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Censorship Your Rights Online

Australia To Block BitTorrent 674

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the who-saw-that-coming dept.
Kevin 7Kbps writes "Censorship Minister Stephen Conroy announced today that the Australian Internet Filters will be extended to block peer-to-peer traffic, saying, 'Technology that filters peer-to-peer and BitTorrent traffic does exist and it is anticipated that the effectiveness of this will be tested in the live pilot trial.' This dashes hopes that Conroy's Labor party had realised filtering could be politically costly at the next election and were about to back down. The filters were supposed to begin live trials on Christmas Eve, but two ISPs who volunteered have still not been contacted by Conroy's office, who advised, 'The department is still evaluating applications that were put forward for participation in that pilot.' Three days hardly seems enough time to reconfigure a national network."
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Australia To Block BitTorrent

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  • *sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by siyavash (677724) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:00AM (#26200223) Journal

    All I can say is "*sigh*" ...They really, truely do not get this "Internet thingy". :)

    • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross&yahoo,ca> on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:10AM (#26200387)

      What do you expect?

      1) Most politicians are lawyers, philosphers, judges, etc. Thus they will see these sorts of things from their perspective.

      2) Techies have a serious communication problem. They believe in free without copyright, right to pirate, etc, etc. Take that attitude to lawyers and guess what answer you are going to get.

      3) Techies don't get the business world. They don't think in terms of ROI, etc. And last I looked that is how the world turns, ROI, etc.

      Techies need to start policing themselves. Yes BitTorrent has a real need, but until these protocols are managed to stop piracy nothing will change.

      Here is the thing, I hate the drug laws, despise them actually. But I can't go out and start smoking pot because today it is STILL ILLEGAL.... The solution is to legalize pot, not smoke it and yell at the top of my lungs and say how dumb the laws are (they are...) How do I legalize pot? Work with the system and get it legalized.

      • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Nursie (632944) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:21AM (#26200573)

        "Work with the system and get it legalized."

        Good luck with that. Meanwhile, those of us that have given up on the political process, given up any thoughts that "we, the people" will ever do anything about the daily abuse of our rights by politicians, given up any thoughts that most people even have a clue about any political issue beyond which candidate has the best hair, given up on the populace showing any sign of intelligence at all... we'll be having a quiet smoke somewhere out of the way, if you'd like to join us, because life's too short to wait for society to sort itself out.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by xonar (1069832)
          I second this, just got this bad-ass new ash-catcher yesterday.
        • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

          by moxley (895517) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:46AM (#26200967)

          I totally agree....If my mod points weren't gone I'd + insightful on that....

          The problem is that we don't truly have a functioning system - what we have could be described as forms of institutionalized corruption.

          With this precious life that I have I have decided that I am not going to let tyrants deny me of freedoms I wish to undertake that meet my personal ethics, which are partly informed by things such as "the golden rule" etc.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by davester666 (731373)

            Australia, where you go if you want your tubes tied...

        • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

          by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross&yahoo,ca> on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:48AM (#26200985)

          This is a crap attitude...

          The real problem here is that people become disenfranchised because they don't involve. After all why should I care about you because all you do is complain, whine, etc.

          When you say people don't have a political clue, I would argue what you are saying is that people don't have a clue because they don't agree with you.

          Well guess what this is a democracy (representative in most) and if you don't make yourself heard then it is your FAULT, not the politicians, nor the "clueless" voters who do vote and make themselves heard.

          • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Nursie (632944) on Monday December 22, 2008 @12:01PM (#26201203)

            "When you say people don't have a political clue, I would argue what you are saying is that people don't have a clue because they don't agree with you."

            Nope, I say it because they continue to vote along party lines, regardless of actual political actions. In the UK that would be "I'm working class, we vote labour" or "daddy always voted conservative" or any one of a myriad of tribal identifications with a particular party that preclude people actually thinking about anything much.

            Well guess what this is a democracy (representative in most) and if you don't make yourself heard then it is your FAULT, not the politicians, nor the "clueless" voters who do vote and make themselves heard.

            Who said I don't vote? Of course I vote. I just don't kid myself that anything will change. Established politicians routinely ignore the populace when they do try to speak (wars spring to mind), ignore scientific evidence in reports they commission because it doesn't fit with the political message they're pushing or their preconceived notions. Add in a little propaganda and a population conditioned to associate drugs with crime and death, susceptible to politicians doing their moral grandstanding acts and you have a recipe for a society that's not going to fix itself any time soon and is actively hostile to outsider opinions.

            I'm sorry if you don't like my attitude, but working within the system is, AFAICT, an utter waste of time.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              I'm sorry if you don't like my attitude, but working within the system is, AFAICT, an utter waste of time.

              Never let anyone win on walkover. Some fights you may know you will lose beforehand, but at least you can enjoy seeing government officials publically humiliated.

              Take a look at the Pirate Party in Sweden. Although I feel the name ought to change to the Privacy Party in order to better reflect it's core values, despite the name, it's momentum is really building. There are "awakenings" happening all over the place. The old party structure try to confine people to the old left-right spectrum, but people are

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Qzukk (229616)

            After all why should I care about you because all you do is complain, whine, etc.

            People put forward working ideas all the time, and get shot down because "Techies don't get the business world." Maybe if the business world was willing to make the effort to meet halfway, people would be more willing to make the effort to work with them. Alas, people complain and whine against any suggestion that politicians ought to know anything at all about what they're passing laws about. Why, if they did, how would any

          • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Endo13 (1000782) on Monday December 22, 2008 @01:07PM (#26202233)

            The thing is, the problem doesn't even begin with clueless voters. The problem begins with the fact that all the choices you have to vote on are bad. I mean really, a choice between 2 candidates that are both going to take the country even further into the crapper? It's like your financial advisor giving you a choice between setting your cash on fire or flushing it down the toilet.

            Give me a government system where literally anyone who is competent has a real chance to get elected, and I'll agree that my vote matters.

          • Re:*sigh* (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Artemis3 (85734) on Monday December 22, 2008 @02:15PM (#26203207)

            The system IS crap and won't let you do anything the big parties don't want, closing any pacific way out. See Greece for example.

            These guys are wrong, the RIAA and MPAA, and big game publishers like EA are wrong; this is resistance and they can't stop it, and they won't stop Bittorrent in Australia or anywhere else either. The protocol is not going to be improved to help those who are wrong, it will be improved to resist and bypass the old fools who just don't get it. Put more restrictions and the answer will be widespread strong anonymous p2p. Prosecute sharers and see a rise in cryptographic and stenographic content. This is not cooperation with the system, this is struggle against the system until they behave or get retired.

            Sharing is caring, period.

          • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

            by jlarocco (851450) on Monday December 22, 2008 @03:16PM (#26203919) Homepage

            A person shouldn't have to complain to the government to keep their rights and be left alone.

            The question isn't why you should care about me - it's why you should have anything to do with me at all.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Ephemeriis (315124)

            This is a crap attitude...

            The real problem here is that people become disenfranchised because they don't involve

            People get disenfranchised because various political groups intentionally disenfranchise them - at least here in the U.S. that's how it works. Look at just about any national election in the last 20 years or so... There'll be some precinct somewhere that's trying to disenfranchise some segment of the voting population.

            When you say people don't have a political clue, I would argue what you are saying is that people don't have a clue because they don't agree with you.

            When I say that people don't have a political clue it has nothing to do with whether they agree with me or not... It has to do with people voting directly against their best interests. It

          • Re:*sigh* (Score:4, Insightful)

            by suckmysav (763172) <suckmysavNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday December 22, 2008 @07:01PM (#26206247) Journal

            There are four types of voters in modern politics.

            1) The cheerleaders

            These are the wonks that always vote the same way and remain totally oblivious to the shortcomings of their chosen "side"

            2) The fanatics

            These are the single issue voters that vote solely on the issue that concerns them. Mostly Greenies and Fundies.

            3) The Morons

            Vote for the best haircut or the best pork-barrel artist without giving much though to much of anything.

            4) The Disillusioned.

            These are the ones who realise that both parties are corrupt and essentially the same so they either abstain from voting entirely or try and find an independent local candidate who has reasonably sane views.

            I count myself as #4

        • by Xenographic (557057) on Monday December 22, 2008 @12:44PM (#26201899) Homepage Journal

          This should be solved Australian style. Just arrange so that this crazy filter guy has to be rescued from his locked office, where he gets found drunk and naked with a sheep and a pile of kiwis.

          That should put an end to things, unless that helps him get reelected in New Zeland...

      • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:22AM (#26200609) Homepage

        What have HTTP done to prevent the massive filesharing through HTTP GET downloads?

        What have the FTP protocol done to prevent it for being used as the central hubs for all cracker groups?

        There's nothing else going on here than some politicians trying to get some free goodwill from the RIAA (A=Australia?) and the panicking parent crowd.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by grarg (94486)
          Random point of information: Australia's equivalent of the RIAA just jumbles the letters around a bit to make ARIA.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by squiggleslash (241428)

            I'm pretty sure that just jumbling the letters around isn't covered by fair use, especially when it's fairly obvious you're a cheap knock-off of the real thing.

            Let's hope the RIAA sends MediaSentry after these ARIA people and forces them to pay a $5,000 fine for blatant copyright infringement...

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by KovaaK (1347019)

          The reason that BitTorrent is getting more attention is because it's more practical for the illegal spread of such files. HTTP/FTP involves the use of specific servers that have limited bandwidth, so it can't send to unlimited users. BitTorrent doesn't have that problem since the users are sending the data as well (assuming that enough people don't mind seeding for a small period of time after they finish their download).

      • by mikael_j (106439)

        1) Most politicians are lawyers, philosphers, judges, etc. Thus they will see these sorts of things from their perspective.

        Also known as, they don't listen to people who know the subject, they listen to lobbyists.

        2) Techies have a serious communication problem. They believe in free without copyright, right to pirate, etc, etc. Take that attitude to lawyers and guess what answer you are going to get.

        I'd have to say this isn't just a problem with techies/geeks/nerds/whatever you want to call us, the problem is also with people who have a "the nerd is talking so I might as well zone out and think about banging my mistress until he's done" attitude.

        3) Techies don't get the business world. They don't think in terms of ROI, etc. And last I looked that is how the world turns, ROI, etc.

        No, I'm pretty sure what makes the world turn can be explained much more satisfactory using physics than economics, that business = all that matters is some sort of univer

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by SerpentMage (13390)

          What kind of cynical crap was that?

          They listen to people, but they also listen to people who can say their point without going on a rant.

          BTW I am a techie as well, but I am in the market and have seen the difference in opinion. The problem with techie's is that they talk without actually making sense. They gab, and gab...

          Let me give you an example. When oil was peaking at 150 I created a simple to understand powerpoint on how this was a scam and how it needed to be controlled. I sent it to a few senators an

      • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Funny)

        by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreakNO@SPAMeircom.net> on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:34AM (#26200785) Homepage Journal

        The solution is to legalize pot, not smoke it and yell at the top of my lungs and say how dumb the laws are (they are...) How do I legalize pot? Work with the system and get it legalized.

        Like slavery!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hatta (162192)

        Here is the thing, I hate the drug laws, despise them actually. But I can't go out and start smoking pot because today it is STILL ILLEGAL.... The solution is to legalize pot, not smoke it and yell at the top of my lungs and say how dumb the laws are (they are...) How do I legalize pot? Work with the system and get it legalized.

        When has that worked? If everyone had your attitude, the drug warriors would simply argue that the drug war is working well, because everyone is obeying the law, and declare it a su

      • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

        by unlametheweak (1102159) on Monday December 22, 2008 @12:22PM (#26201543)

        Work with the system and get it legalized.

        1) It's been tried. Trends in most countries are towards authoritarianism and more laws, not less.
        2) The "system" is broken towards rationality. Simpler (or simple-minded) solutions are almost always more "rational" to people than more correct and thoughtful solutions. It takes time and energy and diligence and intelligence to think things through logically, for this reason sound bites like "think of the children" have more effect on the status quo than an essay from an ivory tower scholar or a slashdot geek. The democratic "system" cannot escape the lowest common denominator.
        3) Money talks. If you aren't a part of the "system" then chances are you don't have any.

        I think Napoleon had it right: revolutions often do work, but the unfortunate thing is that even revolutionaries who get into power let the power get into their head.

      • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

        by meringuoid (568297) on Monday December 22, 2008 @12:32PM (#26201697)
        Techies need to start policing themselves. Yes BitTorrent has a real need, but until these protocols are managed to stop piracy nothing will change.

        Good luck with that, Cnut [wikipedia.org].

        BitTorrent was created by one man. If he had created a system that included some way to prevent piracy, it would have been a straightforward job for another man to remove that defect, and create a BitTorrent 2 without it. Then BitTorrent 2 would have become popular worldwide. It's not that techies are all hard at work filling the world with villainous P2P apps - it's just that whenever one does create such a thing, the great masses of the public begin using it with enormous gusto.

        You ask that nobody, anywhere in the world, ever, should write any software that transmits data over networks, without seeing to it that the media cartels have power of veto over what it transmits. I wish you all the worst of luck in achieving this.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by suitepotato (863945)

        Given that the system is inherently tilted towards those with money to pay politicians off, and that the courts are used to get things pushed into law backhandedly rather than through the political process (by both sides), the common folk are left with not a lot of options. Between political/social correctness on the left and fear mongering from the right, both sides seek to use government to infringe on the rights of the people. What happens when you push people into a corner? They fight back. It is perfec

    • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

      by orielbean (936271) on Monday December 22, 2008 @12:00PM (#26201181)
      they have a censorship minister. enough said!
  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:00AM (#26200235) Homepage
    Be that software, video or music -- why should I be prevented from sharing it with world ?
  • by ILuvSP (625676) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:02AM (#26200255)
    This does not fair well for all the World of Warcraft players in Australia. Blizzard "legally" uses p2p to distribute patches and such. I guess only one question remains to be asked to all Australian WoW players...Can I have your stuff? Sorry, it had to be said.
    • by MasterOfMagic (151058) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:06AM (#26200331) Journal

      <pedantic nitpick>TCP/IP is a P2P protocol. It was designed so that anybody could be a client and anybody could be a server - there were no special addresses that were client-only or server-only. Anything that flows over TCP/IP is using a P2P network, and I would guess that there is plenty of legal content flowing over TCP/IP.</pedantic nitpick>

    • by cromar (1103585) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:11AM (#26200397)
      You're right, and I'm glad they chose that distribution model because it will certainly get a lot of people's attention when they can't update their favorite game. Hopefully Blizzard will make some effort to point out the stupidity of this law, although I'm sure they will fix the updates in Australia if they are forced to...

      Also, a nitpick, quotes aren't used that way. They are legally using bt, or *legally* using bt, but "legally" using bt implies that they aren't really using bt legally, or that they are using it in a way that is hardly legal or only pretending to be legal.
    • by plasmacutter (901737) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:11AM (#26200401)

      Blizzard will introduce a new achievement: death to the labour party.

      A million aussies will charge the halls of parliament on horseback screaming "FOR THE HORDE!"

    • by oahazmatt (868057) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:11AM (#26200409) Journal
      True, this does not bode well for WoW players, or people distributing files legally. This ban may serve as a wake-up call. File sharing has a very negative association with it, and many in Government positions will just take it to mean "piracy", as groups such as the RIAA and MPAA (and their overseas counterparts) imply it to be synonymous.

      Now, Australia blocks bittorrent. So, you've got a lot of pissed off WoW players and hopefully at least one of them will stand up and say the block is not right at all. And what about the Australian ISPs who download linux distros through bittorrent?

      This block is being put into effect by someone who clearly doesn't understand exactly what bittorrent or file sharing is. I'm sure he will be thoroughly informed soon enough.
    • by ZarathustraDK (1291688) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:21AM (#26200581)
      - Darkrogue hits Bennygnome for 400 damage.
      - Australian Officer casts search-warrant on Darkrogue.
      Darkrogue says: "What the h..."
      - Darkrogue dies.
      Darkrogue has left the game.
  • goodluckwiththat (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hcmtnbiker (925661) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:04AM (#26200285)
    The thing about P2P that's not the same for the rest of the internet is it's protocols are always evolving. Sure you'll be able to stop some stuff today, but you'll always be one step behind in a feudal battle against users, and in this case registered voters who may not fully agree with your ideas.
  • by OzPeter (195038) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:04AM (#26200287)
    Government report shows censor ship scheme is flawed [theage.com.au]

    When will this thing finally die? Every man and his dog acknowledges that it is a steaming pile of political rhetoric, yet it still goes on and on and on.

    From the article I linked to:

    Australia's largest ISP, Telstra, and Internode have said they will not participate in the trials. The second largest ISP, Optus, will run only a scaled- back trial of just the first tier while iiNet, the third biggest provider, has said it will participate simply to show the Government that its scheme will not work.

  • The most poisonous spiders and snakes on the planet and a government full of fucktards. At least up here we don't have the most poisonous spiders and snakes. We just replaced a bunch of the fucktards with a new batch of fucktards too. Maybe you guys should give that a try.

    A while back the freeswan project was trying to implement opportunistic end-to-end encryption with the eventual goal that all traffic on the Internet would be seamlessly encrypted. Whatever became of that? It seems like it's a good time

    • by imroy (755)

      We just replaced a bunch of the fucktards with a new batch of fucktards too. Maybe you guys should give that a try.

      We did, last year. Our previous bunch of fucktards had been in power for eleven years. They were a royal bunch of fucktards but stuff like this isn't making the new bunch of fucktards look much better.

  • Aren't those distributed through BT technology? Won't this adversely impact the gaming segment? Or will they find that it's been automagically exempted from filtering?

  • Expect the newest blocking-filtering avoiding P2P technology to go live within hours of this filter going up, ensuring that your influx of music and porn will be virtually uninterrupted.
  • Citizens of Orwellstralia, it's about time you rose up and revolted. It may be already too late.
  • by gzipped_tar (1151931) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:11AM (#26200411) Journal

    > Censorship Minister Stephen Conroy announced

    What is a "Censorship Minister"? Is there a "Ministry of Censorship" in Australia??

  • by spidercoz (947220) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:15AM (#26200459) Journal
    you used to be cool
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by grarg (94486)
      Imagine "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells" as a redneck and you'll get an insight into the mentality of a sizeable portion of the Australian electorate.
    • by Ecuador (740021)

      Why funny? I grew up in Europe and I can tell you in the 80s you couldn't go much cooler than Crocodile Dundee...
      Then it was Vanilla Ice's turn...

  • So, like, if I am applying to also become, um, like a "Censorship Minister" somewhere, like, what needs to be on my resume or CV?

    Spent college years with a big fat magic marker, blacking out a lot of stuff in the university library?

    Maybe he duct-tapped up the mouths of protesting fellow students.

    He should least have to pedigree to call himself the "Minister of Information" instead.

    • by Andr T. (1006215)
      He's the "Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy". "Censorship Minister" is just a lovely /. nickname.
  • Question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If they have tiered internet services, how many people who presently pay for the high end will no longer need said services if they have no P2P?

    The ISPs may well find themselves with the same users, but the users paying less (lower tier) if they have no P2P.

  • by leamanc (961376) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:20AM (#26200567) Homepage Journal
    Australia reports a rise in connections to proxy servers in the USA.
  • As they want you to use bit torrent to save on sever bandwidth to download it.

  • Could someone find the blog? I found this post [dbcde.gov.au]

    To give Australian households the necessary confidence, the Government is working to promote an online civil society through its $125.8 million Cyber-Safety Plan. This contains a comprehensive set of measures to combat online threats and help parents and educators protect children from inappropriate material.

    It includes funding for:

    * education and information measures

    * law enforcement

    * helplines and websites

    * ISP filtering

    * consultative arrangements with industry, child protection bodies and children

    * further research to identify possible areas for further action.

    • by Andr T. (1006215) <andretaff@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:24AM (#26200627)
      Found it [dbcde.gov.au]:

      The Government understands that ISP-level filtering is not a 'silver bullet'. We have always viewed ISP-level filtering as one part of a broader government initiative for protecting our children online.

      Technology is improving all the time. Technology that filters peer-to-peer and BitTorrent traffic does exist and it is anticipated that the effectiveness of this will be tested in the live pilot trial.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by roystgnr (4015)

        Technology is improving all the time. Technology that filters peer-to-peer and BitTorrent traffic does exist

        Do you think he realizes that peer-to-peer and BitTorrent traffic are based on this "technology" stuff too?

  • There is (Score:5, Funny)

    by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:24AM (#26200643) Journal

    Only one way to block [slashdot.org] BitTorrent.

  • A Good Thing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by splodus (655932) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:27AM (#26200683)

    I think the sooner an 'important' state does this sort of thing the better.

    The current situation is a chaotic cat and mouse game that's gradually playing into the hands of the publishing industry.

    If a big state blocks and censors parts of the internet, they can probably make it stick. The result might be an incentive for people to start encrypting data by default, and I kind of think that would be a good thing for the whole world.

    Here in the UK the government is up to all sorts of tricks - the RIP Act gives them the power to monitor all internet traffic and store it for up to 2 years. Even your local council can request to see which web sites you've been visiting - no need to involve the police or the courts, just a 'senior official'.

    I think there's just not been a good enough reason so far to encrypt more than the bear minimum. This sort of thing might shove things in the right direction...

  • by faldo (1436633) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:29AM (#26200709)
    And yet there are so many ways that this could comprimise internet security. [banthisurl.com]

    Why the hell aren't Conroy and his cronies listening to the people who know what they're talking about? All social points asside for a moment, there are huge risks with a system like this. Security for one.

    You could man in the middle attack everyone in Australia if you wanted to, and nothing that is being proposed will help stop child porn. The blacklist will leak as was proved yesterday (there's a story about it on the site I mentioned) and when combined with proxies, the very people this plan claims to stop will be given the keys to their perverted kindgoms.

    Is this all just the illusion of safety for the technically illiterate, or is it just me?

  • oh man (Score:2, Funny)

    Australia gets some serious point deductions from my book. seriously. also, -1 for kangaroos.
  • by Jonas Buyl (1425319) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:39AM (#26200853)
    The idea of blocking P2P traffic is flawed in a lot of ways. What defines P2P traffic? TCP protocol IS a P2P-based protocol. Obviously they want to stop the illegal traffic going on but this is not the way and like any type of crime you can't stop it from happening at all. Furthermore, banning the in essence legal means to perform a crime implies that they also intend on banning cars because they can be used to kill people, computers as they can be used to intrude one's privacy and many more examples. The Australian government seems nothing more than a group of hypocrits. Yet again only the honest people will be punished by this because people will always find a way to get what they want. Either through paying for payed hosting services (like Rapidshare), by setting up a proxy or in other ways that will unquestionably discovered soon enough if they choose to push their plans.
  • by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium@@@yahoo...com> on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:40AM (#26200869)

    At least they don't sing about their freedom while it gets taken away.

  • by closetpsycho (1175221) on Monday December 22, 2008 @11:51AM (#26201039)
    I know it's not the ever popular xkcd, but this comic is just too appropriate here. http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20081109 [userfriendly.org]
  • OpenVPN (Score:3, Informative)

    by Danathar (267989) on Monday December 22, 2008 @12:10PM (#26201351) Journal

    Thing is, you can buy for a little extra money a VPN account using OpenVPN for about 20 bucks a month.

    Fully encrypted SSL UDP tunnel with bandwidth that exceeds your cable modem. I've used it for years without any problem.

  • Port 80 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WilyCoder (736280) on Monday December 22, 2008 @12:17PM (#26201465)

    So what's next for BitTorrent then?

    Run it through port 80 or 443?

  • by BenEnglishAtHome (449670) on Monday December 22, 2008 @12:26PM (#26201607)

    Frankly, I don't know if this is a bad thing. We've been saying for years that everyone needs to encrypt everything by default and it hasn't happened because "normal" people don't see the need for their "normal" traffic.

    Take Freenet as an example. It's never reached critical mass and there's little worthwhile content (as of the last time I checked; I gave up on it some time back). But what happens if people can't get their torrents to work and all their mules and limes and kazaas stop working? Freenet with Frost needs just a decent installer package and enough users so that it scales up to reasonable speed. If that happened, how would that get filtered? Would the govt demand the blocking of everything that's encrypted? I can imagine some big players in the e-commerce game might have a thought or two on that subject.

    I don't use bittorrent or any emule/kazaa-like applications, but I think I've read that they all can be configured to encrypt all transfers.

    If governments want to stop "bad" traffic, they should realize that the tools are available for it to all go underground and flourish in ways the govt can't effectively monitor, much less censor. Are governments really stupid enough to hasten that situation?

    I think so. Whether it's Freenet, some other encrypted environment, or just encryption on top of currently popular protocols, part of me welcomes the censorship because I know it will finally start moving people to protect their communications. I think that's a good thing that will come from all this censorsip silliness.

    And to think - If the music industry had just bought out Napster and and used it to its potential, how many man-millenia of labor could have been put to productive use instead of wasted in stupid cat 'n mouse games?

  • by mindaktiviti (630001) on Monday December 22, 2008 @12:38PM (#26201787)
    So what happens if you "accidentally" look at child porn? Can you sue the government for failing to protect you from illegal material? Since you're no longer given to choice to look at the stuff but are blocked automatically, if you happen upon a website where it's hosted I would imagine you can hold them liable for accidentally clicking on something illegal.

    "OH DEAR GOD! It's child porn! I'm suing the Australian government for failing to protect me as they said they would!"
  • by guruevi (827432) <<evi> <at> <smokingcube.be>> on Monday December 22, 2008 @12:52PM (#26202023) Homepage

    First they came for the child pornography on the internet ... and I did not speak up
    Then they came for the organized crime on the internet ... and I did not speak up
    Then they came to 'protect the children' against 'vulgar images' ... and I did not speak up
    Then they came for the illegal warez ... and I did not speak up
    Then they came for my bittorrent ... and I did not speak up
    Then they came for me ... and there is no one left to speak up for me

  • by he-sk (103163) on Monday December 22, 2008 @04:06PM (#26204463)

    Geeks vastly overestimate their influence if they think that a party will lose an election because of bittorrent filtering. The majority has still no idea what filesharing is and those who know are more likely to be young and therefore not of voting age.

    Even if you can vote, know bittorrent and are opposed to its filtering, you still might vote for the labor party. Identity politics is a bitch.

  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Monday December 22, 2008 @04:55PM (#26204933) Journal

    Subj: Please do not block all peer-to-peer traffic

    For one thing, World of Warcraft (a passion for our entire family) depends on P2P for the distribution of updates.

    And where I have absolutely no problem with suppressing child pornography, I believe that in the long term censorship by filtration is not the answer. It's never the answer, in a free society -- no offence, mate, but you're the government and I don't entirely trust you. Once you start filtering content for good reasons, you'll soon be filtering content for bad ones. The answer is to find the perpetrators and take them out. I believe your efforts should be directed toward finding the source of the trash and taking it down, not slowing down the pipes for the rest of us. (name + address) IT consultant since 1969 Husband and devoted father of two

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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