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In Australia, Censorship vs. DNS, and Porn As Network Driver

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the ok-you're-going-to-need-2-jiggers-of-porn dept.

Australia 96

daria42 writes "Remember how Australia's planning to censor its Internet? Well, it looks as though the country's second-largest ISP, Optus, has made a stumble right out of the gate. Optus today confirmed you could circumvent its filtering technology simply by setting your PC to use a different DNS server than the default. Yup, it's really that easy. Oops." And why would anyone want to change their DNS settings? angry tapir writes "While the Australian Government has extolled the virtues of its currently under construction National Broadband Network (NBN) in delivering e-health and government agency services to every Australian, adult content will be the major driver of consumer adoption."

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Is that really a surprise (3, Funny)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656100)

Everyone knows that the internet is for porn [youtube.com]

Re:Is that really a surprise (2)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656328)

I think "Jack Off Australia" would be the more appropriate song here.

Re:Is that really a surprise (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36659762)

I'm so disappointed. I saw "Porn As Network Driver" and immediately Googled for the .dll. I wanted to test out if the new driver meant the intranet is for porn too.

I'm new to Australia (3, Insightful)

Nasajin (967925) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656104)

But even I know that you'll get better Internet access to porn by not using a terrible provider like Optus.

Re:I'm new to Australia (0, Troll)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656880)

But even I know that you'll get better Internet access to anything by not using a terrible provider like Optus or Telstra.

Fixed.

Anyone with an ounce of technical or financial acumen knows to avoid Optus and Telstra like the plague.

Re:I'm new to Australia (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36656884)

I read an article from somebody who was the only competent person at the internal meetings for setting up such a censorship in Germany [danisch.de] .

What you all have to know, is that all this censorship "technology" ultimately is an offspring of something a Swedish (I think) company made. And that original thing, which they all drag around to show how "nice" it works, is extremely flawed and utterly idiotic.

Neither them nor the government they started with, can tell the difference between the WWW, domains, the Internet and IP addresses. To them it's all the same.
(You have to know that there are usually only lawyers and totalitarian-oriented politicians at those meetings.)

This goes so far, that if you try to tell them how the Internet works, they look at you with a blank stare and ridicule you. Followed by openly calling you a "troublemaker" who "spreads lies" in their speeches, etc.

I'm not kidding. That's how it went down in Germany.

To say they were incompetent, would still be a disgusting insult to the incompetent.

In the German meetings, it became clear, that it was technically completely impossible, to create such a filter in a proper way. You could either create a completely failing one, like this one, and look good politically... for about a day, before everyone would laugh at you about how much it fails. (In other words: Political suicide.) Or just push the whole project under the rug, and hope you get away with your failure.

Luckily, because of that one techie among them, they chose to scrape it and tell nobody here in Germany.

It seems, that Australia went for the political suicide.

So I say, good luck with that, and good bye! ;))

Re:I'm new to Australia (5, Insightful)

captain_sweatpants (1997280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656982)

To say they were incompetent, would still be a disgusting insult to the incompetent.

Yes this perfectly describes the situation in Australia. Senator Conroy (the man responsible) simply refuses to listen to the advice of anyone who disagrees with his ideology or points out the gaping flaws in the implementation. He is obsessed by his own personal ambitions and is too stupid to recognise good advice when he receives it.

It seems, that Australia went for the political suicide.

I certainly hope this is the case, although I have my doubts. Apparently being stupendously incompetent is insufficient grounds for removing a minister from their post. I fear this will be one in a long serious of blunders he inflicts on the Australian people.

Re:I'm new to Australia (1)

freedumb2000 (966222) | more than 3 years ago | (#36658204)

Sounds like this is the best way it could have ended. No censorship. You almost sound like you are regretting that it failed. Of course they could always purchase the tech from China.

Re:I'm new to Australia (2)

queBurro (1499731) | more than 3 years ago | (#36658268)

s/he's a techie! they see a flawed implementation and immediately start thinking about how to fix it :)

Re:I'm new to Australia (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 3 years ago | (#36658236)

This isn't the Swedish Child Porn filter is it? I'm not sure if that was ever actually intended to be used as a way to censor the internet, all it ever did was reroute all DNS entries for known child porn sites to the police website with a boiler plate "This site has child porn, you shouldn't go here!"

It was never political suicide in Sweden since noone expected it to actually stop pedofiles, it's just a small thing among many in their overall work, I don't think anyone actually gives a crap about it ^^

Re:I'm new to Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36661496)

well, here in italy we not only block dns domains but whole ips of "offending sites".

which are thigs from the usual casino from to thepiratebay... it didn't stop "pirating" of course, but we have an effective block at the isp level towards specific sites.

Re:I'm new to Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36666684)

What you all have to know, is that all this censorship "technology" ultimately is an offspring of something a Swedish (I think) company made.

Might this censorship lobbying be for expanding markets for those Nordic filtering companies (among others) who have already provided the products for Saudis, for example. Those companies would benefit if the world would get rid of those silly notions like democracy and governing by rule-off-law..

For everyone not in Oz (3, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656942)

One of the big reasons Telstra and Optus are doing this is because they want to restrict traffic on their mobile networks. Optus and Telstra are our oldest ISP's so they have a large historical customer base but their landline services are so expensive they have been haemorrhaging customers to other ADSL providers for years, so most of their customers are mobile. Mobile services are so horribly oversubscribed in Australia due to lots of new customers signing up for cheap data plans but no new investment in infrastructure. Vodafone already had a massive crisis last year when it's data network fell in a heap, now it seems Telstra and Optus are headed for the same thing so they want to restrict users from using what they've paid for (as retroactively changing the contract enables customers to leave with no penalties).

Re:For everyone not in Oz (1)

Gumbercules!! (1158841) | more than 3 years ago | (#36658400)

I thnk you'll find the reason Telstra & Optus are doing this is purely financial. You might recall that in the very same week - the very same day in fact - that it came to light Telstra and Optus had agreed to voluntarily implement Conroy's filter they also got a sweet 11billion deal from the 100% governement owned National Broadbank Network to purchase their copper lines.

You'd have to be pretty naive to think one had nothing to do with the other.

Re:For everyone not in Oz (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668348)

I thnk you'll find the reason Telstra & Optus are doing this is purely financial. You might recall that in the very same week - the very same day in fact - that it came to light Telstra and Optus had agreed to voluntarily implement Conroy's filter they also got a sweet 11billion deal from the 100% governement owned National Broadbank Network to purchase their copper lines. You'd have to be pretty naive to think one had nothing to do with the other.

Actually your wrong.

That deal actually negotiated months ago and it was only finalised this week, the deal was negotiated by NBNco, not ACMA and finally Optus was not involved (nether was Iprimus, the third ISP to implement this voluntary filter).

So in light of the fact that Optus and Iprimus got paid nothing, your conspiracy theory cant hold water.

Please get your news from reputable sources in the future.

No problem! (4, Insightful)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656150)

I'm not in AU, but I happen to use my own DNS servers anyway.

Re:No problem! (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656158)

Watch out they'll make it illegal soon. And soon only criminals will run bind.

Re:No problem! (0)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656180)

Pretty sure you can also use your own hosts file for this as well, ignoring any 1st and 3rd party DNS.

This idea is useless.

Re:No problem! (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36662726)

Only criminals will have host files.

Re:No problem! (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656226)

Watch out they'll make it illegal soon. And soon only criminals will run bind.

The rest will run djbdns.

Re:No problem! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36656562)

The rest will run djbdns.

Until you need to lookup an IPv6 address from an IPv6 connec

Re:No problem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36656560)

Soon all the open DNS services adopt every national filter list in the world. (say it with Jeremy Clarkson voice)

Re:No problem! (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656788)

so THAT's what they meant by 'finger yourself and you'll go bind!'

Re:No problem! (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36657644)

google dns ftw!!1
i'm sure that the company which stood up even against china against censorship, would certainly not tamper their dns service at the behest of a government.

Re:No problem! (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36657998)

Once there is a filter in place, all the political and legal issues are overcome, it wouldn't take much to impliment IP blocking as well. It wouldn't be presented as a new filter, merely as a way to enforce existing law.

Re:No problem! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36656306)

As do I (and I live in AU), so I thumb my nose at these measures. I made the decision early on to DIY with as much as possible: mail, DNS, NTP, web and whatever other servers I need. Mainly for my own education. At times I've wondered whether it's easier to just use free services, but now I can sit back smugly and say "Ha!" The next part of my education is adding encryption to those protocols that aren't already so.

Re:No problem! (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36658464)

If you manage your own mail, DNS, NTP, etc. servers then you can pretty much tunnel everything over SSH with the existing daemons/services, rather than having to replace each existing one with a secure equivalent that you may need to configure from scratch once again - just an idea that may make the transition to encrypted services a bit easier for you when you do it.

Re:No problem! (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36657280)

I'm not in AU

I know, right? It's good to know that there are places that have more intrusive censors than my country.

I always thought that Australia was full of rugged individualists. Another myth shattered. Are there a bunch of fundamentalists there or is it just that they're all prudes?

Did the government take power in a military coup or did Australians actually elect this bunch of pearl-clutching church ladies?

Re:No problem! (2)

Billlagr (931034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36657408)

It's voluntary, it never made it through Parliament, and I'd guess the largest 2 ISP's who also happen to be the largest phone providers are doing this to differentiate themselves from the 'filth pedalling' smaller ISP's, and can use it as a selling point. Their service sucks balls, so they can cry 'Think of the Children!! We will protect you from that filth!' rather than sell their product on actual service levels. As for the elected pearl-clutching church ladies (which BTW yes, they are)..politicians lie (see Carbon Tax that will never be implemented by our current PM yet the pricing is being announced on Sunday) and honestly, they are all pretty interchangeable with each other, regardless of the party they belong to.

Re:No problem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36661766)

The Labor Party is implementing the Carbon tax due to the wheeling and dealings of the independants, Greens and the Country party members who they have allied with to support their minority government. Personally I think it is a joke, the businesses will just pass the cost on to the consumers who will get rebated by the government. The Liberals were probably agreeing to the same Carbon tax themselves but they shot themselves in the foot with their version of the NBN using "future-proof" wireless...

However, it is a small price to pay for:
- A National Broadband network that is future-proof (despite claims by the Liberals who were planning on deploying WiMax or similar for their "National Broadband Network", yes, wireless is much much more future proof then fibre optics...)
- A government who does not sell off sources of revenue to provide tax cuts for the better off taxpayers (how many people with a lower income will benefit from a cut in capital gains tax?)
- A government who wont implement (due to party revolt) a mandatory filter on Australian internet providers (Liberals were planning on implementing something similar to the failed Labor filter but they lost the election)

Regarding Telstra and Optus, they are crap. I pay less for my net which is provided over Telstra's wholesale network then what I would pay if I were to get it straight from Telstra. I never have any issues with it whilst my neighbour who was on a triple play internet, phone and pay-tv setup with Telstra used to regularly have to talk to the Indian technicians to sort out issues (even with both of us being on the same run to the exchange and possibly even on the same DSLAM).

Re:No problem! (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665644)

It's voluntary

You mean Australians are volunteering to have their internet censored?

is there a lot of demand for censorship among Australian citizens?

Re:No problem! (1)

Billlagr (931034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36666066)

No no..it was going to be passed into law, was defeated, so it is now a voluntary program that has been taken up by the two largest ISP's who also have probably the worst service. The 3rd largest ISP has flatly refused to participate as have a number of others. So I suppose the general unsuspecting mum and dad who want to protect their precious little ones will be lured in by the promise of wholesome cleanliness and no filth to defile the eyes of their little darlings (which ironically, are probably much more tech savvy than their parents and can bypass the filtering anyway). And no not as a rule, from what I understand, it's a lot less 'prudish' here in general than much of the USA, more T & A on free to air TV and the like. That's my own observation anyway.

Re:No problem! (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#36657848)

This is a decision taken privately by two ISPs in Australia. There was no doubt some form of governmental pressure involved ... but it's not a law, it's not a governmental requirement, and it didn't involve anyone electing or voting for anyone. The two companies are free to stop doing this tomorrow if they so choose.

So if you don't like it, and you happen to be a customer of one of these two ISPs, circumvent it (easily done as mentioned in TFS), or change to another ISP (which is a good move anyway - Telstra and Optus are honestly not the best choices for most people). ISP choice in Australia is one thing that they HAVE done right (due to forced resale of Telstra wholesale services), and almost anyone who has a phone line has access to anywhere between 10-30 other ISPs to choose from.

So your language is rather over the top, talking of military coups and elections etc - this is not an action taken by 'government' at all. In fact, quite the opposite - the censorship plan the government actually wanted was shot down in flames and never passed Parliament (nor would ever have a hope of doing so - public opposition to it was strong, in the order of 70-90% depending on which poll you believe).

Re:No problem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36658252)

One, Steven Fielding, who we just got rid of. Unrepresentative swill, as Keating so picturesquely put it

Re:No problem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36659304)

I think the big problem in Australia is that the only people who run for government are the types we don't want in government, but have no lesser evil to elect, and it takes so much money to compete that very few independents or small parties can effect much change.Though the fishers and shooters party has been getting some concessions by changing sides every five minutes.

Re:No problem! (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36659770)

I think the big problem in Australia is that the only people who run for government are the types we don't want in government, but have no lesser evil to elect, and it takes so much money to compete that very few independents or small parties can effect much change.

As an American, I can't relate to any of that.

Australia has all kinds of people and politicians (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36668456)

Australia has some well-known prudes in their parliament who've been pushing movie and internet censorship for years. I don't remember if they're currently in the government or not, but some of them are at least in positions with enough power that they can't simply be ignored, though often it seems like they're in positions where they get to rant and rave loudly in public without actually getting to implement most of their latest great ideas, or their parties get to put them in charge of censorship policy in return for putting somebody more competent in charge of something more important.

Australia has rugged individualists, and socialists, and descendants of transported criminals, and imperialists, and sheep of various sorts, and is, after all, the place Rupert Murdoch came from. They've also traditionally had telecom monopolies who really really didn't get the Internet - they're the ones who gave us gigabytes-per-month usage caps - though there are rumors that they've been getting better.

This is in some ways a much better censorship system than some of the others they've tried to impose over the years. It's just DNS, not a Great Firewall of China that's constantly bogged down and overloaded by being a bunch of underpowered servers trying to filter every URL. So it doesn't disrupt service anywhere near as much, (and - shhh! -- it's easier to work around), and it's much more transparent because you can easily test that your query returns a real IP address from Google DNS and youre-not-allowed-to-read-that.telstra.net's IP address from Telstra or Optus.. (There are exceptions, such as other DNS services that block queries for malware domains or spammer domains, but usually you can tell.) Some years ago the Aussie censorship filter people were accused of blocking sites that were politically incorrect (as in "political content the party in power didn't like") in addition to just the pr0n they pretended to be blocking. And there have been filters that blocked all of terra.es, which was the Spanish flickr or geocities of its day, instead of going to the trouble of blocking just illegal material. There may not be enough transparency to prevent abuse, but there's enough to detect it and work around it.

Re:No problem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36658738)

Stop right there crimal scum

China (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36656172)

The Chinese have an effective censorship solution known as the "Great Wall of China". Maybe Conroy should buy it off them? I wonder if it involves routing each user's communications to China? No problem, the NBN would fix that.

sadly, easy to block (3, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656210)

for prot in tcp udp;do iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i lan0 -p $prot --dport 53 -j DNAT --to-destination 1.2.3.4;done

There are other reasons for DNS hijacking, too. For one, it lets the ISP do SiteFinder-like spewing of adverts. Another reason is to "fix" broken local settings -- here, a bunch of "computer repair" bozos used to hard-code people's DNS settings to a big ISP's DNS server, and when that ISP reconfigured it, suddenly "the Internet broke, fix it!", making small local ISPs go the easy way rather than argue with customers.

Thus, don't expect this workaround to last long.

Re:sadly, easy to block (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36658418)

And then we run DNS over VPN (or just a different port). Eventually, all traffic over VPN. And the arms race continues...

It's already been noted that the widespread usage of VPNs, driven by filtering and traffic shaping, has only made it harder for the police to crack down on real criminals. How long will it be until anyone can buy a small box that sits between their computer/switch and router which automagically sends all traffic through a VPN server in a free country?

Re:sadly, easy to block (1)

OdinOdin_ (266277) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663022)

Great just as DNSSEC is is viable. Try intercepting DNS traffic to modify it then.

I don't believe the ISPs concerned have any interest in implementing the policy, it is entirely a monetry loss to them, so they are just seeking to tick off the legal compliance box with a fair interpretation of the law.

Not for techies (3, Informative)

muphin (842524) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656212)

all the ISP's saying they "voluntarily" apply the mandatory filtering state its easy enough to bypass, doesn't affect P2P traffic, only websites. I'm in Australia and have been using OpenDNS for years. the ISPs DNS servers really do suck and some even use custom error pages.
Thing is,once the NBN is setup, the gov will have complete control over the data, and where to route it.

Re:Not for techies (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36656586)

You say "its easy to bypass" and then state you use opendns... a dns service that censors things.

Congratulations on being hypocritical.

Re:Not for techies (3, Informative)

TheRealGrogan (1660825) | more than 3 years ago | (#36657062)

OpenDNS doesn't block anything, if you're just using its DNS servers in place of your ISP's. It's not until you create an account on their web site, add a network and configure the filter settings that it blocks any lookups. You can disable the smart caching, typo corrections, DNS proxying etc. if you register. I choose "none" myself, because I don't want anyone fucking with my name lookups.

I sure as Hell don't trust an ISP's DNS server to return unaltered results, or to return results quickly for that matter. OpenDNS has been working very well for me, for years and I certainly do look up porn sites.

Re:Not for techies (1)

doccus (2020662) | more than 3 years ago | (#36658328)

"and I certainly do look up porn sites".. WEll.. i don't ..anymore.. i'm just to old to be able to take any mo teasing ;-(.. but I AM really curious if OPEN DNS really IS all that.. i don't trust my ISP's server either.. i've already seen what appear to be politically or, perhaps financially motivated blocks (i.e. 404s that are mysteriously accessible via modem). I live in (supposedly free and democratic) Canada.. Food 4 Thought , it has been on /. today...

Re:Not for techies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36658952)

If you're not sure about OpenDNS, try Google Public DNS. Alternatively, if you're really paranoid, get a cheap VPS and run bind yourself.

Re:Not for techies (1)

TheRealGrogan (1660825) | more than 3 years ago | (#36663374)

I am in the Banana Republic of The Harper Government of Canada as well. (Don't expect things to stay the way we like them, with right wing Christian ideology in a position of power)

That's another reason to use third party DNS, as well as TOR for anything that has any possibility at all of being used against you, even by a stretch. I never trust an ISP to respect my privacy. I don't think I do anything wrong but I think to myself "do I want anyone knowing I went to this site?" If the answer is no, I don't go there naked.

Be warned though, using a third party DNS service might get you the short end of the stick with load balancing download services. It's a silly way of doing things, but often the choice is made according to the location of the DNS server that was used to perform the lookup. I have not found this to be a problem, though.

Re:Not for techies (3, Interesting)

snookums (48954) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656624)

Thing is,once the NBN is setup, the gov will have complete control over the data, and where to route it.

No, it won't.

The NBN will simply provide layer-2 pipes to ISPs. The ISPs will issue IP addresses, handle routing and all that jazz. If an ISP wants to set up a fully encrypted back-haul (say using L2TP/IPSec VPN) then they're free to do so.

If the government want to control the data moving over the NBN they'll do it by legislation, just like they would do with the current model (ISP-over-Telstra-copper), not by deep packet inspection or DNS blocking.

NBN != govt control (2)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656828)

all the ISP's saying they "voluntarily" apply the mandatory filtering state its easy enough to bypass, doesn't affect P2P traffic, only websites. I'm in Australia and have been using OpenDNS for years. the ISPs DNS servers really do suck and some even use custom error pages.
Thing is,once the NBN is setup, the gov will have complete control over the data, and where to route it.

No it wont,

Stop getting your info from News Limited (Limited News).

NBNco is a corporatised entity and not under government control.

NBN's mandate is to provide layer 1 and 2 services only. Layer 3 services are provided by RSP's (Retail Service Providers) which will be today's existing ISP's such as Internode, iinet, Adam and even Testra and Optus.

So any filtering will need to be done at the RSP level, iinet and Internode as well as several other ISP's are committed not to do it. Remember that this scheme is voluntary because it failed to pass in parliament, last time it was even bought up Labor faced a revolt from it's own back bench.

Re:Not for techies (1)

Akzo (1079039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36659236)

The problem with using US based DNS servers is that it not only bypasses filtering but it also bypasses local content servers that may be caching content to improve speeds; including services such as Akami.

This is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36656284)

By default, you get no naughtiness, so the prudish Victorian panty-lockup brigade is happy. Your kid's netbook isn't going to cough up goatse, lemonparty, tubgirl, 2girls1cup, mr hands, etc via a random click. That's a good feature.

With a simple change, you get the full raw raucousness that is the Internet. But the point is, you had to ask for it. It is opt-in.

Everyone should be happy with this.

PS: If you're new to this Internet thing, the keywords in the first paragraph will lead you into despair. Just remember, I told you not to search it.
No really, don't. Aw goddammit, you're opening a new tab already. You perv.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

mywhitewolf (1923488) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656398)

how it is as it stands.. yes. how it will be after it takes a bit of a slide down the slippery slope, not so much.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656616)

It's easier to have the default opt out (Don't want porn, don't go there) than force everyone to change DNS settings.

It's not trivial. And I highly doubt you'll open anything like that by "mistake" more than once :)

Also, most parental control software is a lot easier to install and there are even some free alternatives... In an ideal world I'd say the government would give you the tools to block it if you wanted (government sponsored software) and not force it on anyone.

PS: And correct me if I'm wrong, but blocking some site or another in australia, if a high level DNS is used, isn't there the possibility of contamination to other DNS's?

Re:This is a good thing (1)

mywhitewolf (1923488) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656958)

you're right, governments really should be involved in educating the public on the tools available for people to make their own personal and private moral decisions, not mandating law and enforcing a idealist point of view.

there was discussion of utilizing free software supported by the government as parental filters, then there was talk about an opt in system, now there is talk about a mandatory filter (2 levels. 1 "kid safe" and the other "legally safe" - which includes "extreme violence" like war crimes caught on tape etc being banned.). and if you talk about how this is the government turning into a nanny state, you get labeled a pedophile for "allowing the perverts access to evil content". both our political parties in our 2 party system want to implement a filter to some level, so Australians doesn't really get much say... the government also made it clear that "its not up to the people to make moral decisions, the government will make them for you" with this carbon tax its introducing.

shit is happening fast in this country, but i expect America to start revolting before we see anything dramatic here in Australia.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#36657082)

In an ideal world I'd say the government would give you the tools to block it if you wanted (government sponsored software) and not force it on anyone.

That's exactly how Australia's government mandated opt-in filtering works. What TFA describes is an end run around what parliment refused to mandate.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656468)

That's a good feature.

That depends on who you ask. And I don't think that everyone will know how to bypass this (some might not ever figure it out).

Re:This is a good thing (2)

ChrisMP1 (1130781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656702)

Your kid's netbook isn't going to cough up goatse, lemonparty, tubgirl, 2girls1cup, mr hands, etc via a random click.

Yeah, until someone puts up a machine serving one of them, configured to answer to any (or no) name. You can make a link to an IP address.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36658022)

"Your kid's netbook isn't going to cough up goatse, lemonparty, tubgirl, 2girls1cup, mr hands, etc via a random click."

You underestimate porn. There is a tradition of trolls posting such shock pics in unsuspecting forums, blog posts and chat as a joke, and if the common sites are censored they'll just upload the file to imageshack - it'll last long enough before it gets pulled. Then there is the same thing with real porn, which is often spread between friends. I've even seen pornographic spray-logos in TF2. Then the dodgy sites with Zs in the name will have their porn popups still, possibly switching to refering to server by IP to avoid censorblocks that might cut into their ad revenue. If you use the internet, you will see porn. It is unavoidable.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 3 years ago | (#36658620)

Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

Did I say that you are wrong about this?

All this can ever lead to is 'the list'. You can't see this because it's on 'the bad list'. You can see this because it's on 'the good list'.

The world doesn't divide into good and bad. Period. Making a list derives from wrong-headed thinking and will always end up with the wrong solution.

The porn filter better pass breast breast cancer t (1, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656290)

The porn filter better pass breast breast cancer test or it will be a bad mark for a e-health system.

Nest step: criminalise changing DNS (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656318)

Obviously the only reason you'd want to would be to circumvent a legal restriction, so obviously it should be a criminal offence to not use one of the "approved" DNS services. Or any other internet setting, for that matter.

You can almost hear how the mind of an australian petty official works. Will Oz be the first post-democratic country? Where the slide back to totalitarianism is most advanced.

Nest step: Parent makes incorrect statement. (2)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656852)

Obviously the only reason you'd want to would be to circumvent a legal restriction

But it's not a legal requirement to filter (it's voluntary), so there is no impetus to restrict changing DNS.

Besides, if you wanted to avoid Optus and Telstra's voluntary filtering, you'd just go to Internode or iinet who have flatly refused to volunteer for this scheme. In fact, the fact it wont work is why iinet expressly said it wouldn't implement it.

Oh, you'd also save some money by going with iinet or Internode.

Re:Nest step: Parent makes incorrect statement. (1)

blackpaw (240313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656988)

Besides, if you wanted to avoid Optus and Telstra's voluntary filtering, you'd just go to Internode or iinet who have flatly refused to volunteer for this scheme. In fact, the fact it wont work is why iinet expressly said it wouldn't implement it.

I would in a heart beat if I could, unfortunately despite being only 13k as the crow flies from the Brisbane CBD, my only choices are Telstra or Optus.

I've changed my DNS servers to google.

who uses ISP DNS anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36656340)

Most ISPs have horrible, sucky, latency-ridden DNS. Those who do not run their own caching DNS server with a custom root hints file deserve whatever they get.

The way forward... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656344)

Optus today confirmed you could circumvent its filtering technology simply by setting your PC to use a different DNS server than the default. Yup, it's really that easy.

Shouldn't porn sites just start hosting DNS servers? Seriously, isn't that what most of the internet is used for now?

I'm fairly sure if they took porn off the Internet, there'd only be one website left, and it'd be called 'Bring Back the Porn!'"
— Dr. Cox, Scrubs

Re:The way forward... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36657834)

> Seriously, isn't that what most of the internet is used for now?

Yes, until you turn 22.

Re:The way forward... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36679992)

> Yes, until you turn 22.

You are obviously a visitor from another planet, or a troll.

Oh for fucks sake.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36656516)

Some clueless dickhead yet again vomiting "Porn drives Internet technology" when the facts are vastly different.

It is not about porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36656530)

The filter is not about porn, it is about kiddy porn, the sort that they arrest people for.

Re:It is not about porn (3, Interesting)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656634)

The filter is not about porn, it is about kiddy porn, the sort that they arrest people for.

Indeed it is, and I'm sure of this because they're so open and... oh, wait, they're not even telling us WHO is contributing to the list, so their promises of WHAT is on it are a bit suspect. Reputable international organisations [news.com.au] with such good reputations that they don't want to be associated with this? Really?

Perhaps they don't want to be blamed the next time a dentist [couriermail.com.au] is mistaken for a pornographer.

Re:It is not about porn (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36658026)

For now, officially... but once the technology is in place, there will be a lot of powerful pressure groups calling for expansion.

Use Google DNS (1)

grege1 (1065244) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656914)

Google even provide online instructions. Works faster than Optus DNS as well, plus meaningful "did you mean?" errors if you make a typo. Not just to do with bypassing filters, it just works better. Do not bother with Google conspiracy replies, just put on your foil hat.

Re:Use Google DNS (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36657764)

Google even provide online instructions. Works faster than Optus DNS as well, plus meaningful "did you mean?" errors if you make a typo.

Not just to do with bypassing filters, it just works better.

Do not bother with Google conspiracy replies, just put on your foil hat.

i been using g dns for a long time now and i never saw that happen. and i think that's nice. i hate opendns for showing me search results when i mistype a url.

Re:Use Google DNS (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#36657964)

personally I hate any DNS that returns anything except the IP address for what you typed, if it was a typo it should return an error. meaningful suggestions are just another excuse for a chance to market at you.

Re:Use Google DNS (1)

grege1 (1065244) | more than 3 years ago | (#36658500)

It is not marketing, it simply pops up what it thinks you mean and gives you the option of clicking on the link without re-typing. Most ISPs give you search results which are annoying. Plus it give warnings about what Google classifies as dangerous sites. Combine with WOT and the total is pretty good. Use it or don't use it, it is free.

Re:Use Google DNS (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36658754)

it maybe that you are referring to google search suggestions, because as i said in my previous reply, google dns does not interfere with your dns lookups. that is considered extremely nice because its so rare for free dns services.

Re:Use Google DNS (1)

grege1 (1065244) | more than 3 years ago | (#36659054)

I take it back, it does not do this any more. I just tried deliberate errors and go redirected to dodgy sites just like any ISP. I must check that my router has not gone back to auto. Still works better than Optus DNS.

Re:Use Google DNS (1)

grege1 (1065244) | more than 3 years ago | (#36659122)

Sorry guys, what I was referring to is actually a function of Chrome. I just did a few experiments on different connections. If there is an existing redirection to a dodgy site Google DNS will send you there just like the rest. If the typo is an unrecognised address Chrome will suggest the nearest spelling which is generally what you meant. eg if you type in www.tuxradar.com.au you will get "Did you mean: www.tuxradar.com" and it is nothing to do with the DNS.

Money (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36656946)

The exact same week Telstra and Optus were awarded massive contracts to migrate their customers across to the NBN, they also 'volunteered' to implement the filters Conroy couldn't pass into law. iiNet (the third largest, nerd friendly ISP) flat our refused to implement censorship, and were coincidentally told that they wouldn't get any contracts.

I can't help but think Optus were forced to agree to this censorship, so did it in the least effective way possible to just barely comply with the requirement. It still sets a very dangerous precedent though, and it paves the way for Conroy to later go back to parliament and say 'Look, they're doing it voluntarily, it's a great idea let's make it law'

Good on iiNet for taking the flat out moral ground. It's even more noble considering it might have cost them a lot of money, looking at switching to them

Re:Money (3, Interesting)

WhitetailKitten (866108) | more than 3 years ago | (#36657300)

The exact same week Telstra and Optus were awarded massive contracts to migrate their customers across to the NBN, they also 'volunteered' to implement the filters Conroy couldn't pass into law. iiNet (the third largest, nerd friendly ISP) flat our refused to implement censorship, and were coincidentally told that they wouldn't get any contracts.

Quelle surprise.

In the words of Men At Work. (3, Funny)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36656976)

"I come from a land Down Under,
Where laws don't work and politicians blunder."

Re:In the words of Men At Work. (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#36657172)

.............
"Conroy said, you can't read-a that language,
The telco's smiled and gave us a shit sandwich."

Re:In the words of Men At Work. (1)

Lexical_Scope (578133) | more than 3 years ago | (#36658558)

.............
"Conroy said, you can't read-a that language,
The telco's smiled and gave us a shit sandwich."
--

And this would differ from a Vegemite Sandwich in what specific details?

Re:In the words of Men At Work. (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36662782)

And this would differ from a Vegemite Sandwich in what specific details?

Less salt.

Why U would want to change DNS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36657332)

Security... Norton DNS, for example, employs a DNSBL vs. malware-in-general (known maliciously scripted websites, known bad sites/servers/hosts-domains used for botnets & more).

* Personally, I am very, Very, VERY surprised that that hasn't taken place instead of corporate interests being protected (MPAA/RIAA) as they are instead of that.

(I.E.-> A good DNSBL can protect 90% of the users out there from "blundering into" bogus domains/hosts/sites & being infested, as well as "spreading the disease" &/or being enslaved into a botnet!)

Why don't they do it? I suppose one could say this:

"BUT, it would cause pc techs to lose jobs removing malware in general infestations!"

Man... that's b.s. (yes, they do spend a good 85% of their day doing it, I know, I was one in between coding or network admin jobs over time)... because they always have other tasks to do as well!

It's like saying "YES - We really CAN 'cure cancer', but it would put a lot of Doctors out of a job!

B.S. again, & imo @ least? Which is the "lesser of 2 evils"?? Putting doctors out of THAT portion of their job (they like pc techs perform work vs. many other maladies anyhow)...

APK

P.S.=> Anyhow/anyways:

That's why I use them as my PRIMARY DNS here - better layered security!

(I also have ScrubIT DNS, OpenDNS, & Google DNS as supplemental ones in my IP settings AND firewalling router here, because of that).

However - I don't do it to "skirt" DNSBL!

(That I can do via a HOSTS file anyhow by hardcoding IP addresses into it IF I choose, but I don't, & I'll get an IP Address resolution from a hosts-domain/subdomain that way, FASTER than you can from a remote DNS (even one on your network) because mine reads up from a TRUE SSD (incredibly fast access/seek) in a Gigabyte IRAM 4gb unit)

... apk

Crystal Jewelry (-1)

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Get a seedbox (1)

AndWat (122852) | more than 3 years ago | (#36658742)

The obvious solution is to just get your own private offshore server and route traffic through that.

In Australia we already have ridiculous volume charges, so that it is more or less impossible to make bittorrent work well one. I expect this latest nonsense will just encourage more people to use them.

Is this a bug, or a feature? (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 3 years ago | (#36659064)

It was my understanding that ISPs were generally ridiculing Conroy's attempts to censor the internet. As such, this looks a lot like a deliberate implementation that gives parents who want their kids not finding porn "by accident, Mum, honest" what they're after, while not getting in the way of anyone with full control of their own OS too much.

I disagree (1)

benengel (448238) | more than 3 years ago | (#36659742)

Whilst I think being able to see all kinds of interesting and high quality porn is definitely a factor that people take into consideration when deciding how much they are willing to spend on their internet connection I think its pretty far fetched to say "adult content will be the major driver of consumer adoption." of the NBN. (Can't see that quote in original story BTW)

Considering what people can get already right now pornwise with a decent adsl connection I'm not really seeing how the National Broadband network will dramatically improve things in the porn world provide apart from higher quality porn at higher speeds?

I mean sure it will be an contributing factor but I would imagine that the ability to stream "any" kind of high quality video would be much more of a driving factor - for instance we don't have netflix in australia yet - I'm sure if netflix launched in australia coupled with the NBN that would drive demand for the NBN much more than just porn alone.

I used this same broken technology ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 3 years ago | (#36660500)

... for my ad blocking filter system. So this means everyone on my LAN will be able to get around it and see the ads.

He may want to get his facts straight first. (1)

Uhhhh oh ya! (1000660) | more than 3 years ago | (#36662468)

I love where in the attached article it said, "The main reason Blu-Ray took off was because the adult entertainment industry chose the format over HD." When the very opposite was true, they chose HD and while everyone expected that would be the home run hit, HD failed not long after.

While I believe the adult entertainment industry is big and powerful at its core, it simply follows the trends and doesn't really set them. I think this was a perfect example where the head of the industry thought that they would throw their hat in to the ring on the side of HD but without all the people who support the industry directly behind it, there was no weight behind the decision. It is an industry that tends to be pushed to the very front of technology but it is never actually leading.

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