will likely happen. Besides, by denying the large lot access to media, the small lot ends up powerless and feeble.

Comming to a Country Near You Soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539488)

Living here it's amazing. All I can say is Australia is undergoing some sort of social experiment. The Government is doing a whole raft of things that the majority of people disagree with. Infact I have come to the view we dont actually live in a Democracy, kind of like Greece but less obvious.

Optus and Telstra? Who cares? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539508)

Nobody with a choice and a clue goes with them anyway (and there is quite a lot of choice in the DSL market in Australia). While I'm vehemently opposed to government enforced filtering, I have no problem with individual ISPs doing it - as long as they inform their customers that they're doing so. As long as we don't have the market collapse into a duopoly, and there's no government-mandated filter, those who want a clean feed have that choice.

Re:Optus and Telstra? Who cares? (2)

Boltronics (180064) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539602)

My ISP (Exetel) uses Optus to provide their Internet services. It is unclear to me if this means I will get the block list, but I don't want to take any chances.

The article mentions two other smaller ISPs voluntarily censoring the web. I'll bet one is Primus. Anyone got any idea what the other one would be?

Re:Optus and Telstra? Who cares? (2)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540026)

I doubt it. All information I hear indicates that it's a DNS-level block, and every ISP I've ever used runs it's own DNS servers. Haven't used Exetel, but I doubt they're an exception. Telsta/Optus just provide access to the infrastructure for most of those arrangements, no service on top of it.

Re:Optus and Telstra? Who cares? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540266)

Recall Canada and its big p2p shaping main isp's?
http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2008/03/canadian-isps-furious-about-bell-canadas-traffic-throttling.ars [arstechnica.com]
"... traffic-shaping hardware even on the lines it resells."
Does your Australian isp work on a shared best effort network or have some real dedicated optical 'deal'?
With suburbia filled with RIMs (digital loop carrier ), closed exchanges what one ' cheaper ' isp resells in your area might be sitting on a big clean telco network.
Do Australians admins and networking people have the cash, smarts and equipment to unclean and reclean packets at a local level?
As for opt in/out, how long before its connected to a "National Criminal History Record Checking" system?
ie you can choice the net you want and the gov can note that freedom choice.

We have something like this in the UK (4, Interesting)

splodus (655932) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539520)

It's a 'voluntary' scheme whereby the biggest six ISPs implement a block list maintained by an organisiation called the 'Internet Watch Foundation'. They claim that only child pornography sites are blocked, but of course there's no way to know what is on the list.

Recently the first efforts to expand block lists to include 'other illegal' content have been made, and to set up a list for copyright-related restricted sites.

It seems governments have realised that legislative oversight is a bit of a nuisance, and it's just easier to coerce and/or bribe big business to get what you want.

Re:We have something like this in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539674)

VPN, bitches.

Re:We have something like this in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539814)

Sure, but that's an additional expense and requires some degree of technical expertise. They're not trying to stop everyone, just most people. Also torrents become less useful when all the peers in your country disappear.

Re:We have something like this in the UK (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539950)

there's no way to know what is on the list.

There is a simple way you can discover many of them. Check to see if a site is accessible over normal HTTP, and if it isn't check with Tor or a foreign ISP. Obviously you need to have an idea of the banned sites before hand by Wikileaks provides handy lists of what other countries have blocked which is a good start.

I used this technique when I noticed that I couldn't access mobilism.org from my phone. I opted out of net filtering but Vodafone still blocks sites it doesn't like. I keep meaning to tether it to a PC and run a script checking domains returned by Google searches for phrases like "warez" to construct a list of what they censor.

Re:We have something like this in the UK (1)

SeeSp0tRun (1270464) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540116)

Crowdsourcing is the best way to get these lists, until someone breaks in and takes it.
Create a list, on a forum, or anywhere else anyone could contribute to it... and start announcing.

There are ways around it, but the idea in general is pretty offensive... Censor?

T&C? (1)

Jarryd98 (1677746) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539562)

Just to clarify, both ISPs have elected to be involved in the program - yet neither of which will (if I'm understanding this correctly) allow their users to opt out? Surely this is a breach of the contract terms/conditions.
Introducing mandatory filtering to customers (who, in the case of either ISP, are likely bound by 24 month contracts...) falls slightly outside the bounds of 'we reserve the right to alter terms and conditions at any time.'
This is far beyond a sick joke.

Thats why Australia is spending $36B on the NBN (0)

axonis (640949) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539572)

If Australians hadn't worked it out, when the whole broadband filter when a little quiet, along came the NBN. Its clear after trials of the filter that some smart guy told the government if you force everyone through the same controlled internet system you have a better chance of filtering / tracking sites , well the NBN was born. This is the only way the government could implement a broadband filter, and today Optus and Telstra signed deals with the NBN totalling billions, offcouse the NBN is just one big internet filter, and the government is going to try force everyone through it to implement their filter.

Re:Thats why Australia is spending $36B on the NBN (1)

Jarryd98 (1677746) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539622)

Except the NBN was proposed as in the lead-up to the 2007 federal election. Policy regarding filtering wasn't mentioned (at least publicly) until after the party had gained power.

Re:Thats why Australia is spending $36B on the NBN (1)

axonis (640949) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539686)

The 'nbn' was part of the previous govenments commitment for many years to support faster broadband in rural Australia, not the major cities

Re:Thats why Australia is spending $36B on the NBN (1)

Jarryd98 (1677746) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539844)

The post was intended as clarification (for those unaware) that the NBN was proposed (by the same party - Labor) well before 'clean-feed' or filtering of any form had been publicly mentioned, or suggested in Parliament.

It's debatable whether the government's original intent for the NBN was for use as a means of filtering/monitoring. I've only highlighted that any form of filtering was proposed well after the original NBN announcement (and Labor's rise to power). Not before, as suggested in your original post.

I'm not sure if you're unaware, or conveyed that message unintentionally because, at least at the beginning, it wasn't simply a case of 'hadn't worked it out.'

Do the Aussies feel like the UK & US? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36539588)

I posted something VERY SIMILAR and on a similar subject here on this site, late last night before hitting the sack - Going to say the same here, literally pasting it in, to see if others say the same here to see what folks think!

HERE GOES:

Why are things like this always in the name of big business, instead of the little guy, "Joe Public"?

ADDING THIS: Most of the time, it's usually only in the interests of the RIAA, MPAA, etc. (vs. tunes & flicks being illegally downloaded online etc.) protecting they vs. filesharing, OR, vs. Pr0n etc. (protect the kids thinking)... I'm not against either really, but:

Imo @ least, the "powers that be" should be implementing DNSBL @ these levels (ISP/BSP) against malware purveying sites, spammers/phishers, known maliciously scripted sites, & botnet C&C servers also... not just for large industrial concerns!

(To prevent, for example, malware theft of folks' money if they use online commerce via credit cards & what-not instead... & other things that come along w/ that type of ride also)

* Plus, IF this is gov't. financed ESPECIALLY, because if it is? THEN THE PUBLIC OWNS IT, not corporations! The general public should get a benefit too then... imo @ least.

APK

P.S.=> See - I just KNOW that'd really help to "knock the snot" out of the malware/botnet/spam/phishing problem pretty well, as long as its kept up on judiciously in being updated etc.!

That simply because most folks that get them and continue to spread them are usually folks who aren't aware of securing their systems, or that downloading just anything + clicking on "OK" from a popup off the internet in say a browser, wouldn't "blunder into" spots like that online (because they're not the types that know how to bypass DNS &/or DNSBL (dns block lists for those unaware of it, probably not many here on this site I wager))

ADDING AGAIN - I just want to see if others think as I do, & see what I do here too is all, so - thanks for your time, & responding (if you do) - I'll post where I posted about this in a similar article too, and you can see others' replies there, when & if somebody responds here as well (to see if folks "down under" feel like folks in the USA & UK do also about this)

... apk

Cool (1)

Toam (1134401) | more than 3 years ago | (#36539998)

Yet another reason not to use either of those ISPs

Does this matter ? (1)

kyuubi1 (1874338) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540068)

You could always get a low end box and tunnel through it. Since the data is encrypted, the ISP can't know a thing. Denying freedom is so 18th century, in this day and age things like these are nothing but a joke.

Sad indictment of Australian (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540110)

The Labour party has been nibbling away at filtering for years now, and there are still people here who think it is a good thing to do. When are the Australian people going to understand that the basic freedom of speech is under attack?
The NBN, will be the perfect place to perform Australian wide filtering, outside of the control of any ISP, with secret lists of blocked sites completely controlled by the government.
ASIO (http://www.asio.gov.au/) has sweeping powers to bug computers of anyone they decide they need to, without any warrant process. If they decide you are a terrorist they can take you away without you being able to tell any one where you went. Reporters cannot even report on this activity without breaking the law.
If you aren't scared you should be.

Wow, I'm amazed (0)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540114)

You mean that large companies can agree together to mutually do bad things to their customers without having any problems with the customers leaving them?

I'm so amazed, this wasn't written in my "Free Market 101: Why it works".

Where is the list ? (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540150)

I'm surprised the blacklist of banned sites hasn't been leaked yet... 3... 2... 1...

With the usual backlash that'll ensue when it's discovered that it contains dentist websites, political opponents websites, typos or simply unfortunate names (expertsexchange.com)

Anti-Democratic, Anti-Republican (2)

nickmalthus (972450) | more than 3 years ago | (#36540342)

"Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power." Benito Mussolini

Re:Anti-Democratic, Anti-Republican (3, Informative)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 3 years ago | (#36541018)

Mussolini did NOT say that. He did love the phrase and tried to claim credit for it, but it wasn't his.
The phrase was written by philosopher Giovanni Gentile in the Encyclopedia Italiana much earlier.

The list is the problem? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36540836)

From the wording of the summary, the submitter seems to be worried about the contents of the blacklist. Who cares what's on the list - the fact that some persons feel they are more qualified (than the person paying for access) to judge what is appropriate should have all of Australia in an uproar. Child pornography or not, I don't want anybody determining what is "appropriate".

What's a "censorsing"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36541660)

A censor sing-song?

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