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Censorship The Internet Technology

Technical Specs Released For Aussie Net Filtering 231

Posted by timothy
from the for-a-limited-time-only dept.
smallkathryn writes "Technical specifications have just been released for the Australian net filtering trial. The trial, which aims to prove that ISP-level filtering is a viable way to stop 'unwanted content' from reaching users, will go live on 24 December. The trial will involve ISPs choosing a commercially available hardware filter from an internet content filter (ICF) vendor, adding it to their networks, then loading the blacklist of unwanted sites. Still no indication of how peer-to-peer information will be addressed."
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Technical Specs Released For Aussie Net Filtering

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  • Encryption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vvaduva (859950) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:46PM (#25981957)

    This is the time to invest in and bring to market an encryption product to the masses in Australia. What would stop a US company from selling cheap VPN tunnels to end users down under?

    • Re:Encryption (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:55PM (#25982059)

      What would stop a US company from selling cheap VPN tunnels to end users down under?

      Not a damn thing. Which is one of the primary reasons why this whole thing is such a stupid pointless waste of time and money.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Bane1998 (894327)

        What would stop a US company from selling cheap VPN tunnels to end users down under?

        Not a damn thing. Which is one of the primary reasons why this whole thing is such a stupid pointless waste of time and money.

        Saying it won't do anything is missing the point, and selling out your own beliefs. It's the inverse of 'If you have nothing to hide, being searched shouldn't bother you.

        You are correct. The people who want to get through it will always be able to. But that does not in ANY way make it a pointless waste. I will explain...

        There will be new laws. Now if you access any blocked content, you broke a law about circumventing government filters. Just because you can still do something even if it's illegal, doesn't m

    • by Hatta (162192)

      That's brilliant! Good thing there's no way for the Australian government to stop its citizens from accessing your site.

      • Re:Encryption (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @08:15PM (#25982915)

        As someone who watches the success of botnets despite widespread efforts to blacklist trojan servers (by URL, IP, subnets...), I'd say when a group of zealous, dedicated and passionate people fighting malware can't even gain a foot, a group of underpaid, usually underfunded and undermotivated public officials won't really succeed either.

    • by compro01 (777531)

      There's plenty of options already available, such as TorrentFreedom [torrentfreedom.com] and VPNTunnel [vpntunnel.co.uk].

    • IIRC, TPB currently offers such a service for a small fee.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tovok7 (948510)
      Nothing. There already is a Swedish offering: https://www.relakks.com/?cid=gb [relakks.com]
    • by sr180 (700526)
      There are a plethora of products already, all designed so we can access 'US only' websites - such as media sites, extras on Itunes etc etc.
    • by westlake (615356)
      This is the time to invest in and bring to market an encryption product to the masses in Australia.

      But do the Aussies want encryption more than they want filtering? The upstream block against hard-core porn is an easy sell to most parents. That makes your cheap VPN tunnel a product for the geek and not a product for "the masses."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mpe (36238)
        But do the Aussies want encryption more than they want filtering?

        Considering how many governments appear to want to be able to spy on Internet traffic why wouldn't they want encryption?

        The upstream block against hard-core porn is an easy sell to most parents.

        If you ask N people on what should be blocked you will get at least N different answers.
  • Dangerous (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Eravnrekaree (467752) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:46PM (#25981959)

    I do not believe any government should censor speech. This sort of technology is ripe for abuse. There will probably be sites which "accidently" are filtered, maybe sites with unpopular political views, or legal material, such as adult pornography. As well, this sets dangerous precedents as well, that government has a right to censor things. It could set a dangerous precedent for censoring things we all agree should not be censored, like pornography of consenting adults and unpopular (communist, marxist, etc) political views.

    • Re:Dangerous (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @07:04PM (#25982165)

      They're already adding otherwise legal sites to the blacklist. From the second link:

      One of the more recent concerns over the blacklist is its extension from 1,300 sites to 11,300 sites containing "objectionable material", the content of which has not been made clear. The only details that have been divulged about them is that pro-euthanasia and pro-anorexia sites will be included on the blacklist.

      • by Fluffeh (1273756)
        Yup, they liked what they saw in China, and thought... "Hey, I want me one of those firewall things...". Disgraceful.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by QuantumG (50515) *

      You say this like it's a new thing. The Classification Board [classification.gov.au] has been censoring stuff for decades.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by deniable (76198)
        And unlike the MPAA in the US, they do things in the open and subject to public review.
        • by srjh (1316705)

          MPAA ratings are purely voluntary, though. In Australia, the Classifications are legally enforced.

          And the Australian Classifications are pretty draconian - if a video game is unsuitable for children it's banned outright (GTA, Fallout 3, F.E.A.R. 2, Silent Hill, Singles: Flirt Up Your Life, Manhunt have all been banned in Australia). Every state in Australia has all X-rated material on the RC list. Even fairly tame Penthouse-level material is banned if they don't verify the user's age using a credit card or

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by deniable (76198)

            MPAA ratings are purely voluntary, though.

            Really? How do I show a film that I haven't had voluntarily classified?

            if a video game is unsuitable for children it's banned outright (GTA, Fallout 3, F.E.A.R. 2, Silent Hill, Singles: Flirt Up Your Life, Manhunt have all been banned in Australia). Every state in Australia has all X-rated material on the RC list.

            States, but not territories. There are efforts to allow R rated games, but these are being blocked by one state Attorney General.

    • Funny, I blogged about something similar:

      Recently, I wrote about the concept of an Internet that knows no boundaries in relation to how content is distributed and consumed, but today I would like to talk about it in the broader sense of free speech and censorship.

      I find Internet censorship to be a deplorable concept, not because it prevents me from consuming things that a jurisdictional entity considers inappropriate or immoral, but because it stymies the legitimate aggregation and consumption of ideas.

      One of the more interesting side effects of the Information Revolution has been the unification of our people--not in some patriotic or otherwise political sense, but our entire race. We can now explore and understand the world around us in ways that were not previously possible. I can converse with someone that was present in the Mumbai attacks last week, talk to an Islamic jihadist, converse with my parents across the country, and participate in a discussion on the election of a black president. I can read about the newest innovations in the scientific world, find the latest juice on my favorite celebrity, watch a movie produced by some indie director, and play a game that some 12 year old wrote in his mom's basement. The Internet is free (libre) to our imaginations and thoughts to explore.

      Therefore, it is not too hard to imagine that there are those that have expressions that differ from our own tastes and acceptances. Does that mean that the we have the right to muzzle them? Remember, the Internet is free (libre) from jurisdictional bounds, so who are we to restrict what is published there? Is child pornography justification enough to silence the innocent voices of those who may become collateral damage in the censorship fight against it? Is copyright so sacrosanct that it should smother legally distributed content as well?

      Australians are in the fight of their lives to take back their freedom of speech, revoked by the government, a victim in the so called fight against child porn. It is very easy to say that these new powers won't do very much as far as stopping and preventing child porn, but it isn't too much of a stretch to say the sole purpose of these laws is to grant the government self-anointed power to control the things that its constituents publish and view.

      The Internet is still new territory, that is for sure, but we have an opportunity to break down language, cultural, racial, educational, and political barriers with it. Why would we destroy it with crusades against things over which there is little or no control? Are we so myopic that we think the the tragedies of child pornography and human trafficking will be reduced (or even end) with maiming the one medium of humanity's greatest achievement of interpersonal communication?

      I trust no man, not even myself, to control such power because even the wisest of the wise are not infallible, incorruptible, or undeceivable. No, let the Internet be what humanity shapes it to be. Through the portals of this great experiment in human discourse, we get to peel back the layers of filters to see what humanity really is. And maybe that is what makes it so uncomfortable to ponder--because we may not like what we see.

    • It could set a dangerous precedent for censoring things we all agree should not be censored, like pornography of consenting adults and unpopular (communist, marxist, etc) political views.

      if it's unpopular, clearly we don't "all" agree on that.

      I don't condone the censorship, but let's be logical in our analysis.

      Also, religious reactionaries world-wide would love to see the internet devoid of consenting adult pornography.

      • What a coincidence! I would love to see the internet devoid of religious reactionaries.

        But I guess when everyone gets to blacklist what he doesn't like, the internet gets quite dark pretty quickly.

        I don't like a few political, religious or other views. But their right to voice their opinion is as valid as mine. I consider it wrong to tell anyone what to read, think, write or say. The only line I draw is at the "do" part of your freedoms, if they cut into someone else's freedoms.

        Or, put another way, there ca

    • by daver00 (1336845)

      The best part: Unclassifiable material is banned... ok, and? I hear you say, well in our grand nation there is no R rating for online content, much like there is no R rating for video game content. Thus these things will be banned.

      This leads us to the absurd situation whereby under the current proposals you will not be able to legally stream video content that you can hire from the video store down the road... if its rated 'naughty'.

  • Unwanted? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tubal-Cain (1289912) * on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:47PM (#25981967) Journal

    then loading the blacklist of unwanted sites.

    Obviously someone wants these sites, else there would be no need to blacklist them.

    • by 77Punker (673758) <spencr04&highpoint,edu> on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:52PM (#25982031)

      then loading the blacklist of unwanted sites.

      Obviously someone wants these sites, else there would be no need to blacklist them.

      What about the majority of the videos on Youtube?

    • Re:Unwanted? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @07:03PM (#25982157) Homepage Journal

      Actually. The government's assumption is that reasonable Australians don't want to see hard core porn and other "offensive" material. You disagree? Oh, you're just being unreasonable.

      This is what decades of tolerating film and media classification has done to us.

      • Eh, if the government didn't classify movies and such, we'd have a hodgepodge of private organizations doing it; with wildly varying results. One family's NC-17 rating is another family's PG. Also, the rating system has grown more lax over time. Imagine this occurring in the aforementioned hodgepodge at varying rates of decay.

        So I'm fine with a single classification system, but I want them to be guidelines for consumer convenience, not rules set in stone.

        • Re:Unwanted? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @07:59PM (#25982759) Homepage Journal

          The problem is that it is illegal to sell a film in Australia without a classification, and that the Classification Board has the right, which it exercises often, to refuse classification. This effectively bans films which are considered "offensive".

          My solution would be to make all films immediately R18+. You must be 18 years of age or older to purchase them. If the distributor wants to apply for a lesser rating, they can do so. Now all the "think of the children" morons are placated and the rest of us can watch a movie revolving around the abusive home lives of teenage skateboarders without the government getting involved.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by TapeCutter (624760)
            As a fellow Aussie I find most of your posts insightfull and informative. However I feel compeled to point out the phrase "which it exercises often" only applies for certain definitions of often [refused-cl...cation.com].

            I think the classification board does a great job but I disagree with outright bans on philosophical grounds. The current push for filtering is a storm in a tea-cup and is driven by the governments need to placate senator Fielding. After KRuddy has got what he wants out of Fielding the mandatory filtering legisla
          • by deniable (76198)
            Actually, the rules vary from state to state. There are things (like Peter Jackson's Bad Taste) that sell themselves on being "banned in Queensland." There is also the fact that Canberra is where you go for hard core porn. So, the solution is to get your local MP to pick some up while Parliament is sitting.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by martinX (672498)

              Hard core porn is banned in the states. Canberra and the NT are territories.

              Mind you, what passes for "hard core" in the Territories is nothing compared to what you can find with three seconds searching the net.

              Even movies of consensual urophilia is banned in Oz. I heard. From an acquaintance. That I don't really know.

          • by repvik (96666)

            My solution would be to make all films immediately R18+. You must be 18 years of age or older to purchase them. If the distributor wants to apply for a lesser rating, they can do so. Now all the "think of the children" morons are placated and the rest of us can watch a movie revolving around the abusive home lives of teenage skateboarders without the government getting involved.

            That is actually how things work here in Norway these days. Good Thing (TM) if you ask me.

            • Man I wish I lived in your country :/

              All *AUSSIE PRIDE!!!!!1111one* guys can shut the fuck up, our country has been going down the toilet since the mid 90's

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by spoco2 (322835)

          I'm fine with them having blacklists... but I want it to be OPT IN.

          This making it mandatory, and the default starting point is TERRIBLE.

          Allow households to opt in to blocking sites and at a number of different levels
          [ ] Pornography
          [ ] Hate literature
          [ ] whatever...

          That would be fine.

          But making it the default, and you having to OPT OUT means that the vast majority will let this slide, the apathy will allow it to become the norm.

          AND then the government is going to have to wear the shitstorm that will occur wh

          • by QuantumG (50515) *

            Actually, the idea is that the clean feed for kids will be opt in. The controversy is that apparently there will be mandatory filtering for "offensive" material.. which includes anything that would be X rated (which is only available in the ACT and NT) or refused classification (NC). Particularly, this includes any porn where the participants are engaged in sex (rather than just pretending to be).. aka, all hardcore.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by spoco2 (322835)

              No, there will be mandatory filtering on ILLEGAL material only. Child pornography, bestiality etc. And while, yes, X rated material is only available in the ACT and NT by law... that law is in NO way enforced. I can almost guarantee this mandatory blacklist will NOT block all hardcore sex.

              They haven't actually stated what's in the list, but I would say it'll be:

              Child Pornography
              Rape (Or any non-consensual sexual stuff I would imagine)
              Bestiality

              I'm basing this on past Australian government things, and just t

              • Re:Unwanted? (Score:4, Informative)

                by srjh (1316705) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:17AM (#25984813)

                Unfortunately that couldn't be further from the truth.

                First of all, the filter's scope is definitely beyond illegal material. See here [defendingscoundrels.com] for a legal explanation of the terms - most RC and prohibited content is actually perfectly legal to possess.

                Secondly, the minister has actually confirmed that sites such as pro-euthanasia websites will be banned. Drug use is also enough to get material put on the list. We're consistently told that the worst material on the list is child pornography, but that's beside the point - we need to know what the least harmful material on the blacklist is to make an informed decision. But we won't - the list is a government secret, and you will be jailed for revealing it.

                And these "lobby groups" trying to add whatever the fuck they want to the filter? They hold the balance of power in the senate... in fact it seems that a major motivation behind the Government's plan is to buy their votes. Those lobby groups want all pornography banned outright, others want gambling websites blocked. The filter will in no way stop at "illegal" material.

                • Re:Unwanted? (Score:4, Interesting)

                  by spoco2 (322835) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @01:25AM (#25985231)

                  That link doesn't actually clarify anything they merely state 'It could be any number of things' and then go on to mention things that might be banned.

                  It's all conjecture.

                  Which is part of the problem, it should be completely transparent. Actually, it just shouldn't exist in the first place, but if it did it should be transparent.

            • by hool5400 (257022)

              That's an interesting point. If I'm in the NT or ACT, will I be subject to a less strict version of the filter? It doesn't look like that's their intention, but I wonder if it's occurred to them.

            • by srjh (1316705)

              Close - the clean feed will be opt-out.

              You'll be put on it by default, and if you want to access something that has been deemed inappropriate for children, you'll have to ring your ISP to change from the default filter.

              • by QuantumG (50515) *

                Maybe for new customers. But they can't do that to existing customers.. it's a violation of contract.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dougisfunny (1200171)

            They don't care how unworkable it is, as long as they have the power to censor things on demand.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by enoz (1181117)

        Reasonable Australians don't want to see hard core porn (X-18+), yet the only two places where it can be legally sold is ACT (home of the federal government) and NT.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:48PM (#25981987)
    We'll all be rooned.
  • Unethical (Score:5, Funny)

    by nightfire-unique (253895) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:52PM (#25982027)
    Won't somebody please think of the children, who will be grown-ups one day -- grown-ups shackled with the consequences of implementing this unethical system?
    • Re:Unethical (Score:4, Informative)

      by nmoog (701216) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @07:09PM (#25982233) Homepage Journal
      Except even the people who ask us to please think of the children don't want this one [smh.com.au]!
    • Re:Unethical (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @07:47PM (#25982625)

      "The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation." - Adolph Hitler (Mein Kampf)

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not only have you Godwinned this discussion, you have done it with a made up quote. Hitler did not write that.

        The first clause, "the state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people," appears in Mein Kampf, where Hitler is referring to the importance of eugenics.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by SysDaemon (301739)
          It seems that I will have to believe you as I can't access Mein Kampf in this jurisdiction -all I get is "This material has been deemed to be inappropriate, your IP number has been logged".
  • by liraz (77590) * <liraz@turnkeylinux.org> on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @07:01PM (#25982131) Homepage

    Putting aside the question of whether filtering is desirable in the first place ("think of the children!"), or issues regarding the potential for future abuse (e.g., censorship of unpopular speech, and who determines what needs to be filtered in the first place) at the technical level any halfway-reliable filtering technology that peeks into the transport layer [wikipedia.org] is going to add a huge amount of overhead that will increase costs and degrade performance. Good for the equipment companies, but bad for everyone who would prefer their Internet connection as dumb and fast as possible.

    OTOH, OpenDNS [opendns.com] provides a free, opt-in filtering service [opendns.com] available to anyone who wants it. It's very easy to deploy, why not just use that?

  • by yttrstein (891553) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @07:01PM (#25982137) Homepage
    We patch apache (patch XXX obviously) to toss back hex or D-word IP addresses when hit with them. Actually I don't think a patch is necessary; I can think of a quick and dirty way to do it in Korn with forward and reverse proxying on..huh, pretty much any apache from 1.33 on.

    Then all we need to do is wait until the Aussies load so many obfuscated hosts into their border boxen that they all fry themselves and the silly idea it is will be really quite clear to anyone with opposable thumbs.
  • "Unwanted Content" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by brainfsck (1078697)

    ISP-level filtering is a viable way to stop 'unwanted content' from reaching users

    Unwanted by whom?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What good could come from it?

    There could be some new and interesting ways to get around such filtering?
    Gains the attention of more people to find against such stupidity?

    THE INTERNET SHOULD BE FREE, FOREVER.
    Filtering should only ever be done on the client end!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by obeythefist (719316)

      Huh? No new and interesting way to get around such filtering is needed. Any VPN, proxy, anonymiser, tunnel etc will do it in moments. High school kids bypassed it in less than 2 minutes when it was demo'd at a local school.

      Although you could have been sarcastic and I missed it.

      "They have painted a yellow line around the doorway. We must now try to investigate new methods to bypass this yellow barrier. Perhaps we will step over it and see how that goes."

      Sadly, the mandatory filtering is bypassed in mom

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Merry Christmas!! Here's your broken internet!

  • by teh moges (875080) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @07:17PM (#25982319) Homepage
    The paper says that the filtering will be URL based (to start with, possibly moving to other methods later). With that in mind, I present my (patented..?) two step method to bypassing the filter:

    Step 1: Get IP address of blocked site
    Step 2: Enter that IP address
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by plasmacutter (901737)

      The paper says that the filtering will be URL based (to start with, possibly moving to other methods later). With that in mind, I present my (patented..?) two step method to bypassing the filter:

      Step 1: Get IP address of blocked site

      Step 2: Enter that IP address

      easier, one time version:

      go to internet settings under DNS
      enter non-aussie or independent DNS

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Klootzak (824076)

      That'll work fine unless they're using Name Based Virtual Hosts. [apache.org]

      Regardless, as (almost) all of us know there's a number of ways to bypass this bloody stupid [dbcde.gov.au] filter.

      Disclaimer: I don't think Child Pornography should be legal. However, I very strongly disagree that the Government has the right to put in access-Level filtering, regardless of their case.
      The ends DO NOT justify the means.

      • I do think Child Pornography should be legal. There is never a legetimate reason to stop information. For society to be free, information must only be stopped at the source (security) or destination (filtering)
    • by mdmkolbe (944892)

      Umm, that's how most web browsers already work.

      Step 1: Use DNS to get address of site.
      Step 2: Use IP address to send packets to site (usually over HTTP).

      The DNS server only ever sees the site name (not the path after the site name). It is only later in the HTTP protocol that the actual URL gets sent. At that point the browser is already using the IP address (though the server name may optionally be buried in the HTTP headers).

      This means that URL based filtering is a non-starter (and every network operator

      • by enoz (1181117)

        Question: Suppose you wanted to get around IP address blocking, but didn't need the overhead of anonymity that Tor provides. You just need an automated way to find peers on the other side of "The Wall" to act as proxies. Is there something out there to do this that might perform better than Tor?)

        This [google.com] isn't automated, but it would probably work.

    • by martijnd (148684)

      If we are going to patent things, then I would like to patent "salted" domain names.

      1) User enters URL
      2) Browser obtains DNS for www.hardcore.com
      3) Browser "salts" domain name (eg. "www.hardcore.com" becomes www.War3Nop3.com)
      4) Browser sends request
      5) Web server "desalts" (through plugin) and finds that its www.hardcore.com website matches
      6) Web server sends www.hardcore.com data

      Some extra overhead -- but not much. Needs a bit of tuning, but voila. Of course, we could also just use HTTPS instead.

    • by Eil (82413) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @08:50PM (#25983261) Homepage Journal

      Step 1: Get IP address of blocked site
      Step 2: Enter that IP address

      That won't work on the vast majority of sites out there which either use name-based virtual hosting or complicated load balancers, both of which depend on the correct hostname being in the URL.

      In the old days, a common trick to get around URL filters was to put a '.' at the end of the TLD as in:

      http://www.example.com./ [www.example.com]

      The '.' is the root of the DNS hierarchy. It's optional when specifying an Internet hostname but all software which handles domain names is required to handle it properly. Programmers of early web filters didn't know this so if they put the following URL into their block list:

      http://www.example.com/* [example.com]

      Adding the dot meant the URL wouldn't match the entry in the blocklist. All the vendors patched this pretty quickly though and then the next workaround discovered was encoding the domain name as its hex equivalent. Took longer for the vendors to patch that, but they finally did. Most of the web filters out there have had plenty of time to come up to speed on all the workarounds by this point, though.

  • Blacklists (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If I were the ISP, I would add a few extra domains to the blacklist. Block some things that I as an ISP find objectionable, such as the web sites of candidates that support filtering. Media outlets that carry advertising for candidates that I don't like. Etc.

  • by riprjak (158717) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @08:24PM (#25983005)

    Shouldn't trials test a hypothesis or design? If you set out to prove something with a trial, I'm fairly certain that you will carefully design it so that it does, indeed, prove it; as you have already decided you will do it and are now cynically producing evidence.

    Trials should be neutral, investigating or testing or gathering data. The *RESULTS* of a trial will support or disprove a concept.

    Ultimately, you cant really "prove" anything; just gain sufficient confidence that despite your best efforts, you cannot disprove it.

    Perhaps the trial aims to check "the feasibility of" rather than "prove"... well, we can hope.
    err!
    jak.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by srjh (1316705)

      They made the election promise without investigating whether or not it was possible. So the only result they will accept is one that confirms their beliefs.

      Well actually, the election promise was to "provide" filtering, but not "mandate" it, but a censor-happy government with the need to satisfy fundamentalist third-parties wasn't going to stop there once the technology exists.

      They did some preliminary testing back in June - the results showed an average speed reduction of 30% between filters (5/6 were over

    • Call me a cynic, but I can see two possible outcomes of that trial:
      • Case 1: Fewer than, say, 5% of all queries hit the blacklist filter and are blocked.
        This of course means that the blacklist will only impede a small, acceptable percentage of people and therefore should be implemented.
      • Case 2: Many more than 5% of all queries hit the blacklist filter and are blocked.
        This of course means that there is a raging epidemic of accessing undesirable material is going on and the blacklist is therefore urgently req
  • I'll decide what content I do or don't want, thank you, and implement suitable filters on my own machine. My ISP can't read my mind.

  • As mentioned in my blog [homelinux.org], I think if politicians are so keen to 'clean up the internet', they should start closer to home, in their own PCs. How many times have we seen Australian politicians in various compromising positions ... 'chair-sniffing', kiddie-porn scandals, and of course Prime Minister Rudd can't even remember his night out in Vagas where he had lap dances etc paid for by the Aussie taxpayer.

    Of course this is less Labor's fault than fucking Family First, that bunch of ultra-conservative freaks wh

  • by WallyDrinkBeer (1136165) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @10:26PM (#25984087)

    I'm fairly sure one of the first things added to the list will be torrent indexes. No more TPB or ISOHunt for Australians. This is exactly what Australian media companies want: they used to have it good, they would hold over US shows and movies for rating windows and screw over viewers that just wanted to watch stuff current.

    The big problem is, Australian media holds a lot of sway with the scum that is an Australian politician.

    Of course you'll be able to access them in a round-about fashion. Maybe it will eventually become illegal to bypass the filter, call it hacking. Aussie freedom will go, china style.

  • > The trial ... will go live on 24 December.

    You never ever make a major change like this before holidays, least of all Christmas Hoidays. It ensures that if something does go wrong, there's no one on hand to fix it. When lots of "working families" will be communicating by VOIP or webcam over the Internet, the time of this is sheer stupidity. I'd say Rudd and Conroy have timed it just before Christmas to make sure the story lost by the media, is buried amongst all the Yuletide Queen's Christmas Message,

  • by B5_geek (638928) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @01:02AM (#25985109)

    Can somebody please supply me with a list of all blocked sites. My 4chan status could really use a boost.

  • by justinlee37 (993373) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @05:13AM (#25986467)

    a viable way to stop 'unwanted content' from reaching users

    I have a viable way for users to stop unwanted content. Don't open it!

    Sheesh, that was easy.

    Oh, I'm sorry, that's not you wanted? Did you mean that you wanted censorship?

    Then we're talking about stopping wanted content from reaching users.

    Man, fuck the man.

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