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Censorship The Internet Your Rights Online

Clarifying the Next Step in Australia's Net-Censorship Scheme 193

Posted by timothy
from the ah-but-this-is-just-the-proof-of-concept dept.
teh moges writes "I recently received a response from the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, regarding issues I had with the ISP filtering proposed for Australia. My comment can be summed up by 'Any efficient filter won't be effective and any effective filter won't be efficient.' His response clarifies the issue of using the blacklist for censorship." Read on for the gist of Conroy's mistakes-were-made response, which seems to sidestep teh moges' critique, but offers Australian Internet users some idea of what they're in for.
From Conroy's email in response: "...concerns have been raised that filtering a blacklist beyond 10,000 URLs may raise network performance issues... The pilot will therefore seek to also test network performance against a test list of 10,000 URLs ... As this test is only being performed to test the impact on network performance against a list of this size, and actual customers are not involved,the make-up of the list is not an issue."

teh moges continues: "My initial query about the lack of effectiveness of the filter still stands, however it is important that the censorship issue is clarified. It seems, at least for now, that the trial that will begin on December 24th for the '10,000' list is for testing purposes, rather then using a list that will be used later. Still, no information on a guarantee of regulation is provided, so there is still a long way to go before this ISP filtering gains support, especially given Senator Stephen Conroy's lack of ability to answer questions in media conferences."
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Clarifying the Next Step in Australia's Net-Censorship Scheme

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  • 10,000 URLs? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ta bu shi da yu (687699) on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:48AM (#26000009) Homepage

    Things I'm not clear on:

    1. URLs or entire domains?
    2. Only 10,000? Do they feel that the Internet is really so small?

    • Re:10,000 URLs? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lgw (121541) on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:52AM (#26000027) Journal

      This is pretty clear:

      1) Creat blacklist "just for kiddie porn"

      2) Deny citizens access to the contents of the blacklist "why do you want to know a list of kiddie por sites, you pervert?!?!"

      3) Add political opposition sites to the blacklist.

      4) ???

      5) Totalitarianism!

      Didn't Finland move from step 1 to step 3 in just a month?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by wharlie (972709)
        It works for China, why not Australia.
        • by fractoid (1076465)
          In fact if it goes ahead in Australia, why not just *move* to China?
          • by theaveng (1243528)

            At least China has jobs.

            (ducks a spitball)

            Just a little joke. :-) What I'd like to know is how "child porn" is defined. If a family posts photos of their recent summer trip to a clothes-optional resort, are they going to get blacklisted by the Aussie government? Or is nudity of dad, mom, and the kiddies considered acceptable?

            What about the so-called "mirror teens" who like to take photos of their 15-16-17 year old bodies and send them to boyfriends/girlfriends? Is the Aussie government going to start a

            • What about the so-called "mirror teens" who like to take photos of their 15-16-17 year old bodies and send them to boyfriends/girlfriends? Is the Aussie government going to start arresting them too?

              You mean like they're doing in the US?

              • by theaveng (1243528)

                (almost) no teens are getting arrested for displaying their nude bodies on the net, because nudity is not illegal according to the U.S. Supreme Court - only underage sex is illegal.

                Back to Australia - what are the freedoms regarding nudism and nudist photos?

                • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                  by The Lawnmower (953638)
                  Well there was controversy over one of Bill Henson's photo exhibits which included artistic photos of a naked 13 y/o girl not long ago. Someone complained and the police acted prematurely, seising the works. But legally there wasn't a leg to stand on.
                  So pretty good, I think.
                  • by theaveng (1243528)

                    This is why police are supposed to get a warrant FIRST, so that someone who actually knows the law (i.e. a judge) and is impartial can determine that images of a naked body are Not illegal.

                    I'm sick and tired of police acting without first talking to a judge. I'm sick and tired of police not following legal procedure, and just willy-nilly doing whatever they feel like doing.

                  • by Dan541 (1032000)

                    It's not porn if its "art".

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by lgw (121541)

                  In America, a teenaged girl was arrested for posting kiddie porn for posting pictures taken of herself in a mirror, and then tried as an adult for the crime and convicted. Rationality does not prevail in a witch hunt!

                  A great many "child modeling" sites were shut down and arrests made, and these sites don't even show nudity. IMO they were still effectively kiddie porn, but even so I'm still very concerned with the idea of arresting people for posting pictures of clothed children just because of a completel

                  • Re:10,000 URLs? (Score:4, Insightful)

                    by CaptainDefragged (939505) on Friday December 05, 2008 @06:10PM (#26008043)
                    For God's sake. When are these do-gooders going wake up to themselves? Naked != Porn. There has to be more to it than that. Some kind of sexual context at least. It seems that the definition of "kiddie porn" has gone from depraved sexual acts against young children to holiday snaps of kids swimming in the lake naked. There is light years between those two contexts. And another thing - in the 15 years or more that I have been using computers, I have never come across any kiddie porn on the net. Never. Not Ever. It's not out there lurking on every wrong mouse click waiting to "damage" some innocent child. Talk about a fear campaign.
                    I've seen police write comments here saying that they have the tools and laws they require now and are doing fine thank you very much.
                    So Senator Conroy - fuck off. We'll manage the content that we want to stop our children from viewing. We don't need you to decide for us. K9 filters work just fine on the kids PCs along with a set of written rules of what they are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do.
                  • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                    by theaveng (1243528)

                    The 15-year-old Ohio girl was arrested, but found "not guilty" because transmission of nude photos is not illegal. It's protected by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.

                    There was another case where a 16 and 17 year old were arrested, but their photos included sexual activity, which IS illegal in the U.S. and therefore they were found "guilty" and sent to jail. IMHO this was wrong-headed because the photos never left their privately-owned homes. You should be able to photograph yourself in the privacy

                • by Dan541 (1032000)

                  Back to Australia - what are the freedoms regarding nudism and nudist photos?

                  You would have to ask the Christian activists they are the ones who will be adding to the filter.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Xest (935314)

        Britain has been doing steps 1 and 2 for years via the IWF.

        Of course, we don't know if they've been doing 3 (realistically not, I'm sure parties would've complained if they had!) but we know Jacqui Smith is trying her damn hardest to take us to 5!

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by the_womble (580291)

          Except the British scheme is voluntary for IPSs, and that sort of abuse would probably lead to ISPs just pulling out.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Xest (935314)

            I suppose it depends how you define voluntary.

            If opening up yourself to legal action when someone downloads illegal material by refusing to implement it is voluntary then that's a fair point but that's not really my definition of voluntary.

            The IWF was created in response to the police wanting to launch a case against ISPs for holding illegal material on newsgroups, if an ISP therefore refuses to implement it they will put themselves in the line of fire of this legal action that they have been safe from for

      • Re:10,000 URLs? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by xSander (1227106) on Friday December 05, 2008 @06:12AM (#26000717)

        Didn't Finland move from step 1 to step 3 in just a month?

        The Netherlands has a blacklist as well, just as ineffective as the Finnish one. Just don't use your ISP's DNS. Governments should concentrate on taking down sites rather than act like the three wise monkeys.

      • by pipatron (966506)

        This happened to Piratpartiet [piratpartiet.se] in Sweden some time before the last election, but not for the kiddie-porn filter, but for some major blacklister that a lot of companies use to filter out gambling and porn.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by acb (2797)

          Sites such as Piratpartiet (or their local equivalents) would probably be mandatorily blocked in Australia. The mandatory part of the blacklist will include anything illegal, which under Australian law includes copyright violation, advocacy of suicide/euthanasia, hardcore porn and various extremist points of view (which, given Australia's sedition laws, covers a lot).

    • Re:10,000 URLs? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by daBass (56811) on Friday December 05, 2008 @05:25AM (#26000493)

      The dumb thing is, he does not even realize the size of the list does not matter. A lookup against a million URLs in hash table in memory is just as quick as going through a 10,000.

      The problem is that it means ALL request have to go through a proxy to be tested, whether they are on the blacklist or not.

      This response just proves he really does not have a clue about the technology...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Actually, a lookup in a tree of 10,000 requires on average 13 lookups and a 1,000,000 entries requires an average of 20 lookups. That larger tree definitely requires more lookups.

        Multiply that amount of work by the number of requests per second (probably tens of millions) and they're talking a fuckload of computer power just to lookup against a small list. Throw dynamic filtering and SSL interception (yes, all but one of the products tested claimed to do MITM attacks on knowns SSL traffic) and you're talk

      • by shermozle (126249)

        Actually, there's ways you can make this scale. Your blacklist does a DNS lookup periodically, and modify the ISP routing table so that any IP that matches an entry in the blacklist is routed via the filter. So that means only IPs on the blacklist need the filtering logic.

        A massive host using thousands of sites per IP is going to be slower, because somewhere on that host is bad stuff. But if you want to ensure you're fast, make sure you get your own IP for your host.

        Not advocating for the plan, just that

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TapeCutter (624760)
        The dumb thing is, he does not even realize the size of the list does not matter.

        He is a politician, he is well aware that the existance, content, and size, of the list are ALL that matters.

        From the day these stories started appearing I have claimed that the mandatory thing will go nowhere. This is not about technology it's about politics, in particular placating one senator Fielding from the "family first" party. Because of the senate's current make-up, under certain political stand-offs he gets to b
      • by erikina (1112587)
        Not quite. Linear time means that for a given hash table, the search time will be the same (assuming no collisions).

        Instead of viewing them both as O(1) look at it like O(1) and P(1). The bigger hash table will have a bigger look-up time but still be constant.
      • The problem is that it means ALL request have to go through a proxy to be tested, whether they are on the blacklist or not.

        So the Aussie government requires that everyone with an AS number drops packets targeted by the blacklist, done deal.

        Every request has to go through a proxy, but it doesn't have to be the same proxy.

        • by daBass (56811)

          Every request has to go through a proxy, but it doesn't have to be the same proxy.

          Yeah, buy and maintain more proxies to scale the system! It is only me paying for them through my monthly ISP dues...

    • 2. Only 10,000? Do they feel that the Internet is really so small?

      Nah, let them think this. Then every Australian can kick in a couple bucks, and run a domain-name registration script:

      australiaFilterSucks-1.au

      australiaFilterSucks-2.au

      australiaFilterSucks-3.au

      ...

      australiaFilterSucks-10000.au

      Adjust domain name to whatever is needed to get it added to the list. For additional fun, use each domain as a free, open proxy that Australians on a filter ISP can use to pass through the wall. So either they get banne

  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Friday December 05, 2008 @04:11AM (#26000097)

    This got sidespread coverage yesterday. A citizens activist group raised $30,000 in donations to fight the Rudd Firewall IN JUST ONE DAY. There are protests planned around Australia around December 15. I'm going.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/technology/cash-floods-in-to-fight-rudds-web-censorship/2008/12/05/1228257284512.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1 [brisbanetimes.com.au]

    Pro-tip: Writing to Conroy is pointless at this stage. He's quite foolishly staked his career on it, and will never back down no matter what the price for everyone else. The only way out of it is to lobby the senate and convince Rudd that this will cost him the next election. I voted for Rudd but I'm thoroughly disillusioned with him - not just for this, but but this weighs heavily on my mind. I've already decided my vote three years out.

    Now all we have to do is find him. If anyone knows where our jettsetting Prime Minister is, please send him back home because we'd like to talk to him. First place to look: anywhere in China. http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/prime-ministers-600000-flying-circus/2008/12/04/1228257229282.html [smh.com.au]

    • by teh moges (875080)
      I have emailed Rudd and told him that: That if this filter goes ahead as is, he loses my vote next election. Labour is a safe seat where I live and otherwise, I'm very pro-Rudd, but this is potentially a step too far.
      • I have emailed Rudd and told him that

        You can't convince people who have already made up their minds. I could presume these tests are more of a walk-through for how much can be done and how effectively, rather than a feasibility test on the whole issue of government censorship.

      • by hool5400 (257022)

        Pissing into the wind my friend.

        Every politician hears the same phrase with every decision that they make. It's just white noise to them.

      • Is that all you're willing to do, though? Vote for the other guy and maybe encourage others to do likewise? I've had to ask myself that question about US politics.
    • by IWannaBeAnAC (653701) on Friday December 05, 2008 @05:01AM (#26000383)

      Conroy is known as quite a back-room numbers man and power broker, but he isn't very well liked either. There are rumors that he's been set up to take the fall when the filtering scheme fails, along with the almost inevitable failure of the national broadband infrastructure tender process.

      Rudd's interest in this is that both the filtering and the national broadband scheme were election promises, and while I admire his integrity in trying to carry through with all of his election promises (unlike the previous mob, who turned election lying into a high art), I really wish he would dump the promises that were clearly stupid. (I see now he has dumped the dumb idea of forming a Department of Homeland Security. That was surely an ill-advised scheme to attract right-wingnuts to vote for the Labor party.)

      But the bottom line is that there is a real possibility that Rudd is complicit in setting Conroy up for the fall: he not only gets Conroy out of the front bench (and possibly out of parliament), but he also gets to dump the election promise of internet filtering with the excuse that it isn't his fault that Conroy botched it.

    • by Malekin (1079147) on Friday December 05, 2008 @06:46AM (#26000909)

      There are protests planned around Australia around December 15. I'm going.

      All of the protests are on December 13th, including the one in Brisbane (assuming by the fact you link a Brisbane newspaper that that's where you are) Details can be found at http://stopthecleanfeed.com/ [stopthecleanfeed.com]

  • by retech (1228598) on Friday December 05, 2008 @04:13AM (#26000111)
    I am completely tired of listening to people use the "for the safety of the children" argument for every damn thing. 20 years ago there were just as many pedophiles per ca pita as there were 100 years ago and will be 100 years from now. We just hear about them more now!

    News agencies are businesses. They are in no way shape or form an altruistic humanitarian agency that is set to expand our minds. They want to scare the piss out of you because, no different than the movies, TERROR SELLS. And terrifying people about innocent children sells more. If you make people afraid enough than they'll give up everything they have to feel safe again. They will not consider their actions. It's a cut and run response to a perceived danger. No different than being chased (literally) by a wolf. You run fast till the danger is gone and when you get the chance you think.

    In the latter part of the 20th century we willingly gave up (en masse) our desire to think. We let agency after agnency, group after group, make policy and laws to envelope us and make us appear protected. All the while those very structures were sucking the very marrow from our bones - making enormous profits off our fear.

    The net will effectively be the last stand of us as a species. Our very society will either evolve or fall into dystopia in the next 10 yrs over the issues surrounding the internet. From over priced billing to international spying, everything we do, every bit of culture we have, all of what it is to be us will pass through a point on line.

    And someone will want to control it and profit off of it.

    We either make a choice to say no and let it be completely free. Or we make a choice to let them control us. Issues like the Oz law will be seen by history as a major turning point. That is, of course, if that history remains intact.
    • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Friday December 05, 2008 @04:33AM (#26000209)

      In the latter part of the 20th century we willingly gave up (en masse) our desire to think

      Speak for yourself. Censorship only helps fulfill the needs of those who already decide that they don't want to think. The rest of us will continue in silence. Thought is one thing that cannot (yet) be wholly censored, though people try their darnedest.

      • by earlymon (1116185) on Friday December 05, 2008 @07:14AM (#26001059) Homepage Journal

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet) [wikipedia.org] --

        An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.

        I disagree with part of what unlametheweak wrote above. HOWEVER - while controversial, his comment is neither disruptive to the conversation nor is it obviously intended to evoke an emotional response for its own sake.

        As I write this, the above post has been modded Troll - and it is not. That is not an opinion that it's not trolling - it is a statement of fact.

        Will whatever fucking dweeb or dweebs going around abusing their fucking mod privileges please fucking stop? There have been a lot of LOT of unnecessary Troll mods in the last few weeks and I, for one, am getting sick of it. Mod points are here to help us focus and defocus interest - they are not intended for your personal censorship agenda.

        The irony of having to explain this in a thread on free speech is maddening in the extreme.

        Comrades all - N.B. that I am not posting anonymously.

        • I agree (perhaps obviously). Before I read your post I did post an explanation which may be more agreeable to you.

          Best regards,

          UTW

          • by earlymon (1116185)

            No problemo - my partial disagreement didn't rise to the level of posting it. It was the (very practical) part on operating silently - some of us have big mouths (me) and would rather die (or lose karma) than to take something lying down. That's because I've been silent and have never forgiven myself, so far as I know. :)

        • by deniable (76198)
          It's pretty obvious, the trolls are getting mod points.
    • by earlymon (1116185)

      I am completely tired of listening to people use the "for the safety of the children" argument for every damn thing.

      I completely agree.

      For the part of the argument that children do need net protection - I have it on the desktop and so restrict the kiddies in my house. Not that adult a puzzle to solve.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by retech (1228598)
        And that's the other half of this.

        At what point did we cease being responsible for our own actions?

        I applaud you doing the correct action with your children. Sadly our world is overrun by people who want "them" to responsible for their own mistakes as parents. (you can replace parent with any other noun/responsibility)
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Unfortunately it appears that many politicians have been reared incorrectly, and they are taking their bad moral upbringing and imposing it on everybody else.

      • by theaveng (1243528) on Friday December 05, 2008 @07:14AM (#26001065)

        I don't filter anything.

        If my children stumble across something, I encourage them to ask questions and I answer them as honestly as possible. After all, I'm preparing my children to be ADULTS which means they need to learn how to deal with the adult world. To shelter them from exposure to the real world means I'm not doing my job as a parent (turning children into adults).

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by earlymon (1116185)

          Good for you - you're exercising your right of responsibility, just in another way. I salute you.

          I raised my kids with just one rule - Think With Your Brain. No matter what they did, if they could show that they were really thinking with their brains, and could handle my follow-on arguments, then they passed.

          Nowadays, I'm a grandparent (that's the kiddies in my house that I filter for), and I think with my brain - and I don't think I want to precipitate porn discussions with my grandkids. That's my kid's

        • > I don't filter anything.
          >
          > If my children stumble across something, I encourage them to ask questions and I answer them as honestly
          > as possible. After all, I'm preparing my children to be ADULTS which means they need to learn how to deal
          > with the adult world. To shelter them from exposure to the real world means I'm not doing my job as a
          > parent (turning children into adults).

          I agree with your last paragraph completely, BUT, I still filter, for a couple of reasons:

          1. Nearly every week

          • by theaveng (1243528)

            (shrug)

            "If you didn't want your kids to see HamstersGoneWild.com or the Cable Playboy channel, then you should have SAID so. The blame for not telling me what restrictions you have for YOUR children is your own fault. Not mine." Of course they'll get angry, but I don't care. Whatever.

    • by Phurge (1112105) on Friday December 05, 2008 @04:53AM (#26000299)
      "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" - quote from Mein Kampf.....
    • Is it just me, or am I sick and tired of listening to overblown invective such as "The net will effectively be the last stand of us as a species." I mean, seriously...another battle in the eternal struggle of safety vs. liberty, and this guy is calling it not just the end of an era, but the very end of the human race? Jeez this cheeses me off, and all of that other "we're doomed because we have temporary economic problems" crap that's all over these days.
      • by earlymon (1116185)

        Your homepage, I notice, supports - ironically - the sale communist posters. Given the great number of people that lost their lives in the gulag - that all began with the suppression of ideas - I for one am not the least bit surprised that a strong advocacy of free speech cheese whizes you right off.

        No need to even try to remind of the defenses at Nuremberg.

        But perhaps you're right about failure of the species being an overblown invective. After all, the 20th century saw the death of millions made possibl

        • It looks more like another spam site that has links to shopping sites. More sleazy capitalism than communism.

          • by earlymon (1116185)

            More sleazy capitalism than communism.

            Precisely.

            FWIW - that's also an apt description of the many pseudo-communists I've met.

      • by Intrinsic (74189)

        Make no mistake about this, the children argument is just a diversion from the real truth of the matter. Some people in power want to limit the internet's potential to be used as a tool for freedom. The question we have to ask ourselves is. Why did they decide to start with Australia? is it because its easier to pass draconian laws there? Who is behind the support of this censorship?

        If I was an Aussie, I would be up in arms right about now.

    • by Improv (2467)

      get over yourself

    • And terrifying people about innocent children sells more.

      Well that's hardly new. The Midwich Cuckoos [wikipedia.org] was first published in 1957 and made into movies in 1960 [wikipedia.org], 1963 [wikipedia.org], and 1995 [wikipedia.org].

  • by Megaport (42937) on Friday December 05, 2008 @04:15AM (#26000119)

    Just as the USA have lost their moral right to castigate countries who use torture as a tool of statecraft, so too has Australia now given up her right to criticise those authoritarian regimes who would limit the freedom of communication of their citizens.

    Given that all the experts (yes, ALL the experts) agree that it won't stop anyone who actually traffics in this despicable content from peddling their filth even for a moment, can anyone here tell me what else we're buying for the price of our moral high ground on this issue?

    China will be laughing their socks off at us next time we try to mention the censorship of news and internet in their country - no matter what language our leaders speak the message in.

    --M

    • Just as the USA have lost their moral right to castigate countries who use torture as a tool of statecraft,

      I think "moral high ground" and "moral authority" are bogus concepts. Something is right or wrong regardless of the character of the person/nation pointing it out.

      If you're torturing for statecraft, you deserve to be criticized. Even if the (hypo)criticizer is the U.S.

    • by genner (694963)

      China will be laughing their socks off at us next time we try to mention the censorship of news and internet in their country - no matter what language our leaders speak the message in.

      --M

      Yeah, I'm sure China was just about to consider taking the great firewall down and then this happened. I'm completely against the filter but your argument just makes our side look bad.

  • network performance so they're only testing 10k? What happens when mass censoring goes live and, inevitably, blocks more than 10k?
  • Cooperation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by unlametheweak (1102159) on Friday December 05, 2008 @04:57AM (#26000339)

    These concerns will be carefully considered during a 'live' pilot of ISP filtering which will test a range of content filtering solutions in a real world environment, with the cooperation of ISPs (including mobile telephone operators) and their customers.

    - Ref, http://www.dbcde.gov.au/communications_for_consumers/funding_programs__and__support/cyber-safety_plan/internet_service_provider_isp_filtering/isp_filtering_live_pilot [dbcde.gov.au]

    What "customer" would willingly go to an illegal Web site in order to test a government filtering system. Unless the government is giving them a list of banned URLs and an amnesty from prosecution then this testing will largely be bogus. Though I don't know how they define "cooperation".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2008 @05:11AM (#26000433)

    Last night I signed up for a deal for an encrypted VPN outside of Oz.
    $10/month or $120/year buys me my freedom if the world goes belly up.
    I tried it for the first time last night. Random IP, switch on/off when you need it, slight increase in latency (450ms) - no probs when torrenting, I set up off-shore DNS servers too. Had to stuff around with router settings though.

    Now if you pay an average of $50/month for broadband and an extra $120/year guarantees you privacy and freedom, then that's the way to go.

    • by cdrguru (88047)

      Wouldn't it make sense to (a) see if this affects you in the slightest bit and (b) see if it is actually implemented?

      It certainly sounds like the ISPs are doing this under protest in a manner designed to bring the Internet to a halt on 24 Dec. I'd guess that on the 26th things might be a little different.

      Of course, nobody is going to stop you spending money needlessly. That is how the consumer culture works.

  • by rastoboy29 (807168) on Friday December 05, 2008 @05:11AM (#26000441) Homepage
    It seems like lately the Aussies are mimicking the U.S., only more so, no matter how insane.  I hope for their sake that they stop soon.

    Unless, of course, the U.S. is headed into an era of reasonable behavior, in which case I defy them to do _that_ in spades.
    • that the US has a bill of rights and constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and association. Australia, a former penal colony and military outpost of the British Empire, has no constitutional guarantees of any rights other than there not being a religious test for public office. That, and the apathy of the citizens of the "Lucky Country", allows the government of the day to get away with things such as passing draconian sedition laws, banning online advocacy of suicide or euthanasia, banning video g

      • It's important to understand that the US Constitution's guarantees of freedom do not consist only of the Bill of Rights. As written, it created a sharply limited government under which most of the things the US federal government does today, eg. pensions and health care funding, are illegal. (See eg. the commentary in the Federalist Papers about "interstate commerce" and "general welfare.") Today we've abandoned all of the Constitutional restrictions on federal power except for some aspects of the Bill of R
  • by b4upoo (166390) on Friday December 05, 2008 @05:55AM (#26000639)

    It is a rotten shame that Australia now has to battle with censorship. Obviously America and Europe also have a running battle with those that would control what we see and read.
              Any man that would censor what I read is my mortal enemy. I hope others will not be willing to play nice with such ilk. Censorship is always evil.

  • Scott Ludlum (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2008 @06:11AM (#26000709)

    Been a labour supporter forever but this prompted me to become a paying member of the Greens, mainly to support Senator Ludlum for actually attacking Controy vigorously on the issue. Here's a video: http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/tv/senator-ludlam-questions-minister-conroy-internet-censorship

    It's clear writing to Conroy would be useless.

  • There is an online petition [getup.org.au] which will mail the government. So far, it has received around 80,000 signatures within a few days.

    If you're Australian, you probably should sign it and tell your friends about it. Unless this meets with overwhelming opposition, the government will force it through.

  • I thought the next steps were as follows:

    To resist politically by any means necessary, including taking to the streets.

    To resist electronically by circumventing this bullshit.

The 11 is for people with the pride of a 10 and the pocketbook of an 8. -- R.B. Greenberg [referring to PDPs?]

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