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Australia Plans to Censor the Internet

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the yeah-good-luck-with-that-mate dept.

Censorship 258

SenatorLuddite writes "From January 20, 2008 new content laws introduced by the Federal Government will force sites to verify the age of users before accessing content intended for mature audiences (MA15+ and R18+). The laws bring internet classification into line with Film and Book classification laws and completely prohibits X18+ and RC content from the internet. ACMA (The Australian Communications and Media Authority) claims that adults will not be affected by the new laws, yet user-generated and even chatrooms are required to be assessed for classification and powers are granted to ACMA to send 'take down' notices to offending sites."

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258 comments

Time to invest into DPI vendor stocks (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798274)

Time to invest some money into DPI and cache vendor stocks. Pity that most of them are either private or diluted by humongous conglomerates like cisco. It is also DPI and cache, not content control. Most of content control is geared towards the corporate police, not ISPs so it is not what is going to be deployed down under.

More bits traversing the Pacific (4, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798282)

Oh, I can see that this will work out well.

My guess is that a lot of small operators won't be able to comply, and that a lot of traffic will move offshore if this is really implemented. This law could take us back to the good old days, when almost Aussie web traffic went across the Pacific.

Ahh yes, the "benefits" of tax fed governments. (3, Interesting)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798536)

You get what you want and pay for.

Want to be treated like a serf? Consent to be governed by others and be told what to do... consent to have some depraved power hungry, child molesting lunatics legislate morality to you and your children. (Sort of how the "conservatives" permit boy raping priests to tell them how to be good "Christian" men... which, if priests actually lead by example, is obviously "lie your ass off, rape little boys, be a hypocrite about it, don't get caught, and become a diocese before long.")

Politicians aren't crooked only in the USA, they're the same everywhere, they just get caught more in North America and Western Europe. But I love the braindamaged point of view I hear (mostly on authoritarian forums, whether left wing or right wing notwithstanding) where "we elect them to represent us" or "they represent the will of the majority" or some such bullshit.

Voting is a lottery. It isn't the will of the "majority" or the "will of the people". Voting is a gamble, is my winning ticket going to rip you off to pay me for however many years, or will your ticket screw me to pay you? After all, once you gamble, you cannot complain that you didn't consent because you lost. You consented to be ruled when you consented to play their game. If you didn't register (research that word) or vote, you can say you withheld your consent, but you cannot withhold your consent if you registered and voted and lost the lottery. Freedom does not enter into the whole thing. Once you've registered and voted, you've cast your freedom into the lottery, and whichever side wins (not you, but the ticket running) gets to own your freedom and you. Speaking of which, ever wonder why they say "X is running with Y on the ABC party ticket"? Doesn't it seem strange that they should use the same terms as that other state operated enterprise? The Lottery?

Re:Ahh yes, the "benefits" of tax fed governments. (4, Insightful)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798720)

Yeah, but if I don't register or vote, others will choose for me. And if I register and vote, I would like to be able to select those who will represent me. In my country it's possible. In USA there are only two parties, so it's not possible.

Re:Ahh yes, the "benefits" of tax fed governments. (5, Insightful)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798806)

The system has broken down.
We really are down to Kang and Kodos with our current system.
Unless we all step up and have the balls to vote for someone different, this kind of thing will be coming your way soon.
The whole "save the babies" bit gets votes.
Me? I'm voting for Ron Paul.

Re:Ahh yes, the "benefits" of tax fed governments. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21799534)

Ron Paul? For fuck's sake, vote for someone sane. I know by that criteria there's really slim pickings, but there's at least less bad than him.

Re:Ahh yes, the "benefits" of tax fed governments. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21799848)

I'm voting for Tancredo. And, yes, I'm probably going to be the only one in the country doing so. :-(

Re:Ahh yes, the "benefits" of tax fed governments. (4, Insightful)

ashridah (72567) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799104)

That's okay. In Australia, we'll fine you if you don't vote. (Hint: in Australia, it's illegal to not vote, everyone has to, whether they want to or not. It changes the political system significantly, and judging by the way you people complain all the time, for the better.)

Re:Ahh yes, the "benefits" of tax fed governments. (1)

z3d4r (598419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799560)

yes its illegal to not vote if your enrolled.

many simply dont enrole to vote in the first place.

Re:Ahh yes, the "benefits" of tax fed governments. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21799616)

You know, it's not actually compulsory to vote. It's compulsory to be enrolled to vote, it's compulsory to show up to the polling booths on election day and pick up ballot papers and put them in the ballot box. But it is not compulsory to have a valid vote on them when you do so, so if you are sufficiently unimpressed with any of the candidates that you do not want to indicate a preference in any direction, you can still get your way.

Re:Ahh yes, the "benefits" of tax fed governments. (0, Offtopic)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799630)

In USA there are only two parties, so it's not possible.

It's got its ups and downs. In a 2-party system you might get stuck choosing between Turd Sandwich and Giant Douche, but at least the winner usually has at least 50% of the vote (or, unfortunately, 49% of the vote and a lot of powerful friends). In a 3-party system, you may have a leader who has only >33% of the vote. That means a majority of the people are SOL. In a 4-party system, >25% and so on.

Re:Ahh yes, the "benefits" of tax fed governments. (1, Offtopic)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799688)

No.

In a multi-party elections, in first round of voting, you vote for whoever you want. That narrows down the field to 2 people. Then you vote for one of the two in second round of voting. This tends to prevent fringe from getting in.

In the US, it is not suppose to be the president you vote for, but for the Electoral Collage. Then these people decide who is the president. Of course, it is kind of completely broken now and direct elections may be better than current implementation. Electoral College actually make it possible to win with minority vote anyway. No 'powerful friends' required for cheating.

Re:Ahh yes, the "benefits" of tax fed governments. (4, Informative)

daBass (56811) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799766)

In most multi-party parliamentary systems, the prime minister has much less power than the president in a system like in the US. (no veto!) On top of that, the prime minister can only pick from elected officials to create his cabinet, not his Yale friends and business buddies, making them far more accountable.

Also, that one party with 33% doesn't hold all the power, the entire parliament holds the power. Yes, the party that creates the cabinet has more opportunity to introduce bills, but it takes a majority vote of parliament to pass them.

Lastly, Australia uses "Preference Voting". To translate that to real US terms: you can safely vote for Nader without by doing do increasing the Repugnicans' chances to win the election.

I have a better idea (4, Interesting)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798290)

Ban children from the Internets. By all means build a kindernet and police an regulate it to fuck, but leave the adult net alone.

Re:I have a better idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21798342)

Ban children from the Internet
I guarantee that if you do that, you'll cut trolling by 45%, at least. And think of how much better online games with voice communication would be! No more excessive profanity to make up for lack of maturity.

Re:I have a better idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21798344)

I just glad I don't live in Austrailia.... [ripway.com]

Parent is a MiniCity troll... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21799728)

and a dickhead.

Can't spell, either.

(And WTF is with this MiniCity crap, anyway? Looks pretty stupid/useless/boring.)

.kid domain? (4, Interesting)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798440)

Ban children from the Internets. By all means build a kindernet and police an regulate it to fuck, but leave the adult net alone.

Why not? Have a .kid domain, have the kid oriented content publishers (ex. Disney, FisherPrice ) finance it, and let parents restrict the internet to that domain.

Re:.kid domain? (2, Insightful)

smash (1351) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798486)

But that would be too sensible, just like the notion of .xxx to enable easy filtering.

My reaction, being an aussie, to all this is "meh". They have enough problems classifying movies in time for release, they sure as fuck aren't going to manage to rate the internet.

.kids and .xxx are fundamentally different. (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798868)

But that would be too sensible, just like the notion of .xxx to enable easy filtering.
Hold it right there. A .kids namespace and associated content makes sense; but a .xxx space does not, and would not work. They are fundamentally different concepts.

A .kids TLD (or better yet, .kids.us or .kids.au or whatever) is a WHITELIST. You only allow content into it that's been reviewed, and is guaranteed-clean. It's trivial to restrict browsers to it. You can set up whatever kind of review committee you want to keep tabs on it. It's strictly opt-in by design.

However, .xxx or .porn or .adult are exactly the opposite. They are BLACKLISTS and can only function when you effectively censor the rest of the Internet, in order to force adult content into the "adult" TLDs. This is hugely impractical and spectacularly dangerous from a freedom-of-speech perspective. Essentially what this tries to do is turn the entire Internet EXCEPT one corner of it into a "kids"-zone, and that's just not going to happen. It's impossible to police effectively without a national firewall (because unlike a TLD, which you could put under your country's namespace and easily apply national laws to, you'd be trying to censor all of the 'net), and such a scheme would lead to fragmentation of the network in short order.

Do not confuse .kids, which is a good idea, with .xxx, which is dangerous and stupid.

Re:.kids and .xxx are fundamentally different. (0, Troll)

rs79 (71822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799392)

"Do not confuse .kids, which is a good idea, with .xxx, which is dangerous and stupid."

You're guessing. And I'm guessing you're guessing wrong.

Who'd want example.com when they could have example.xxx ?

I think in time any pron sites left in .com will feel pressure to move to "where they should be".

There's already a kids domain. It was a huge flop.

Thanks for playing. Don Pardo do we have parting gifts for our contestant?

Re:.kids and .xxx are fundamentally different. (4, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799676)

Are you just trolling or are you seriously this thick?

Who'd want example.com when they could have example.xxx ?
Why would anyone want the latter, particularly if it means they're going to be automatically censored in large parts of the country/world? I suspect there are lots of porn consumers who live blatantly hypocritical lives ("uh, sure, honey ... you can block .xxx, I certainly don't care about it..."). At any rate, it doesn't make much sense to restrict one's market. And with the price of domain names, the logical solution for any adult site would be to buy both: get yourname.xxx and yourname.com. This is the main driver behind the .xxx TLD in the first place -- it's a cash cow for the registrars.

I think in time any pron sites left in .com will feel pressure to move to "where they should be".
Pressure from who? And why would they care? Certainly not social pressure. There are porn sites around for lots of, shall we say ... fringe activities; things that are certainly not acceptable in mainstream society. No amount of tut-tutting is going to push them into the .xxx ghetto when there's a clear ongoing economic incentive to remain in both. And as for government/legal pressure, that only works within the borders of a single nation; there's nothing stopping me from setting up a .com porn site in some neutral territory and thus reaching all those consumers stuck behind .xxx-blocks for whatever reason. The only way you could enforce this is with a national firewall and universal content screening.

And this whole scheme doesn't do anything about adult content that appears on sites other than ones 100% dedicated to porn. You're always going to have imageboards and interactive/user-created content sites that are going to tend towards 'adult,' because that's what people are interested in. You're not going to change that through any amount of legislation.

The result is that no matter how much you try, there is always going to be adult content available in the 'general' Internet. And that means it'll never be "porn free," ever, undermining the whole point of the endeavor. You can't make the Internet, in general, "safe for kids," because the Internet is mostly populated by adults, and much of what adults want to talk about is, well, adult. So not only is it a recipe for censorship and unnecessarily burdensome, it's futile in terms of actually achieving its stated purpose.

There's already a kids domain. It was a huge flop.
Yep, very true. The take-away point here? Nobody really gives that much of a shit about protecting kids, or creating a 'safe zone' for them. The .xxx proposals are about two things: they're an attempt by the registrars to make a few bucks, and they're a way for some social authoritarians to try and regulate the lives of others' and censor the public sphere by pushing content they find disagreeable into a walled ghetto.

Re:.kids and .xxx are fundamentally different. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21799546)

This is a slippery distinction made between the two domains in the context of "free speech". You would have the .kids domain restricted by a peer review committee and that's just dandy. But that same philosophical application somehow does not work for .xxx?

What about the MPAA? I assure you there are countless parents out there who have a trusted sibling or friend review G or PG movies first before even allowing their own kids to see it. Your .kids whitelist would be no different, and no more trusted for that matter.

The problem is our government has no vested interest in stifling (what they perceive) as the commercial growth of the internet.

Do not confuse your perception of "free speech" by compartmentalizing one with restrictions but not the other. It was a nice piece of stink bait which plays well here for the other slashdot catfish all too willing to chew. All too worried they might lose unrestricted access to their porn. You can just as easily segment a .xxx domain with vested commercial interests. Using their own whitelist, by committee they could ensure that no other party infringes on their valued namespace. Why would .xxx domains not be interested in ensuring that their content is only accessible to those who wish to see it? I think that's the real point. Isn't it? Your argument is disingenuous at best. How many of you here chewed?

Re:.kids and .xxx are fundamentally different. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799686)

You would have the .kids domain restricted by a peer review committee and that's just dandy. But that same philosophical application somehow does not work for .xxx?


The point you're missing is that you couldn't get a kids domain unless a) you asked for it and b) passed the review. If you want to register a .com with kids content only, there'd be nothing stopping you; it would be strictly opt-in with review. Most of the suggested implementations of .xxx imply that adult content would be forced onto .xxx either by law or market forces, and that's unlikely to work. See the difference?

Re:.kids and .xxx are fundamentally different. (1)

LiquidFire_HK (952632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799742)

You're missing the GP's point. Which was this:

If there was a .xxx domain, people (parents, bosses, etc.) would be blacklisting it so that kids, workers, etc. don't have access to it. But since the rest of the Internet is unrestricted, they could still find porn elsewhere (say, one under .com).

If there was a .kids domain, it would be the only domain allowed for kids to open (well, sure, you could allow, say, .edu too). Since everything in the .kids TLD would be preapproved, there wouldn't be any adult content.

Which doesn't mean I approve of either idea. Just clarifying the GP's point.

Re:.kids and .xxx are fundamentally different. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21799754)

You are dangerous and stupid for not realizing 4 corner simultaneous 24 hour .xxx domains that occur within a single 4 corner rotation of the Internet.

Re:.kid domain? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21798650)

For the last time, DNS is not a content classification system. [ietf.org] But I've got this idea that'll work, it's called parental responsibility. I know, what a concept...

one tiny problem... (4, Insightful)

thegnu (557446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798662)

Have a .kid domain, have the kid oriented content publishers (ex. Disney, FisherPrice ) finance it, and let parents restrict the internet to that domain.

I would probably actually prefer my kids running rampant on an unprotected internet than living in Disney/Fisher-Price world. Kids are stupid enough as it is today. They need real experience, and while the Internet barely qualifies as "real," it's more real than a fake Disney Internet. As fucked up as I am from all the porn I've seen, I think I'm pretty OK. Especially when I compare myself to kids who grew up sheltered. And I'm probably more fucked up from all the things real live humans did to me. So let's just leave the Internet alone, no?

That being said, as long as filtering along a top-level domain were voluntary to the parents, then I'm fine with it.

OT:
I finally watched Wizard People, Dear Readers, and it is the best thing in the world. If you die before you watch it, you lose.

Thats insulting to fisher-price (1)

voss (52565) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799034)

A lot of us learned to experiment and use our minds as kids on fisher-price stuff.
However that being said censoring adults is no substitute for supervising children.

Just in case you did want a fisher-price internet for your 3 year old slashdotter-in-training.
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5788078 [walmart.com]
Fisher-Price Easy-Link Internet Launch Pad, Elmo and Dragon Tales

Re:Thats insulting to fisher-price (1)

thegnu (557446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799290)

Well, I'm more opposed to Disney. I just mean that even a Fisher-Price Internet is a sad excuse for an open communication medium. There are plenty of games that use internet access on a closed network as a way to move the game forward. That would be an excellent way to introduce young children to the Internet. In fact, having a game from within which you could only access .kid domains would be pretty nifty.

My other problem with this as a "solution" is that parents are increasingly content to use electronics as babysitters. If something's completely safe (, vapid, and vacuous), then parents are more likely to assume it's a healthy alternative to human contact.

Toys are good for you, though. Fisher-Price is nice, in its place. Disney is nice, in its place. Hardcore pound-fucking... well, that's nice too. In its place. :-)

Re:I have a better idea (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798602)

The problem being, of course, that the "kindernet" will be of zero interest to exactly the kids this legislation wants to "protect".

Very small kids aren't interested in sex. It means nothing to them. At the age where kids start to get interested in sex, there's maybe one thing that rivals that desire: Doing whatever the adults are doing. Those 12 and 14 year olds won't stay in their "kindernet". They will get on the (adult) Internet, if only because that's what the adults are doing.

I mean, really, can you imagine a better invitation to come in and look around than a "you must be 18 years old to view this page. click below to indicate that you are that old, kids must go elsewhere" boilerplate? No matter if it takes the form of the current porn website front pages or some legislation. Kids will find a way past.

Re:I have a better idea (0)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798674)

Yes but if you control the kindernet, you could introduce concepts such as sex in a tasteful, sensible & perhaps even educational fashion. After all, they wont know any different.

Re:I have a better idea (0, Flamebait)

Teun (17872) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798778)

Yes but if you control the kindernet, you could introduce concepts such as sex in a tasteful, sensible & perhaps even educational fashion. After all, they wont know any different.
Yeah right, your nick is skinfitz so you must believe what you just excreted.

I hope you tried to be funny.

Re:I have a better idea (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798900)

Yes but if you control the kindernet, you could introduce concepts such as sex in a tasteful, sensible & perhaps even educational fashion. After all, they wont know any different.
What a strange world you must come from. Here on Earth, at least in the United States of America, we prefer to teach our children about sexuality and reproduction by keeping them in the dark as long as possible, then lying through our teeth to them, and then letting them learn about it via the always-accurate medium of hardcore pornography. (Although the Catholic Church does offer some 'hands-on' advanced placement courses...they're quite the forward-thinking bunch there.)

But that's not the best part; just wait until you hear about our drug policy!

Re:I have a better idea (1)

lordofwhee (1187719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799246)

What the hell kind of world do YOU live in?

Awful (0, Troll)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798304)

TFA is terrible. What is X18+ and RC+ content? How is it possible that this content is prohibited, yet "adults won't be affected"? Does the new legislation cover just commercial content? Does the legislation only cover content hosted in Australia?

I'm completely confused.

Re:Awful (1)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798706)

TFA is terrible. What is X18+ and RC+ content?

I'm sure the article is fine in an Australian context (the site does have a .au domain). How many people outside of the US know what PG13, NC17, etc, are? However, for your curiosity [wikipedia.org] .... I find it highly unlikely that this would cover content outside of Australia, and exactly how would they enforce it even if it did?

Can't verify shit about Internet users (5, Insightful)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798318)

An internet service (web site, chat room, etc) cannot possibly be expected to accurately determine anything about an internet user. Even credit card verification doesn't work, since any kid can borrow their parents' credit card and any identity thief can supply someone else's stolen credit card information.

I hate seeing any kind of law that burdens internet services with having to "verify" anything. Instead, what I want to see are laws that throw irresponsible parents and conservative holier-than-thou types in prison for dragging the rest of society down.

Your 13-year-old daughter was raped when she met up in real life with a 40 year old man from MySpace? Then you should be thrown in prison for not making yourself aware of what your daughter was doing online and for failing to teach your daughter to be smarter than that.

Your 14 year old son was looking at porn? So what? Neither YOU nor anyone you knew ever looked at porn when YOU were 14? And every man who snuck looks at boobies and crotches when he was a teen has grown up to be some kind of dysfunctional degenerate psychopath? Hardly. Get off your conservative high horse.

Re:Can't verify shit about Internet users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21798610)

It's shame. You don't have to be Freud to see the ways in which pent up guilt and self revulsion pours out of the ruling classes. It's an expression of their own inadequacy to defeat their inner greed, blood lust and worship of war and horror. The nanny state "good parent" is a psychopathic alter ego that hopes to be loved despite its abusive ugliness. Most of the political class are wobbling on the brink of a mental abyss, desperately trying to reconcile their self image as socially responsible leader figures with the dark truth they know in their hearts. The only outlet for such deep seated conflict is sexual repression of themselves and others.

Ask any psychologist about the link between Nazism and sexuality if you want to understand the pathology of the authoratarian mind.

Re:Can't verify shit about Internet users (1)

Deb-fanboy (959444) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798762)

I agree.

It is the responsibility of the parents to be aware of what their kids are up to.

However there is one factor which makes this responsibility harder. And that is the mono ecosystem that is Windows

A couple of years ago, when broadband first arrived in our area every Windows user I knew had told me that they had at some time received pr0n pop ups, or even desktop shortcuts to dubious sites arrive on their computers. Any 14 year old boy would be bound to investigate of course, what would you or I have done at that age?

People were surprised when I told them that I had not had the same thing happen on my family Linux box, in fact not a sniff of any unwanted malware. There was the impression around that the occasional unwanted malware was just "because of broadband".

Now I don't think that there was any harm done as these windows users struggled to control their popups, mainly just embarrassment. However you could interpret Windows as having been a funnel for malware which could "corrupt minors".

So why don't those ultra conservatives all hire themselves some buses to Redmond and protest outside the manufacture of the operating system which peddles the pr0n, and leave us our internet (which works fine as it is)?

It would be a most amusing spectacle

Re:Can't verify shit about Internet users (1)

syncrotic (828809) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799346)

In a conversation about personal responsibility and internet use, you've managed to find a way to express your derision for Microsoft Windows. Sure, you have a point, but is it really a point worth making? Is it related to the topic at hand in anything but the most tangential manner?

Re:Can't verify shit about Internet users (0)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798902)

I,m 50 and there wasn't an internet when i was 14. We had book and magazine stores which kept the playboy magazines in a brown paper wrapper behind the counter. Pornography was very hard to find and we certainly couldn't buy any. it was pops or the uncles stash we found, but at that age i wasn't really interested in porn,it was way easier to get a real girlfriend then porn when i was growing up.

We played sports,built plastic models,went fishing by myself or with friends,we all went to the high school football games every Friday nite. Didn't have to worry about drive byes and never herd about adults snatching kids,though i am sure it happened but no where near as much as today.

How the times have changed

Who needs porn? There plenty of nudity in todays magazines,ya don't have to even look for it on the internt it just pops up when our children are standing by our side. Ya got sites like Flicker which provide very poor options to block it or even post it. Its common for Adults to upload nudity,masturbation,actual sex acts on there avatars, clearly against the rules. How can ya depend on the parents to protect the kids when there the ones breaking the rules? As i see it, its far more important to protect business interest then doing the right thing now a days. I guess i was lucky, my kids were grown by the time the internet came. But i can tell ya the computer would have been in the living room and a adult filter installed. The internet is amazing for sure, but what i seen at 14 and what our children can see now are light years apart. Allot of people would have went to jail in my day if we had the internet, but i am sure people and business would have been far more responsible then they are now.

Sorry for the lengthly rant
Stan

Re:Can't verify shit about Internet users (2, Interesting)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799240)

Even credit card verification doesn't work, since any kid can borrow their parents' credit card and any identity thief can supply someone else's stolen credit card information.

My favorite was a website requesting CC# for verification purposes. Right next to the entry field was a link to a CC# generator website. To me that was the ultimate example of the futility of the proposed US legislation. Without requiring every website that hosts adult content have a CC processing account, there is no way to even validate that the CC# is actually tied to an account. You can check if it's potentially valid, but not if it's actually valid without trying to process the card.

All forms of 'validation' are pretty much pointless when it comes to this. Unless they can figure out how to do a national authorization database with 2 factor authentication and anonymization , this is pointless. Here in the US, it was too much effort to do 2 factor for the BANKS, can you imagine trying to get everyone set up for this?

Is it really a bad thing? (1, Interesting)

cumin (1141433) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798320)

First note that this applies only to new services and only to live services.

It doesn't bother me that there is a movement to classify content and restrict mature content to mature audiences. The article was scanty on how the age verification would be done, but honestly, I have a hard time thinking that trying to restrict content online in the same way our (US here) system restricts printed material is really a bad thing. It does not say that the providers cannot provide content, it just says that they must limit access, the same as access to other things is restricted. Here we limit access to voting, access to tobacco, access to alcohol and of course 'adult' media already. This seems like a rational step in the same direction for Internet media.

Of course I expect to be told I'm wrong, I'm just curious to hear why.

Re:Is it really a bad thing? - self correction (1)

cumin (1141433) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798400)

(No edit or append option, so self correcting with a follow up post.)
Re-reading both articles, I fail to see where this applies only to new sites, it will appear to apply to existing services as well.

Re:Is it really a bad thing? (0, Troll)

Butisol (994224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798776)

You dumb fuck. Get the fuck of the internet.

Re:Is it really a bad thing? (2, Funny)

Devoidoid (1207090) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799212)

Seems to me "the fuck of the internet" is exactly what they're trying to ban.

Re:Is it really a bad thing? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798804)

Of course I expect to be told I'm wrong, I'm just curious to hear why.

You're wrong because it's different. With printed material, alcohol, tobacco...you can 'prove' age at point of sale.
On the Internet, not so much.

Re:Is it really a bad thing? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798988)

Of course I expect to be told I'm wrong, I'm just curious to hear why.

You answered your own question several sentences earlier:

The article was scanty on how the age verification would be done...
Setting aside the issue of whether it's the government's legitimate purpose and responsibility to limit access to these sorts of materials in the first place (and I don't think that it is -- that's definitely the parents' job, and I don't think that the government should be falling over itself to "help" parents, but that sort of stupidity is endemic to all democracies), it's idiotic to try and implement age limits when there's no effective way to determine age.

Re:Is it really a bad thing? (2, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799820)

"only to live services"

So necromancer sites will not be regulated?

It's for your own good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21798324)

Furthermore, all references to to alcoholic beverages must be replaced by references to officially registered Australian beers or wines. All references to summer must be changed to winter, and vice versa. And all clips on Youtube that portray Australia in a negative light will be redacted, unless you have registered with the Ministry of Cultural Impurity and Moral Depravity, in which case you can expect a visit from the authorities. In the middle of the night.

The ACMA should learn to proofread its claims (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798340)

The ACMA claims

The main elements of the new content regulatory framework in Schedule 7 to the BSA are:
a prohibition on X18+ and RC content;


and also

"In developing these new content rules, ACMA was guided by its disposition to allow adults to continue to read, hear and see what they want, while protecting children from exposure to inappropriate content, regardless of the delivery mechanism," Mr Chapman said in a statement.


what's the primary audience for X18+? Children?

Re:The ACMA should learn to proofread its claims (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798490)

what's the primary audience for X18+? Children?

Well, if it's anything like the X rating here in the U.S., I'd say ... yeah, pretty much.

Re:The ACMA should learn to proofread its claims (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798632)

I love the wording, don't you?

"to allow adults to continue to read, hear and see what they want"

Ohh, thanks mister! You're going to ALLOW us to read what we want! Thanks!

How will this be enforced? (4, Interesting)

Pseydtonne (915547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798356)

Neither link provides any detail about how they're going to make such rules stick. What will be the fine for a blogger in Brisbane that talks about goat sodomy?

Also, how would such a crime be prosecuted? Most police work in Australia is state-based and not federal. I'm assuming there is an equivalent to the FBI which will handle detection, evidence collection and prosecution.

Are they going to use packet filtering to detect what people download or will they simply be picking on ISPs hosting content for not hassling their web serving customers?

Honestly, I'm not being sarcastic. I'm just looking at this as a scare tactic without teeth, since the notice from Canberra makes no mention of tactics. Please provide links if you find them.

Re:How will this be enforced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21798382)

Neither link provides any detail about how they're going to make such rules stick.
You did not, apparently, note the mention of take down notices in the summary. Dude! Reading comprehension

Re:How will this be enforced? (1)

Pseydtonne (915547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798432)

Allow me to clarify. What, beyond "we get a tip and then send a nastygram" would happen? Assume, perhaps, that the recipient of said nastygram places it in the memory hole. Then what? Is that the moment three SWAT team dudes burst into the door or is there a fine? What is the scale of enforcement?

I ask this because that will determine how serious the government is about this censorship. Is it on the level of posting a prominently English sign on a shop in Montreal (thereby violating Bill 101), where the Office of the French Language depends on a photograph of the violation which would be the equivalent of dropping a dime?

Re:How will this be enforced? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798614)

Neither link provides any detail about how they're going to make such rules stick. What will be the fine for a blogger in Brisbane that talks about goat sodomy?

According to TFA, it applies:

tougher rules for companies that sell entertainment-related content on subscription internet sites and mobile phones.
I emphasise the word "sell"; thus your blogger, unless he charges for access, is free to discuss goat sodomy or whatever else they do up in Queensland.

Re:How will this be enforced? (1)

Pseydtonne (915547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798860)

I wanted to say Townsville or Rockhampton but neither alliterate with "blogger".

Broken Hill! Yeah, goats and blogs in Broken Hill... and hey, it's NSW. Suddenly an entire state is Not Safely Wanking, at least online. Hmmm... nah. Let's keep the goats free.

Re:How will this be enforced? (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799256)

And that, together with the fact that the rules target "content providers", not ISPs, mean that most of the Slashdot discussion is irrelevant.

Slashbots, please RTFA before being outraged. It is just the editors trolling you again.

Of course adults will be affected (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21798358)

If you have age verification for children, you have to verify EVERYONE. If you have to classify "mature" content, you have to classify EVERYTHING.

It sounds just like the calls for special tamper-proof ID for resident aliens here in the USA which will require that EVERYONE will have to show their papers please.

Re:Of course adults will be affected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21799576)

It sounds just like the calls for special tamper-proof ID for resident aliens here in the USA which will require that EVERYONE will have to show their papers please.

Of course EVERYONE won't have to show their papers you silly hippie.

Only brown people and hippies will have to show their papers.

FTFA (2, Interesting)

dcollins (135727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798362)

"Personal emails and other private communications would be excluded from the new laws..."

Oh, well, thank god for that. For now.

Re:FTFA (2, Interesting)

X-rated Ouroboros (526150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798530)

What if you design a service so most of the traffic can be defined as "private communication"?

Loophole!

Bad moon rising... (1)

KudyardRipling (1063612) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798368)

It starts with cleaning up the spectrum and the pipelines. Do we smell appeasement in the war on terror?

This will solve itself... (1, Funny)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798392)

Just wait until they try to shut down 4chan. The Internet Hate Machine will sort things out.

Re:This will solve itself... (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798458)

As if anonymous is THAT organized.

But it still begs the question, how does the government expect to deal with internet content that comes in from foreign soil? Beyond that, are they planning to have some kind of task force independently hunting down adult material, or are they expecting concerned consumers to file complaints? Neither the article nor the ACMA website seems to address just how any of this is going to be dealt with.

Re:This will solve itself... (2, Interesting)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798590)

Of course they are.

1. Post thread explaining the plan. Include picture of a kangaroo. Or boobs.

2. Say "go go go".

PROFIT!!!

Re:This will solve itself... (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798572)

Was just thinking the same thing.

Fox "News" will have a fucking field day with this.... LuL.

Re:This will solve itself... (1)

etymxris (121288) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798626)

I don't see Australia shutting down any sites that aren't hosted in Australia. I remember France getting upset about some Yahoo auction items containing Nazi paraphernalia, and I think Yahoo eventually complied, but only because they wanted to keep doing business in France. I doubt 4chan has any significant business stake in Australia. Things might get interesting for sites that do have a significant business stake in Australia, however. They'll probably only do filtering if you're coming from Australia though, using the same type of detection scheme that google uses to forward you to the localized version of their site.

Re:This will solve itself... (3, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798638)

Just wait until they try to shut down 4chan. The Internet Hate Machine will sort things out.

In the UK, BT's internet service blocks /b/. It's on some blacklist because, well, you know that bear mascot of theirs? Yeah. That stuff. To their credit they left the rest of 4chan alone, which is impressive given that if they blocked /b/ they must at least have looked at what goes on in /d/.

Re:This will solve itself... (3, Interesting)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798926)

Just wait until they try to shut down 4chan. The Internet Hate Machine will sort things out.

In the UK, BT's internet service blocks /b/. It's on some blacklist because, well, you know that bear mascot of theirs? Yeah. That stuff. To their credit they left the rest of 4chan alone, which is impressive given that if they blocked /b/ they must at least have looked at what goes on in /d/.

To be fair, 4chan doesn't permit child pornography, and cooperates fully with the FBI whenever it shows up, turning over IP addresses and chat logs. Also, /d/ is easily the politest, sanest, most on-topic board on 4chan.

Re:This will solve itself... (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799394)

You have ..umm a strange concept of sanity.

Re:This will solve itself... (2, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798642)

Just wait until they try to shut down 4chan.

TFA: "rules for companies that sell entertainment-related content".

Not free sites.

Oh, Australia! (0, Flamebait)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798420)

Yet again, Australia shows what a bunch of prudish old ladies it can be regarding the Internet. What a waste of effort.

Face it guys, you're all descendants of criminals. We all know it and we're cool with it. Getting all harumphy and uptight now now isn't going to fool anyone.

Re:Oh, Australia! (0, Offtopic)

Butisol (994224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798810)

Didn't their dude Chopper say something along the lines of "Harden the fuck up!" I guess they're not listening.

yeah ok (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798512)

ain't no way to verify age or maturity the only Right thing to do is to get all sex and violence off the net best clean up television and video games too

Aussi = puzzy (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798514)

Auzzi-nanny-land ... it's Stalinist for puzzy, mate ....

That's nice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21798522)

Are the parents of Australian children prepared to cover the cost of complying with this? Since they're not willing to supervise their childrens internet use, perhaps they should foot the bill if they expect others to do there job for them?

Re:That's nice (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798556)

Only as much as everyone else. After all, it's your civic duty to help take care of the little children.

Re:That's nice (1)

click170 (1170151) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798618)

Won't somebody ^please^ think of the children!

Take-down notices, huh? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798524)

Quoth the headline: " ACMA to send 'take down' notices to offending sites . . . "

You send any of my sites a take-down notice and I'll send you a nice photo of my middle finger.

Sounds like a strong case for private registrations and offshores hosting.

News services excluded (1)

zrq (794138) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798544)

Personal emails and other private communications would be excluded from the new laws and so would news or current affairs services.

So does this mean if someone setup a web site called "SlashSlash - News for pervs", with articles and pictures about all the latest news and events in the world of 'X18-plus content' ... then it would be exempt from regulation ?

fuck the kids (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798558)

Because, you know, in a world of war, terrorism, economic depression and a climate change that just might wipe us out as a species, protecting the children from something their hormones will drive them to in five or ten years (if that) with a force that nukes pale against is certainly the most important thing to do.

I say fuck the children - not literally, except if they want to fuck each other, they've got my blessings as long as they know some basic health principles (for both physical and mental health). So how about we stop worrying about the children and start worrying about the real issues?

Because, when you think about it, things are very simple. Either, growing up the way past generations did wasn't totally fucked up, and the kids will be just fine, or if growing up the way past generations did was totally fucked up, and is something we must protect the kids from at all costs, then those who grew up in that fucked up way are the last ones you should entrust those decisions to.

Re:fuck the kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21798750)

Because, when you think about it, things are very simple. Either, growing up the way past generations did wasn't totally fucked up, and the kids will be just fine, or if growing up the way past generations did was totally fucked up, and is something we must protect the kids from at all costs, then those who grew up in that fucked up way are the last ones you should entrust those decisions to.
Except, you see, this generation will never, whatever happens, grow up the same way past generations did, so that entire argument is just wrong. The world is a highly dynamic environment, you see - you can't jut generalise from the past generations to this one, because most of what shaped past generations no longer exists or has become irrelevant and most of what is shaping this generation was simply not around before. So it is valid and important for this generation to ask if, perhaps, we are letting things get out of hand and are bringing our children up in a really fucked-up way.

That said, I do agree that we seem to tend towards brainless overprotectionism.

Re:fuck the kids (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799024)

if growing up the way past generations did was totally fucked up, and is something we must protect the kids from at all costs, then those who grew up in that fucked up way are the last ones you should entrust those decisions to.
I think the ones trying to do this grew up without transistors. This intertubes thingamajigger scares them, and they want it off their e-lawn.

don't make this mistake... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21798600)

Don't make the mistake of thinking this kind of thing isn't the way of the future, and not just in Australia.

Already we've seen US web sites having to self-censor to comply with European censorship laws, and conversely, content hosted in the EU taken down when it violates US copyright laws. We've seen US companies cooperating with China's regulation of political speech. Governments are fearful of the unregulated nature of the internet, which means that over time, that unregulated nature is going to go away. They all have a vested interest in grabbing more control over online communications.

This from AU is a small thing. But a million small things taken together can be a big thing.

If *everyone* on the net would start using anonymous proxies for everything, it would help, but only a tiny, tiny fraction of online users have the necessary awareness, understanding, and motivation to do that.

Isnt't this the same country that ... (1)

burdicda (145830) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798606)

Isn't this the same country that I saw mountains and mountains of private legally owned firearms piled up out in parking lots and destroyed by the authorities.

Now I get it
First you send your undesireables to this penal colony
Then when their way of life is more free than yours
You move in take over and enslave them all again

What a country
I think it's time for the everyday working aussie
to take back their country again....
Did they have an equivalent of the Boston Tea Party ?

 

Re:Isnt't this the same country that ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798970)

I guess they would need to have a Sydney Tea Party.

Accidental Idiocy (2, Insightful)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798622)

This is an update to the existing law regarding access to phone chat services. Realising that the wording of the law only covered traditional telephony, the ACMA seems to have simply stuck "and teh internets" into the wording wherever they deemed it appropriate, rendering a total hash of the regulations. Defining "content" when you're talking about fixed-line phones is easy. When it comes to the internet, it's effectively impossible.

In the US, this would get stomped by the Supreme Court as unconstitutionally broad in five minutes flat. Here in Australia that may take longer, but I expect it to be largely ignored in the meantime.

adults will not be affected by the new laws (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798656)

Bull.

The only way this could be instituted is that you are assumed to be a child. Upon going to a particular site that may or may not have 'adult' content, the user will have to attempt to prove he is not a child. Of course, such 'proof' is impossible. You never really know who is behind the keyboard.
That impossibility is primarily why the Communications Decency Act [wikipedia.org] of 1996 got shot down. It puts the onus on the adult to prove his legality.

A .kids or .xxx TLD is equally stupid.

probably be about as 'successful' as robbIE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21798664)

pushing unpreferred content to the 'back' of the decaying blog, & causing more&more censorship & needless clicks, as the advertisers like it that way. happy holydaze to you too.

it's an upside DOWn kingdumb (Score:)mynuts won, the king is a fink
by ourselves, on our own time
aka: robbIE goofs up his decaying blog for more clicks & censorship, as advertisers like it that way.

we're intending for the deceptive murderous life0cidal corepirate nazi execrable to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather'.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US;

gov. bush denies health care for the little ones

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

        (yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on/.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

Huh? (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798738)

Australia Plans to Censor the Internet

Yeah well ... good luck with that.

thumbs up (2, Funny)

Corson (746347) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798758)

it would be great and all countries should follow suit, provided it works out.

Domino Effect... (2, Interesting)

aephoenix (1122129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798880)

So.. How long until America tries this? I'm shocked we haven't already. I mean, then we'll really be living in a dictatorship.

Re:Domino Effect... (0)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21798892)

So.. How long until America tries this? I'm shocked we haven't already.

About a decade ago. It got shot down.

I mean, then we'll really be living in a dictatorship

Indeed.

Re:Domino Effect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21799618)

Yeah - right.The US got a multibillion $$$ Pron industry (where most of the sites are strangely enough registered in Utah - might not be true anymore though).Thats the last thing they are going to do.

News might be another story......

King Canute? (2, Informative)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799416)

People keep tagging these stories "kingcanute". Canute was trying to prove to his courtiers by demonstration that he could not hold back the tide. Somehow I doubt these would-be censors are trying to demonstrate its ineffectiveness.

Don't Laugh (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21799696)

The WTO has a lot of control ( blackmail ) over other sovereign countries when another with lesser laws gets irritated.

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