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Australia Censorship The Internet Your Rights Online

Oz Pirate Party Tells the Elderly How To Bypass the Net Filter 275

Posted by timothy
from the take-the-blue-pill-heck-take-them-all dept.
mask.of.sanity writes "When Exit International discovered it was earmarked for Australia's Internet filter blacklist, it wanted to ensure its members could access its pro-euthanasia material, but its members share an average age of 70 — not exactly from the tech generation. So Exit International turned to the filter-hating Pirate Party of Australia, which supplied a 'hacker' who taught a crowded room of grandmas and grandpas how to use proxies and advanced VPN tunnels to access Exit International's material — which the Australian government thinks breaches the moral compass of society. Computerworld has the presentation."
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Oz Pirate Party Tells the Elderly How To Bypass the Net Filter

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  • It sure feels odd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:50AM (#31786946) Homepage

    It'd feel odd to teach a group of old people how to access information about killing themselves.

    But that's the point of the freedom of information - anyone should have the right to seek it out and access it.

    • The presentation was short and simple enough that almost anyone should be able to follow its instructions. If motivated to do so, even the technologically ignorant could have a good chance of bypassing the blocklist.
    • by anarche (1525323) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:00AM (#31786994)

      Yep, crazy world we live in.

      Mind you, these people all want to have their life's options explored. They are not all for killing themselves now, just may not want to be vegetable burdens in the future, much like many of us.

      How long until Capt. Kevin makes it a crime to either
      a) bypass the filter
      b) assist others to bypass the filter
      c) both of the above.

      bloody stupid steve!

      • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:30AM (#31787122) Homepage

        Maybe he can license some filtering technology from China.

        • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Friday April 09, 2010 @05:10AM (#31787342) Homepage

          China's filter is also bypassable. I assume want it that way. The strategy is to ensure that the young and the very concerned have ways to protect themselves individually, to avoid having them motivated to look into organised ways. A classic way to take the wind out of people power.

      • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Friday April 09, 2010 @06:24AM (#31787652)

        In fact, it's such a heinous crime against the moral compass of society, it should probably carry the death penalty.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by NotOverHere (1526201)

          In fact, it's such a heinous crime against the moral compass of society, it should probably carry the death penalty.

          But, if you're looking to reach a website to kill your self... and doing so carries the death penalty... oh... Ooohh!
          You're goooood!

      • by athe!st (1782368) on Friday April 09, 2010 @07:25AM (#31787980)
        Comrade Kevin is only doing what is best for peace and harmony in the People's Republic of Australia
      • by theaveng (1243528)

        How long until Capt. Kevin makes it a crime to either
        a) bypass the filter
        b) assist others to bypass the filter
        c) both of the above.

        bloody stupid steve!

        A leader who ignores a human being's natural right to free speech, or to hear/read the words of the speaker, no longer deserves to be a leader. He may either step-down voluntarily or by force of the citizens' will.

    • by mcvos (645701) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:13AM (#31787056)

      It'd feel odd to teach a group of old people how to access information about killing themselves.

      But that's the point of the freedom of information - anyone should have the right to seek it out and access it.

      Whether a controlled and dignified end to you life should be a moral right may be open to discussion, but at least people should be able to inform themselves on the issue, right?

      • by ultranova (717540) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:30AM (#31787126)

        Whether a controlled and dignified end to you life should be a moral right may be open to discussion, but at least people should be able to inform themselves on the issue, right?

        If people are able to inform themselves on an issue, they might make a choice that's contrary to your moral stance. This is especially likely if your moral stance can be summarized as "people should suffer greatly for my peace of mind". That's why places like Australia, China, Britain, Finland etc. want to restrict their citizens ability to access information.

      • by x2A (858210) on Friday April 09, 2010 @05:28AM (#31787408)

        You're obviously missing the point of what Australia's doing here. Their internet firewall is for blocking child pornography, this is what they said and this is what it was sold as. Obviously then blocking this website reduces child porn... I mean, with sufficient amounts of people taking up this option, it does mean that children will become a larger % of the population, which means they're even more of a target!!!

        If you think people should be allowed access to information about getting "youth in asia" to old people in Australia, then you're a pedophile.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          You're obviously missing the point of what Australia's doing here. Their internet firewall is for blocking child pornography, this is what they said and this is what it was sold as. Obviously then blocking this website reduces child porn... I mean, with sufficient amounts of people taking up this option, it does mean that children will become a larger % of the population, which means they're even more of a target!!!

          If you think people should be allowed access to information about getting "youth in asia" to old people in Australia, then you're a pedophile.

          Maybe Exit International should make a page called "Euthanasia for Child Molesters." That'd help reduce cp AND provide pro-euthenasia info, right ?

          • by x2A (858210)

            Not if they're updating the firewall over the phone... then it becomes "a website for getting the youth in asia to child molesters here?!! Yes block it!!!! .... goddamn immigrants will try anything to get in here!"

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      It'd feel odd to teach a group of old people how to access information about killing themselves.
      But that's the point of the freedom of information - anyone should have the right to seek it out and access it.

      My feelings are opposite, in a certain way.

      The freedom of information, as most freedoms, is one of those things you want to always have because there are some cases where it's important. A breach that reveals my (secret) vote is a severe problem, not because I care the least, I wouldn't mind my choice to wearing a tshirt with my choice, but because I might care, and that case is more important than all others.

      This case is not an example of the "generic use of this freedom" as you seem to be implying. This i

    • by vidnet (580068)

      How about if it was a group of recent divorcees or depressed teenagers?

      This is an extremely cynical way of selling a $75 book, but as you say, freedom of information means for everyone.

      • by totally bogus dude (1040246) on Friday April 09, 2010 @06:04AM (#31787544)

        I don't think it really matters. It's already illegal here to assist people to die, so it doesn't apply. No medical professional is going to assist a teenager or divorcee to end their life, and people who would assist with that aren't going to in any way be deterred by a censor.

        If someone wants to kill themselves, there's plenty of ways to do it and trying to deny access to anything that discusses it is going to be about as effective as denying sex education to kids in the belief that they'll not have sex if you don't tell them about it.

      • We should improve awareness so that the people who live with them can recognize the signs and get them proper help. Denying them access to that kind of information won't fix the underlying problem.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by penix1 (722987)

        How about if it was a group of recent divorcees or depressed teenagers?

        What about them? The whole idea that society should protect you from yourself has led to many an invasive, ineffective and inane law. Let me ask you, if a person is bent on suicide, do you really think a law is going to stop them? If someone is that committed to killing themselves then no amount of banning, blocking or outlawing information is going to stop them.

    • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Friday April 09, 2010 @06:12AM (#31787586)

      breaches the moral compass of society.

      Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't ... and besides, the end of a life is not a situation where you can apply too many absolutes.

      More to the point, however, I'd say Australia's government has been breaching their society's moral compass for some time now. So has mine, for that matter, and I'm American.

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by BikeHelmet (1437881)

      It'd feel odd to teach a group of old people how to access information about killing themselves.

      Yes, it would.

      And yet technically we do that every day. Our media glamorizes things like fast food... okay, perhaps McDonalds isn't so popular anymore, but there seems to be an abundance of advertisements for food that can be cooked in 5 minutes flat. I'm sure eating that food for years and years and years is going to have an effect. The media used to favour smoking - it was huge in both ads and TV shows. These are just two ways of slowly killing yourself, which could knock decades off your life.

      Well... a c

  • Do they just want everyone to live forever? I'm not sure if I, for one, would welcome our new immortal, large-knife wielding overlords.
  • DEBtastic (Score:3, Informative)

    by mdsharpe (1051460) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:58AM (#31786984)
    We may soon need similar lessons here in the UK when we want to access those filtered sites suspected of potentially hosting copyrighted material. Damn, that sounds sad.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mdwh2 (535323)

      Note that we already have web censorship (like Australia, allegedly for "child pr0n" - but see the Wikipedia case for how that works out in practice).

      But yes, it is particularly mad that any pretence of "only child pr0n" is being dropped, and now all it'll take is copyright infringement to get on the blacklist.

  • by xulfer (1368787)
    The article says that each workshop lasts approximately five-and-a-half hours. It's taken me a half-hour just to explain how to properly navigate a website to some of my more elderly firewall. I'm not sure if the allotted time is enough to teach the various concepts and methods of VPN/ssh tunnels and proxies. I've worked with computer science graduates that didn't even properly grasp these concepts after a semester long course. I wish them the best of luck either way.
  • moral compass? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sams67 (880846) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:01AM (#31787002) Homepage
    Currently, as a result of back room deals between the government and the Christian lobby, Australia has a moral anchor rather than a moral compass.
    • Re:moral compass? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrsurb (1484303) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:32AM (#31787146)

      Citation needed for these back room deals.

      I am a Christian and am opposed to this filter. In fact, many Christians are arguing AGAINST this legislation because we have potentially unpopular views which could be silenced through future use of this scheme: http://solapanel.org/article/conroys_internet_filter_full_of_contradictions/ [solapanel.org]

      • Re:moral compass? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:44AM (#31787206) Journal

        But... but... but... How else can we pigeonhole people who support censorship? Next thing you know, you'll be telling us that pinning the rest of our political problems on religion is also wrong!

      • by x2A (858210)

        "many Christians are arguing AGAINST this legislation"

        But not all... and it's the fundamentalists of any religion that have that extra "get up and go" that drives them to achieve things... bad, bad things. Once you open the door to saying it's a good thing for people to believe stuff without reason you're going to find people fighting for more and more "extreme" views. It doesn't matter if it's in the bible, or the koran. The more something is preached, the more people will follow it, look at catholicism. C

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dangitman (862676)

        I am a Christian and am opposed to this filter.

        Well good for you. But the fact is that the idea for this censorship was partly intended to placate the Christian lobby, and there are plenty of public Christian figures in Australia who support it. Just because some Christians oppose it, is not evidence that no Christians had anything to do with it.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        Yes, but these are the sort of "Christians" that will tell you that Jesus was wrong, especially the bits about seperating Church and State and being charitable. They really only worship a political advantage over others.
  • Crazy Australians. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by purpledinoz (573045) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:05AM (#31787018)
    I always thought Australia was a developed country, economically, and politically. This Internet filter craziness makes them seem very un-democratic. What's next? Filtering the opposition party websites? Filtering any websites that has an opposing view of the current government? I don't think that next step is such a big one.
    • by totally bogus dude (1040246) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:19AM (#31787080)

      Undemocratic? The Hungry Beast had a phone poll of 1,000 people conducted, the results are in this Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]. The results indicate that a lot of people actually are in favour of the filter, but it seems to largely depend on how it's phrased and explained.

      I think we have the same problem as pretty much every democracy: everyone gets a vote, but only a small portion of people actually care/know enough about an issue to make an informed choice. And the governments don't seem to be under much pressure to actually be open and honest about what the policies they're pushing will actually achieve. So, the government asks "do you want the Australian Government to block access to things only sickos would want to see like child porn?" and most people say "yes". The government doesn't mention the filter will only block unencrypted HTTP and therefore by absolutely trivial to bypass, or how much it will cost vs the amount of content it'll be blocking, or how effective it will be compared to installing your own filtering software.

      Various online polls show strong opposition to it, but that's pretty much as expected. People who have some idea of how the internet works are hugely opposed to it for technical as well as "freedom" related issues, but people who have no idea (which is most people) just hear "this will stop child rapists and not impact you at all" and are of course going to be for it.

      In a way, it's a lot like the "Free software" debate. Most people don't give a crap if their software is "Free" or not, and don't even think about how having a healthy Free software ecosystem may benefit them (regardless of what they choose to use themselves). But if it all disappeared and there was no alternative but proprietary software from big corporations, they'd realise what they'd lost. But explaining it beforehand? There's just no interest.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Oh yes, the other problem we share with most democracies is that we're normally limited to voting for a party, not particular policies. This works okay if there's a party which has policies you mostly agree with, but not so well otherwise. Since both of the major parties seem to be in favour of the Great (But Ineffective) Firewall of Australia, all you can do is vote for one of the minor parties (e.g. the Pirate Party) and hope they get the message about why you didn't vote for them. However, that only make

      • by loufoque (1400831) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:32AM (#31787140)

        So, the government asks "do you want the Australian Government to block access to things only sickos would want to see like child porn?" and most people say "yes".

        Quite more likely, they ask, "are you ok with the Australian Government blocking access to websites which do not reside in Australia but which content is illegal according to Australian laws?", and they reply "yes" because it makes perfect sense to do so.
        Now why they filter things that are nowhere near illegal or why they can add sites without going through the judicial system that would determine whether it is illegal or not is beyond me.

      • by dorward (129628) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:46AM (#31787214) Homepage Journal

        The results indicate that a lot of people actually are in favour of the filter, but it seems to largely depend on how it's phrased and explained.

        See Yes, Minister:

        Sir Humphrey “You know what happens: nice young lady comes up to you. Obviously you want to create a good impression, you don’t want to look a fool, do you? So she starts asking you some questions: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the number of young people without jobs?”

        Bernard Woolley: “Yes”

        Sir Humphrey “Are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?”

        Bernard Woolley: “Yes”

        Sir Humphrey “Do you think there is a lack of discipline in our Comprehensive schools?”

        Bernard Woolley: “Yes”

        Sir Humphrey “Do you think young people welcome some authority and leadership in their lives?”

        Bernard Woolley: “Yes”

        Sir Humphrey “Do you think they respond to a challenge?”

        Bernard Woolley: “Yes”

        Sir Humphrey “Would you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?”

        Bernard Woolley: “Ohwell, I suppose I might be.”

        Sir Humphrey “Yes or no?”

        Bernard Woolley: “Yes”

        Sir Humphrey “Of course you would, Bernard. After all you told you can’t say no to that. So they don’t mention the first five questions and they publish the last one.”

        Bernard Woolley: “Is that really what they do?”

        Sir Humphrey “Well, not the reputable ones no, but there aren’t many of those. So alternatively the young lady can get the opposite result.”

        Bernard Woolley: “How?”

        Sir Humphrey “Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?”

        Bernard Woolley: “Yes”

        Sir Humphrey “Are you worried about the growth of armaments?”

        Bernard Woolley: “Yes”

        Sir Humphrey “Do you think there is a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?”

        Bernard Woolley: “Yes”

        Sir Humphrey “Do you think it is wrong to force people to take up arms against their will?”

        Bernard Woolley: “Yes”

        Sir Humphrey “Would you oppose the reintroduction of National Service?”

        Bernard Woolley: “Yes”

        Sir Humphrey “There you are, you see Bernard. The perfect balanced sample.”

      • In a way, it's a lot like the "Free software" debate. Most people don't give a crap if their software is "Free" or not, and don't even think about how having a healthy Free software ecosystem may benefit them (regardless of what they choose to use themselves). But if it all disappeared and there was no alternative but proprietary software from big corporations, they'd realise what they'd lost. But explaining it beforehand? There's just no interest.

        Hell, can drop the "free software" part of that and just leave in the "healthy ecosystem" and it would still be just as true.

        • Hell, can drop the "free software" part of that and just leave in the "healthy ecosystem" and it would still be just as true.

          But thats the kicker isn't it. Everyone here on slashdot cares about tech issues, but the vast majority of us don't put that same level of expertise into environmental issues, so when it comes time to vote in our democracy of choice we'll make stupid decisions. Just like other vast majority that make dumb decisions about tech. (I seem to recall reading some old communist propagand

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Zumbs (1241138)

        I think we have the same problem as pretty much every democracy: everyone gets a vote, but only a small portion of people actually care/know enough about an issue to make an informed choice. And the governments don't seem to be under much pressure to actually be open and honest about what the policies they're pushing will actually achieve.

        In an ideal democracy, the press would make the specialized information available to help the general public make an informed choice. Unfortunately, the press seems more likely to run with the pro-filter crowd, in the midst of articles on bloody murder and ads for the newest VW.

        • In an ideal democracy, the press would make the specialized information available to help the general public make an informed choice. Unfortunately, the press seems more likely to run with the pro-filter crowd, in the midst of articles on bloody murder and ads for the newest VW.

          You're only worried about the censorship implications if you're already informed, a very small group, if you're part of the unwashed masses however then you are likely uninformed and can be whipped into an anti-pedophilia hysteria. Which group can you sell more papers to you think ? Unrestrained capitalism: profit over ethic.

      • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)

        ``And the governments don't seem to be under much pressure to actually be open and honest about what the policies they're pushing will actually achieve.''

        I think what's missing is a good evaluation of laws and policies, that determines to what extent they are achieving their stated goals and what side effects they have.

        It seems to me that, for a lot of issues that people feel strongly about, the point of contention isn't so much whether some proposed legislation addresses a situation that should be addresse

    • by stimpleton (732392) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:32AM (#31787142)
      My observations and several unprompted anecdotal stories from tourist friends suggest Australia is actually quite conservative. Robin Williams recently drew criticism for his comments about Australia and the Prime Minister even more so for saying they were not as bad a Rednecks(in the South of the USA).

      I am not famous so I can say what I am about to say with little fear of repercussion. I found southern US folks to be sophisticated compared to Australian Rural communities when I travel both the US and Australia. The Rosa Parkes seat-on-a-bus incident happened a long time ago in the US. While the Cronulla Beach Riots in Sydney happened but a couple years back where ordinary Australians fought pitched battles against foreigners. Politicians in Australia were found to lie about immigrants throwing babies overboard in ships, so that it would bolster their anti immigration stances. Aborigines were shot or hit by cars and killed and the attitudes of police were to treat it as an animal death up till the 1980's.

      Do not confuse a laid back attitude with conservative beliefs. Because Australia, averagely is very conservative.
      • by timmarhy (659436) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:59AM (#31787296)
        well, i've lived in regional australia for 25 years and i've also traveled the southern states.

        your entire post is full of 1/2 truths.

        The cronulla riots were triggered by long standing tensions caused by gangs of australian born lebanese attacking people on cronulla beach. the outbreak of violence was sparked by a 13 yo life saver (life savers are an icon here in oz) being brutally bashed by such a gang for telling them to stop harrasing a female swimmer. just like your rodney king riots.

        the baby over board saga, that was blown out of all proportion by all involved. i wouldn't be throwing stones about illegal immagration if i was you with your countries stance on their southern boarder....

        you'll need to back up your claim about police treating aboriginal deaths the same as animal deaths. i've lived here my whole life and never heard such a claim.

        while i traveled the south i came across the most intollerent gits i've ever met. while i agree that australia is a fairly conservative country, compared to the USA they look like left wing hippies. the impression i got from america is that people like to think they are all freedom loving and open minded, when really they just want THEIR kind of freedom.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by anarche (1525323)

        the Cronulla Beach Riots in Sydney happened but a couple years back where ordinary Australians fought pitched battles against foreigners.

        They were fighting against first generation Aussies (kids of refugees from the Lebanese civil war 67ish), who "refuse" to Australianise.

        Aborigines were shot or hit by cars and killed and the attitudes of police were to treat it as an animal death up till the 1980's.

        1967 (that year again) we voted (by 97% popular vote) to recognise the indigenous popluation as people

        Do not confuse a laid back attitude with conservative beliefs. Because Australia, averagely is very conservative.

        This makes no sense. We are conservative, but moreso because ideas - like decent smartphones - take frikken ages to get to Oz...

    • Filtering opposition party websites is undeniably undemocratic, but at the same time, so is denying a filter to a population that is in favour of it. What do you do for a population who votes against democracy?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Oz is a full on unapologetic nanny state. You wouldn't believe the shenanigans that go on here to save people from themselves, along with hand-wringing when people continue to take risks despite living in a nanny state. "OMG we lowered the speed limit to 36mph and yet young people continue to die in accidents even after we installed 17000 cameras." If a 20yo driver blows .01, it's a 1-year license suspension. It's disgusting. Any sane person on an empty straight 4-lane road will do 45mph -- why is that ille
    • by GF678 (1453005)

      I always thought Australia was a developed country, economically, and politically.

      I think we are, for the most part. The problem is that we have a shitty Government, and the opposition isn't much better either. I can't say it's any better or worse than any other developed nation. Every nation has its problems; the key is that the voting public should be able to educate themselves about what's important in their lives and choose representatives which reflect those ideals.

      Currently, there is a massive backlas

    • Of course we are. This proposal has been written to the specification of the [irrelevant] Christian right who donated loads of money to both major parties. Most in office are still on their payroll.

    • Conroy barracks for Collingwood. Enough said.

  • Moral campass (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pickyouupatnine (901260) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:08AM (#31787032) Homepage
    Hmm.. government trying to dictate to the elderly what is moral in society. One would think that the elderly would have the most conservative view on what is considered moral.
    • Hmm.. government trying to dictate to the elderly what is moral in society.

      It kind of does with every law created, when you think of it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      "Good" to current governments when applied to a particular view (and the laws which stem from that view) is a function with the following variables, in order of importance from most to least:
      1. Ability to reduce power of the people relative to the government;
      2. Value of income from lobbyists;
      3. Number of votes from people;
      4. Adherence to locally established ideological principles.

      1 and 4 are often confused by dabblers.

      Remember, boys: we're sufficiently democratic that we got to choose the representatives wi

      • Re:Moral campass (Score:5, Insightful)

        by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Friday April 09, 2010 @05:28AM (#31787406) Homepage Journal

        This is Australia, we don't have lobbyists.

        We call campaign contributions "bribes" and we call politicians who take them "criminals."

      • by dwandy (907337)

        Our people want these governments

        At best that's true if you believe that democracy is working - I no longer believe this. There's little real accountability - we periodically elect dictators who are largely and often financed by corporate agendas. The political bribe (re-branded as "campaign contribution" to legalise them) is more powerful than the vote.
        We're allowed to choose between a couple of bad choices.
        We're ordering our laws like Chinese food combos: no substitutions, pick a slate of views and or

    • by jimicus (737525)

      That might have been the case in the past, but today it's the baby boomers who are into their '60s and starting to think "I've spent 5 years watching my mum slowly lose her mind to Alzheimers|die horribly of some age-related disease|sit for hours in a piss-soaked cushion in a nursing home somewhere. 10 or 15 years from now that could be me."

      We're living longer than we ever have, and in so doing we're finding that the things you tend to suffer from when you get old can be a lot nastier, much harder to treat

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:20AM (#31787082)

    People have been trying to block the spread of ideas since before the invention of the printing press.
    They've always failed.
    If people want stuff from Exit, then they'll find a way; if not the internet, then via paper.
    How would the Oz Gov justify, for example, banning a site that gave out just the address to write to Exit?
    Or a site where you could leave your name and address to receive information?
    I understand the motivation for blocking interactive sites for paedophiles to exchange their revolting material, but a static public information service?
    Epic fail.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sco08y (615665)

      People have been trying to block the spread of ideas since before the invention of the printing press.
      They've always failed.

      Really? In the States and other countries, there have been fairly extensive "campaign finance" laws. These basically restrict the flow of cash, and thus the ability to spread ideas, for non-incumbent parties. They have been extremely successful at shutting up difficult opposition.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      A static public information service is win win.
      It show the electorate you care and have kept a core promise.
      The problem with the hunt for online the online paedophile exchanges is it can have blow back.
      As http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Ore [wikipedia.org] showed once you start tracking real people in suburbia via CC numbers it can be political difficult as the degree of separation to sitting politicians may have approached zero.
      Best just to filter the everbody.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Angua (1732766)

      I understand the motivation for blocking interactive sites for paedophiles to exchange their revolting material, but a static public information service?
      Epic fail.

      I'm always skeptical when a relatively harmless activity gets banned in order to "prevent" another, more dangerous one. Child pornography is illegal, and rightfully so. But restricting an entire nation's access to the internet in order to make things more difficult for pedophiles? I don't see the benefits myself, but then I am neither a computer genius (understatement!) nor from Australia, so perhaps I'm missing something.

      Personally, I'd rather see increased effort in tracking down the bastards and throwing

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sznupi (719324)

      People have been trying to block the spread of ideas since before the invention of the printing press.
      They've always failed.

      Always?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_of_books_and_burying_of_scholars [wikipedia.org]

      Plus generally, you wouldn't have heard about really succesfull such actions by definition.

  • "exit international" fucking hilarious name for self help on killing yourself.
    • by game kid (805301)
      One member suggested "DIAF Pty.", but peers quickly roasted him for the mere thought.
  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:41AM (#31787196)

    The federal government of Australia, due to some sort of religious-conservative influence, has been really, really anti-euthanasia for some time now. The last major time the issue came to a head was in 1995-97, when the Northwest Territory passed the Rights of the Terminall Ill Act 1995 [wikipedia.org], which allowed euthanasia for the terminally ill, under certain conditions and with a lengthy process. The federal government attempted to pressure NT into repealing the law, and when it refused to do so, in 1997, the federal parliament amended NT's territory charter to specifically remove its ability to pass laws relating to euthanasia (this was possible because NT is a territory, not a state, so its powers of self-government can be reduced by simple legislation).

  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:47AM (#31787224)
    Whoa Slashdot! Why are you running stories like this? Do you want to get this site *BANNED* in Australia? Better tone it down. I suggest the only Aussie news you consider running are positive stories about the Rudd Government:

    Like the one how Conroy gave a plum job for the Governent's Broadband network to Mike Kaiser, a Labor Party stooge who was previously convicted of electoral fraud. A $450K a year job without an interview for a guy who knows nothing about IT or comms and who should be sitting in a prison.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/i-recommended-mike-kaiser-for-nbn-job-says-stephen-conroy/story-e6frgczf-1225827983520 [theaustralian.com.au]

    Submitted this next story to Firehose but it never ran:
    "Stephen Conroy's Internet Filter has received an unexpected boost from the Australian Opposition. Instead of voting down the Filter in the Senate, the Opposition Party Leader Tony Abbot refused to articulate a definitive position on the Filter saying he would "await the final legislation and seek technical assurances from the government on the operations of the filter". Both Tony Abbot and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy who is implementing the Filter have affirmed their strong Christian faith, overwhelming anti-censorship moderates. This raises the question for those opposed to the filter: How can a Democracy work if the only two viable parties both offer the same thing?
    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/web-filter-splits-opposition-20100406-rpf7.html [smh.com.au]

    At least Conroy recently got a taste of his own medicine when Trend Micro's parliamentary web filter blocked politicians from accessing news commentary and train timetables."
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/parliamentary-services-to-probe-trend-micro-filter/story-e6frgakx-1225850540731 [theaustralian.com.au]
  • by AHuxley (892839) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:53AM (#31787256) Homepage Journal
    All Australians paying for privacy.io using Australian based credit cards where raided.
    Australians where raided after isp's where required to submit logs of users frequenting known 'proxy' sites.
    The office of Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy announced a new partnership with Nokia Siemens and Narus to better understand https and onion routing.
    The only way around this "wall of faith" is an encrypted tunnel to a end user in the USA.
    As most Australian ISP's limit all usage to 10's of Gigabytes per month your donation of left over bandwidth could help millions of Australian net users gain access to life saving literature and multimedia.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Samah (729132)
      In other news, where is not the same as were. Not even when you write it three times.
  • not blocked... yet (Score:3, Informative)

    by anarche (1525323) on Friday April 09, 2010 @05:08AM (#31787332)

    While we still can

    http://www.internationaltaskforce.org/faq.htm [internatio...kforce.org]

  • China has a snappy title for its "Great Firewall of China", based on the Great Wall of China.

    Australia's censor system needs a snappy title too. They've got the Great Barrier Reef [wikipedia.org], the world's largest coral system and the largest organism visible from space, how about the "Great Barrier of Australia"? Hmm, maybe that needs more work.

  • Conroy is a moron .....or maybe he has to toe the party line. Whichever, the government of oz is delusional if they think a filter can block "unacceptable" sites. I bought my copy of The Peaceful Pill online despite the fact that it is banned here on oz - it arrived in a cardboard package with "book" written on the customs sticker, and no doubt the customs Xray confirmed that it is in fact a book. The other huge con (short for Con-roy) is "think of the children" - well please tell me Mr Conroy how filter
  • The problem with blocking content is that there is no way to deduce what someone intends to do with information merely from the fact that they have it. Am I reading that suicide website because I want to commit suicide, or because I'm gathering research on why not to do it?

    Instead of blocking information, make it easier to hold the authors of information accountable for any bad usage. Provide streamlined ways for people to lodge complaints about specific mis-uses of information so the author has an opport

  • Tech Generation? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dangitman (862676) on Friday April 09, 2010 @06:12AM (#31787590)

    But its members share an average age of 70. Not exactly from the tech generation.

    What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Somebody who is 70 would have been born in 1940. I'm pretty sure they would have grown up with technology their entire lives. In fact, somebody of that age would have grown up with one of the biggest technology expansions in history. They are almost the definition of "tech generation," and grew up under the influence of people like Albert Einstein.

  • now, having its economy dominated by China, it is apparently more like a Southern outpost of the Middle Kingdom. funny though how Chinese cultural understandings of centralized thought domination and control has proven so quickly popular in Canberra

    we need to keep an eye on New Zealand, make sure down there all alone in the Antipodes that cabin fever doesn't make it lose it's marbles like Australia obviously has. plus New Zealand has that domestic situation with Mordor being inside its borders

  • by CODiNE (27417) on Friday April 09, 2010 @06:52AM (#31787812) Homepage

    "They had a nice demonstration on how to use the internet, the importance of changing your coffee filters and how to reach the exit it was hard to see with all the signs and the people running around but they taught us how to find it. There's a website that will show you how to get to the exit but only if you change your coffee filters or some such."

  • by geekoid (135745) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `dnaltropnidad'> on Friday April 09, 2010 @09:00AM (#31788834) Homepage Journal

    70 means born in 1940.
    They came of age with jet Fighter, space ships, nuclear power and color TV.

    Not a computer literate bunch, but they weren't exactly from the dark ages.

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