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Australian Government Backdoor Internet Filter Shuts Down 1,000 Websites

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the protecting-you-from-yourselves dept.

Australia 90

An anonymous reader writes "The Australian government has secretly censored over 1,000 web sites through a hitherto-unused internet censorship law. In April the Melbourne Free University was blocked without any explanation. Section 313 of the Telecommunications Act allows the government to close web sites without warning to "uphold laws, protect public revenue and safeguard national security". This is open to abuse as Australians only have limited free speech rights which already make it difficult for the press to report corruption."

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If a government makes it hard to report corruption (5, Interesting)

kawabago (551139) | about a year and a half ago | (#43757745)

They must be thoroughly corrupt.

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43757917)

"uphold laws, protect public revenue and safeguard national security" are vague enough that many things can be engulfed based on the government's point of view of any particular website on any particular day. I wish they put this much effort into "uphold laws, protect public revenue and safeguard national security" when it came to politicians telling the truth, consumer protection and shite advertising.

In ambiguity lies power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760091)

Exactly. Laws are supposed to be decided by judges in a court and not because some politician in his office decides he wants something shut someone up. Public revenue could be a web site to reduce taxes. National security can mean anything these days even making fun of the police or politicians. Australia has sedition laws which has jail to ''urge disaffection against the following: (i) the Constitution; (ii) the Government of the Commonwealth; (iii) either House of the Parliament'' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_sedition_law Well most Aussies hate the politcians so are they going to lock everyone up?

Re: If a government makes it hard to report corrup (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about a year and a half ago | (#43761529)

"Public revenue" I think if that's in the law there is nothing you couldn't make a case for.

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43758269)

What do you expect from a country that originally had a white population from only two different groups: Criminals, and jailers?

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (4, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | about a year and a half ago | (#43758309)

What do you expect from a country that originally had a white population from only two different groups: Criminals, and jailers?

Reminds me of a quip from an Aussie acquaintance a few years ago: He said he was happy that Australia got the criminals and America got the religious groups.

Of course, that's not really relevant to this issue. Politicians anywhere should be assumed corrupt and on the take unless they can prove otherwise. And laws limiting the population's access to information about their government's inner workings are de-facto proof of the "otherwise".

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (0)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43758867)

Reminds me of a quip from an Aussie acquaintance a few years ago: He said he was happy that Australia got the criminals and America got the religious groups.

Reminds me of a quip from one of my Canadian friends, who said the US got all the Blacks and Canada got all the Francophones because the US had first choice.

 

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760041)

Having lived in both countries, I'll take the crims any day. Much safer with them there, and the religious whackjobs on the far side of the Pacific.

Religous whackjobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760109)

well the leader of the opposition wanted to be a priest and his nickname is the mad monk. the prime minister is a woman who bashes gays for votes because she says she believes in the sanctity of marriage. did i mention she's living in sin with a male hairdresser in australia's own version of the white house. aussie is far funnier than any simpsons episode could ever be.

Re:Religous whackjobs (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760213)

I love Australia, but I confess that I am not especially fond of the back-stab-fest that is Aussie politics, which seems mostly designed to chew up the decent and/or sane politicos and spit them out.

As for Julia, I guess she should be glad someone actually wants to fuck her in the normal way, rather than with the sharpened stake she herself favours using on others. And I find it hilarious that she of all people should start carrying on about the raw deal that Simon Crean got when she pulled a similar trick on Rudd.

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (1)

porjo (964384) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760459)

What do you expect from a country that originally had a white population from only two different groups: Criminals, and jailers?

This is a troll right? What a ridiculous statement to make! Waves of free immigrants from UK + Europe after the initial convict settlement dwarfs those convict numbers. Only a minority of 'white' australians today can trace their ancestory back to criminals and 'jailers', as you put it.

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760855)

Correct.

They only sent the convicts to Australia in the first place because they couldn't send them to America any more after their spat with the French and Spanish (oh, and a few useless locals).

Still, you can't blame Americans for being ignorant about almost everything, it's in their DNA.

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43761047)

The British Empire transported a tremendous population of hardened criminals, guttersnipes, and dark masterminds to the penitentiary hell, van demons land, aka Australia. Indeed, the Monarchy literally emptied the Empires prisons and streets of the criminally inclined and shipped them off to a fate most horrid. Joining this fine community were the rejects of the British Royal Marines, most of them disgraced or unfit for more honorable service. These fine service men went on to become the infamous Rum Corps. From this embryo Australian society was conceived. "I broke the rock, I hewed the tree, the nation was because of me." The greatest criminals of the British Empire. In one place. At one time.

Re: If a government makes it hard to report corrup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43764441)

Unfortunately a large number of Irish dissidents who challenged the English occupation.

Re: If a government makes it hard to report corrup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43764979)

True, the first foreign vessels to enter Australian ports were American Whalers brimming with cutthroats and neigh-do-wells, adding their depraved dna to the mix.

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43758467)

They must be thoroughly corrupt.

This story is BS! The blocking of the sites was the result of an error and they were unblocked when the error was discovered. Neither the Australian government nor any government agency has any internet blocking in place. Whoever posted this story owes Australia an apology.

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43758933)

You pretty much contradicted yourself. If it was blocked in error then SOMEBODY must have some blocking in place, No?

Australian Securities and Investments Commission was behind the blocking of the Melbourne Free University website

Further, this was already admitted by the Australian government:

The news came tonight in a statement issued by the office of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, following a controversial event in April which saw some 1,200 websites wrongfully blocked by several of Australia’s major Internet service providers.

Over the past week, a number of different Federal Government involved in Internet regulation, including the Attorney-General’s Department, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Communications and Media Authority have denied involvement in the April block. However, tonight Senator Conroy’s office revealed that the incident that resulted in Melbourne Free University and more than a thousand other sites being blocked originated from a different source — financial regulator the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43759767)

Whoever posted this story owes Australia an apology.

I would, but my apology was blocked by the Australian censorship bureau.

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43759931)

What if someone used an AFP letterhead and posted a takedown notice against google? I reckon someone should give it a go.

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760017)

They have done it before. This guy did a web site making fun of the prime minister and the AFP called up his web host and got it shut down. No good reason to do it. They just didn't like what he said. The AFP are a political goon squad. http://www.smh.com.au/news/breaking/government-shuts-howard-spoof-site/2006/03/17/1142098638843.html http://www.countercurrents.org/aus-phillips240306.htm

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760089)

The AFP are a political goon squad.

Yet they will refuse to fingerprint you without a documented good reason.

(Yes, I know this from personal experience. If you're curious: It was in connection with obtaining a criminal records check back in the US, for a job I had in Oz.)

AFP keystone cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760277)

Tell this guy: http://www.news.com.au/news/afp-ignored-evidence-in-haneef-case/story-fna7dq6e-1111118400153

They are slack on corruption:
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/afp-allegedly-shut-down-awb-case-prematurely-20120606-1zwz7.html
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/afp-ignored-corruption-complaint-20100524-w81a.html
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service-keeps-fraud-cases-private-20110923-1kpdr.html
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/lax-afp-to-reopen-graft-probes-20130112-2cmg3.html
http://kangaroocourtofaustralia.com/2011/10/09/the-canberra-mafia-how-and-why-the-australian-federal-government-conceal-corruption/

And they had to be dragged kicking and screaming into this:
http://www.qt.com.au/news/brandis-urges-afp-investigate-craig-thomson-allega/1870988/
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/craig-thomson-claim-prompts-coalition-to-push-for-australian-federal-police-investigation/story-e6frg6n6-1226644294334

If the AFP did their jobs there would be no corruption

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760865)

They must be Jews...

www.jewishproblem.com

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43761371)

A dead website? Just shows server errors. Appropriate, considering it no doubt contains nothing more than racist hate.

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43761417)

Hilarious. Try this one instead:

http://www.prothink.org/

Oy vey, haven't ve suffered enuff!

The Jew cries out in pain as he strikes you.

Like I said -the JEWS are behind this, the JEWS are the ones who took away our free speech (clue: not everybody lives in the United States), and it's the JEWS who are trying to disarm you, so that you can't fight back against their tyranny.

And I guess you must also be a khazar too, with your "racist hate" bullshit. Haven't you read 1984?

Re:If a government makes it hard to report corrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43763027)

> Haven't you read 1984?

Oh, the book about the tyrannical government that made mandatory hatred of a Jew a requirement?

Sorry, dude, you overplayed your hand and gave away that you're just trolling for lulz. Hang around some of the more "intellectual" holocaust deniers and pick up a bit of subtlety, come back and try again.

Australian corruption? (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760873)

Given their origin I'm not surprised...

Jokes aside, I would have expected news like this come from a country with a culture originating in China or the Mediterranean.

Countries with borders facing the North Sea tend to have lower rates of corruption; with France as the pathetic exception.

Australia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43757793)

More like Ausfailia! AMIRITE?

And the 1000 sites are? (3, Interesting)

justthinkit (954982) | about a year and a half ago | (#43757901)

And the 1000 sites are? This came up a few days ago and I asked the same question. It would reveal more of the intent of the Australian dictatorship.

Also (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about a year and a half ago | (#43757915)

Also, these sites would serve as 1,000 canaries for any future attempts at suffocation. Could set up a script to check if they are up each day/hour.

Re:And the 1000 sites are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43758179)

If only there was some website that some anonymous government official could leak this list to for public consumption.

Re:And the 1000 sites are? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43758235)

ASIC http://www.asic.gov.au/ requested all major ISP's block the IP of a server because one of the Domains hosted on it included a financial scam.

I don't think http://melbournefreeuniversity.org/ is still on the same host because 103.15.178.29 is only hosting
making-the-invisible-visible.com
melbournefreeuniversity.org
mtiv.org
www.vantagefreight.com.au

Re:And the 1000 sites are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43759173)

I don't think http://melbournefreeuniversity.org/ is still on the same host because 103.15.178.29 is only hosting
making-the-invisible-visible.com
melbournefreeuniversity.org
mtiv.org
www.vantagefreight.com.au

Ummm, what?

Re:And the 1000 sites are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43761381)

Not that hard - MFU's host is shared with three others, and is therefore probably a different host to the one it shared with 999 others that got blocked.

ASIC suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760181)

and when it happened MFU could not even find out why they were blocked or even who ordered it. this is the problem with putting power in the hand of petty government bureaucrats. And BTW ASIC are a really nasty bunch who can't be trusted: Look what they did to this guy: http://www.smh.com.au/business/asics-death-by-a-thousand-cuts-20120504-1y3vp.html

Re:And the 1000 sites are? (1)

Aeonym (1115135) | about a year and a half ago | (#43758843)

Most likely it was 1000 sites containing images of adult women with small breasts, which as all good citizens know is intolerable in a decent society.

Re:And the 1000 sites are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43761933)

Most likely it was 1000 sites containing images of adult women with small breasts, which as all good citizens know is intolerable in a decent society.

As a thoroughly retarded time travelling Victorian gentlemen, I find Australia's views on things to be most agreeable. Nowhere else outside of Arabia would I find a government so ready to aid me in my battle to restrain the demonic siren whisper of my loins.

Pro tip for Australians. If you're not in fact retarded idiots living in fear of your genitals and freedom of speech then try voting for someone different.

Re:And the 1000 sites are? (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#43759765)

Whatever can be said about the Australian government it appears that you don't know enough to comment on it one way or another. Dictatorship? WTF? It's a hung parliment in the balance FFS where a single person changing sides would bring it down. That's about as far from dictatorship as you can get in an elected system.

Very Naive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760323)

Nonsense. The independants can't force Gillard to do anything. They only promised not to support no confidence motions against her. Example. Ex-whistleblower Andrew Wilkie is one of independants supporting Gillard. Gillard promised him anti-corruption laws to protect whistleblowers but she dragged her feet for years. He got sick of waiting and offered his own. She rejected his and offered their own which protect corrupt politicians. Hilarious!

His: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/wilkie-acts-to-help-whistleblowers-20121029-28fmt.html

Hers: '' Public servants who blow the whistle on wrongdoing by politicians, including concerns about corruption or bribery, would not be protected'' http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/03/26/labors-whistleblower-bill-just-window-dressing-without-an-overhaul/

Let me get this right ... (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760575)

Let me get this right: understanding what a real dictatorship is gets called Very Naive?
Maybe there's hope for you in this world AC, but you'd better work on life instead of just letting it happen or you are screwed.

Re:Let me get this right ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760775)

Agree dictatorship is too strong, but Oz definitely is not as far as you can get from a dictatorship in the democratic spectrum. Things are far shittier than you realize but not your fault because so little is printed about it.

Re:Let me get this right ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760989)

yep australia is such a totalitarian society, long weekends every second fortnight, beers, beach, boobs and bbqs. i so wish i was living in north korea or syria where it is just so awesome...

Re:And the 1000 sites are? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year and a half ago | (#43761041)

Added to this technically speaking, when it comes to free speech rights they are unlimited under the constitution, as there is no law limiting the extent of those rights as such any perceived infringement of those rights can be publicly challenged in the Australian High Court. The same goes for all other citizens rights.

The only way to make it more democratic would be to increase the number of laws that require a public referendum prior to their being changed, as is required for any changes to the constitution eg no electoral laws should be able to be changed without a referendum. This likely should also extend to laws the govern harm to self rather than harm to others. For example it should have required a referendum to have made marijuana illegal or by extension under a referendum tobacco could be made illegal.

Jump in my carr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43761375)

>Added to this technically speaking, when it comes to free speech rights they are unlimited under the constitution, as there is no law limiting the extent of those rights as such any perceived infringement of those rights can be publicly challenged in the Australian High Court. The same goes for all other citizens rights.
That just doesn't make sense. You can only publicly challenge new laws in the High Court if they break existing constitutional laws. Americans have constitutional laws forbidding new laws that limit free speech. Australians don't so Conroy new laws although immoral are entirely legal.

Australia needs a bill of rights, but politicians don't want to give them one. Ever wonder why?
http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2008/s2442550.htm [abc.net.au]
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/bill-of-rights-is-the-wrong-call/story-e6frg6z6-1225710664130 [theaustralian.com.au]
http://www.thenewcityjournal.net/carr_bill_rights.htm [thenewcityjournal.net]

Re:And the 1000 sites are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43759915)

This list http://pastebin.com/cSJDQ9kW

Too bad (0, Troll)

ickleberry (864871) | about a year and a half ago | (#43757921)

The locals are too busy sitting on the tailgate of their shiny pickup truck (bought on credit) drinking tins of Fosters and acting the macho man to do anything about it.

Or else they are off chasing some blonde from Home & Away. Anyway censorship and freedom of speech are fairly low on the agenda

Re:Too bad (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43758027)

But don't forget the median household income is $43,960 and they have 5.6% unemployment. Free healthcare and education. So don't get too crazy about free speech and all. They can go at least another 20 years before they have sold the whole country to China.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43758085)

effective tax rate of 23% or so @ 43960... so not too bad....

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43759059)

>>>>> Australians only have limited free speech rights ...

as opposed to the unlimited free speech rights we in the US enjoy which allow all our communications to/from US recorded by some TLA?

Re:Too bad (2, Interesting)

Dr Damage I (692789) | about a year and a half ago | (#43759781)

The hon(!) R. Finkelstein in the Independent Inquiry into the Media and Media Regulation commissioned by the Australian Federal government:

"In the United States, free speech is given primacy among rights, and therefore the potential harm caused by restrictions on speech is thought to outweigh the potential harm caused by speech that is not restricted. In Australia free speech does not necessarily have the same primacy. "

A respected Australian retired judge would seem to endorse that view. And he not only applauds the greater restrictions on their speech that Australians "enjoy", he thinks that we don't enjoy enough of them.

Re:Too bad (1, Informative)

In hydraulis (1318473) | about a year and a half ago | (#43759073)

Free healthcare and education?

That's a lie, that right there.

not lies at all (2)

ferret4 (459105) | about a year and a half ago | (#43759467)

Healthcare is free if your taxable income is low enough (otherwise you pay the Medicare Levy each tax year unless you have bought Health Insurance).

Education is free for everyone up until University (but you can choose to pay to send your kids to private school).

Re:Too bad (2, Informative)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760157)

My daughter got to survive her very difficult birth thanks to free Australian medical care.

Which would have bankrupted her mum and me had we stayed in the States to get married and settle, as we were penniless at the time, even assuming that we'd been able to get the care they needed in the US, without being able to prove we could pay for it first.

Just thought you might like to know.

Re:Too bad (1)

In hydraulis (1318473) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760409)

Mind if I ask when that was?

Some things used to be free. Education for one. But somebody had to pull the ladder up after him...

Re:Too bad (1)

Zaelath (2588189) | about a year and a half ago | (#43770949)

Australian education is freeish up to and including High School. Uni you have to pay for, later, at a much reduced rate to US university education, and it should still be avoided by a lot of people; we don't need most of the arts graduates.

Medical is freeish other the the medicare levy on those that can pay. It's still insurance, but at least 1.5% is better than the kind of cost US insurance is.

As for the free speech, yeah, nothing on Crikey's list gives me great concern. There's no Deep Throat and Woodward and Bernstein being silenced on that list. And if limited speech is the price I have to pay so that fuckstains like the Westboro Baptist Church could never happen here, than I'm more than happy with the trade off.

Re: Too bad (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43758139)

Whilst funny, Fosters is not popular in Australia and is rarely seen

Re: Too bad (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760559)

Oh it's worse than that. I live 20min drive from the Fosters brewery and yet I've never figured out where I would be able to buy the stuff. I've not seen it on sale anywhere.

Re: Too bad (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760653)

There's a reason we export it all.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43758291)

What a load of rubbish and negative stereotypes.

You continently forget that the Australian Labor Government was forced to retract and eventually scrap its 2008 Internet censorship legislation. As it received so much negative feedback from the press and the general public that it became a completely unsellable proposition to take into the last and this Federal elections. That is probably why they have tried to take this stealth censorship route.

Re:Too bad (1)

ickleberry (864871) | about a year and a half ago | (#43758541)

Post was not meant to be serious. Ah well

Re:Too bad (2)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | about a year and a half ago | (#43758317)

The locals are too busy sitting on the tailgate of their ute (bought on credit) drinking cans of VB and acting bogan do anything about it.

Or else they are off chasing some blonde from Home & Away. Anyway censorship and freedom of speech are unreported in the Fox-controlled media

FTFY

Re:Too bad (1)

Jagungal (36053) | about a year and a half ago | (#43758337)

Nobody actually drinks fosters ... but the rest is kinda accurate.

Most are worried about the recent budget and the up coming election in September to even notice this.

At least we have a decent electoral system.

Re:Too bad (3, Funny)

digitig (1056110) | about a year and a half ago | (#43758459)

Nobody actually drinks fosters ..

Yeah, they drink VB, which actually manages to be worse.

Re:Too bad (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760113)

...and for those of us who actually care about what we drink, there's Toohey's. :)

Re:Too bad (1)

fido_dogstoyevsky (905893) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760357)

...and for those of us who actually care about what we drink, there's Toohey's. :)

Which is perfectly adequate for brushing your teeth provided you don't swallow any of it :)

...have I just accidentally restarted the beer war?

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43771145)

You're game, I'd rather brush my teeth with sewage outfall than anything Tooheys ever brewed

Re:Too bad (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43758361)

just goes to show you know nothing but Aussies:
- they don't drink fosters (that's for yank tourists)
- they have 'utes' - not pickup trucks
- they're macho because they don't assume that everything said to them is a veiled insult
- and the women chase the men - usually with sticks and knives.

But thanks for illustrating the difference between us and you ;)

Re:Too bad (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | about a year and a half ago | (#43759631)

Change "Pickup truck" to "Ute" and "tins of Fosters" to "tinnies of VB" and you're spot on.

Re:Too bad (1)

Dr Damage I (692789) | about a year and a half ago | (#43759763)

It's not a pickup truck, it's a ute (abbreviation of "utility") and Fosters is the crap no one here will drink so they have to export the stuff.

Anyway censorship and freedom of speech are fairly low on the agenda

Say rather not on any agenda anywhere in the country and you're closer to the truth. The hon(!) R. Finkelstein, a respected Australian jurist, has this to say about freedom of speech

"United States, free speech is given primacy among rights, and therefore the potential harm caused by restrictions on speech is thought to outweigh the potential harm caused by speech that is not restricted. In Australia free speech does not necessarily have the same primacy"

more on the hon(!) R. Finkelsteins' views of free speech here [nla.gov.au]

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760107)

You're projecting.

ProTip: Don't allude to Aussies drinking Foster's. (Nobody in Australia actually drinks that goat piss.) It's a dead giveaway that you're not one.

Re:Too bad (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760121)

Dunno how that happened, but that was me.

Also, it's "ute", not "pickup truck".

but...but (4, Funny)

WillgasM (1646719) | about a year and a half ago | (#43757933)

the Backdoor Internet is my favorite Internet.

Media Liability Insurance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43758087)

Reporting on corruption is the same in Australia as the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom. Purchase insurance, publish stories. The rates vary, but defamation lawsuits are not as big a hurdle as the summary and linked articles suggest.

Re:Media Liability Insurance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760583)

Do you ram other cars because you have car insurance? You've never been to court, have you? This is why media now stays away from controversial stories and serves up fluff instead. http://www.maynereport.com/articles/2009/03/10-1024-2493.html [maynereport.com]

this looks like a business opportunity to me (1)

ozduo (2043408) | about a year and a half ago | (#43758149)

Now the challenge is get a proxy to work properly with OZ's super slow broadband.

Re:this looks like a business opportunity to me (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#43758461)

They will just block your IP. You need a massive network of different IP addresses to keep it going.

in the interests of protecting public revenue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43758441)

censor govement websites

Get over yourselves (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43758531)

Um ... Yeah ... If you Americans could stop talking out of your own ignorant, disease infested, uneducated, terror filled, mass-murdering, hypocritical a**es, that would be great.

I thank you for your timoe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43758669)

to the crowd in to Place a paper

Seems it Time for... (1)

3seas (184403) | about a year and a half ago | (#43759191)

Anonymous to shut down the government web sites.

Hmmm, so obvious ....

Australians only have limited free speech rights . (3, Insightful)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year and a half ago | (#43759429)

As opposed to another country that has free speech, but citizen votes have no effect at all on most outcome.

Australian Reserve Bank Corruption (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43759895)

In other countries it is common to see tearful government officials handcuffed and walked in front of tv cameras. You never see that in Australia. The fed police are corrupt and anyone who reports corruption gets sacked. Look what they did to this reserve bank whistleblower right in front of RBA chief glen stevens:
http://www.smh.com.au/business/whistleblower-told-to-shut-up-20120913-25v8t.html
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/battellino-denies-warning-whistleblower-20121008-27850.html
http://www.smh.com.au/national/whistleblower-raised-victimisation-with-rba-chief-20121004-270u4.html
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-14/whistleblower-outlines-bribery-allegations-in-securency-case/4262502

Re:Australian Reserve Bank Corruption (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year and a half ago | (#43765703)

In other countries it is common to see tearful government officials handcuffed and walked in front of tv cameras.

Sure, US justice is truly independent from executive power, and generally speaking, US separation of powers is quite good. But it does not address the lack of democracy, and the fact that citizen votes will have zero effect on many policies (because of a bipartisan system where both parties agree on many things, and because of the power of lobbying).

Perp walks gives you the illusion that the thing is under control, but the handcuffed government officials will be replaced by another one that will do exactly the same things.

Re:Australians only have limited free speech right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760023)

As opposed to another country that has free speech, but citizen votes have no effect at all on most outcome.

I'm going to make a wild guess that you live in that country and that's your excuse for not voting or participating at all in a civic manner.

Re:Australians only have limited free speech right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760433)

As we are bound by law to vote in Australia. My vote goes to the newly formed Wikileaks Party. Nothing worse than being holed up in an Ecuadorian embassy due issues with the illusion of free speech.

Senator Con Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43759947)

Senator CONway tried to introduce a great Australian firewall not long ago and was rewarded with sacks of coal delivered to his doorstep. A couple of years ago the government spent a small fortune on internet filtering software for the home, within minutes an easy way to circumvent it was demonstrated on youtube by a teenager. The current Labor government is actually is actually on its last legs, the polls show the Liberal Party will be the incoming goverment. Also, in reference to the comment about the criminal forfathers of Australia. Its true, the British Empire settled its finest in Australia, in the tens of thousands.

Long story short: scam websites (1)

chris-chittleborough (771209) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760563)

The 1000+ websites mentioned in the post are (supposedly) part of a "cold-calling investment scam using the name ‘Global Capital Wealth’". The Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the federal corporate regulator, has ordered that their IP addresses be blocked, which also catches innocent websites co-hosted at those IP addresses.

The Australian Federal Police also asks ISPs to block websites listed by Interpol as containing “'worst of the worst' child pornography", apparently via DNS (news reports mention "domains" and "URLs"), but perhaps also at the IP level. Most ISPs have complied; at least one has refused.

[My take: There may be a case for corporate regulation bureaucrats to get some websites blocked, but only at DNS level and only in smaller numbers. Blocking extreme child porn sites via DNS would be next to useless, so I hope they also block at IP level.]

Re:Long story short: scam websites (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#43760723)

but only at DNS level and only in smaller numbers. Blocking extreme child porn sites via DNS would be next to useless, so I hope they also block at IP level.

Of course. For the children, we must go to extra lengths!

Moar Links on Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43760955)

Australia's unannounced 'totalitarian' web filter causes alarm http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-05/17/australia-internet-block [wired.co.uk] Internet chiefs call for checks, balances in censorship battle
http://www.afr.com/p/technology/internet_chiefs_call_for_checks_Ey7wPYhsXUaMqvnZavS1SP [afr.com]

Reckless Oz regulator runs roughshod over rights
http://www.zdnet.com/reckless-oz-regulator-runs-roughshod-over-rights-7000015473/ [zdnet.com]

ASIC request sparks internet censorship
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/asic-request-sparks-internet-censorship/story-e6frgakx-1226644514861 [theaustralian.com.au]

New fears for web censorship in Australia
http://www.itwire.com/it-policy-news/govenrment-tech-policy/59872-new-fears-for-web-censorship-in-australia [itwire.com]
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