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Australian Gov't Seeks To Record Citizens' Web Histories 354

Posted by timothy
from the oh-you-can-trust-us dept.
An anonymous reader writes "If you thought the Australian Government's Internet filter project was bad, think again. They have a new project — they are examining a policy that would require all Internet service providers to log users' web browsing history and email data such as who all emails were sent to and from. And that's just the start. Telephone calls, mobile phone calls, even Internet telephony. It's all in there. Looks like 1984 was a pretty prophetic book." Several readers also point to ZDNet's coverage.
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Australian Gov't Seeks To Record Citizens' Web Histories

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  • Okay... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:02AM (#32532930) Homepage

    So how long before Aussies figure out that "encrypt everything" is a great idea?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      probably about the same time the rest of the world figures it out?
      • Re:Okay... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Decollete (1637235) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:12AM (#32532982)
        How long before the Australian government realize that they need to pass a bill to ban encryption?
        • Re:Okay... (Score:5, Informative)

          by powerspike (729889) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:32AM (#32533088)
          Conroy (the guy who's doing this -along with the filter), accused google of stealing every bodies bank details with their wifi devices. In saying that, i don't think we have to worry about an encryption bill, he obviously has no idea that encryption exists...
          • Re:Okay... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by jamesh (87723) on Friday June 11, 2010 @05:33AM (#32533344)

            In saying that, i don't think we have to worry about an encryption bill, he obviously has no idea that encryption exists...

            You are underestimating the power of a stupid puppet. He just needs someone to tell him that encryption is what paedophiles use to molest kids with and he'll be all over it like a bad rash. It won't matter that he doesn't understand it.

          • Re:Okay... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday June 11, 2010 @07:01AM (#32533712) Journal

            Nah, the Aussies will come up with either a US or UK solution:

            - Encryption is allowed but the US government holds all the keys.
            - Encryption is allowed but the UK will throw you in jail if you refuse to provide the key. Assumed guilt even if you are innocent of the crime.

            It is times like these that try men's souls. Isn't the government supposed to be the servant, and the People the master? When exactly did this flip around so the people became mere serfs/puppets of the politicians? Perhaps it is time to consider an abolishment of our respective governments, and to craft new Constitutions.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by bussdriver (620565)

              Sorry but times have to get much much worse before that is possible. The public is too clueless, ignorant, and distracted to have the motivation to do anything about it and if it was done somehow they'd not be interested enough to make sure the next thing wasn't hijacked by opportunists.

              The USA founders had some opportunistic bastards among them, but they differed on their needs and there were enough idealists and intellectuals among them to pull of something that is quite good. Getting the right group toge

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by TruthSauce (1813784)

                Agreed.

                The commentary about 1984 being unrealistically negative in its approach is a very salient discussion, because it leads down the path of discussing the many other ways you michg achieve the same sort of control.

                The two points in 1984 that I did find more realistic are the aspects of the government in the story using positive feedback.

                The changing of the names of departments, like "ministry of truth" and the "ministry of peace" echoes very true in the modern era. The department of war, slowly transof

        • Re:Okay... (Score:5, Informative)

          by infolation (840436) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:55AM (#32533172)
          That sounds like Australia is taking their lead from the United Kingdom:

          ISPs and telecoms providers already store details of email, net phone calls and browsing history for 12 months.

          RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000)) requires encryption keys to be handed over, or plaintext provided, on penalty of up to two years imprisonment.
          • It is not the UK, it is EU law that the UK has to comply with.

            That gives the government a great excuse "its not our fault, the EU made us do it", and its difficult to bring public pressure on the EU because its most important legislators are unelected.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dnaumov (453672)

            RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000)) requires encryption keys to be handed over, or plaintext provided, on penalty of up to two years imprisonment.

            I've always been curious how this works if you simply respond "I don't remember".

            • Re:Okay... (Score:5, Interesting)

              by durrr (1316311) on Friday June 11, 2010 @05:46AM (#32533396)
              I have a 100gb encrypted container that i don't know the password to. I forgot it two days after making it but decided to keep it around on my harddrive on the basis of "in ten years i can bruteforce this in two hours"
              It's like an accidental time capsule and should in no ways be illegal.
            • by 1s44c (552956)

              RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000)) requires encryption keys to be handed over, or plaintext provided, on penalty of up to two years imprisonment.

              I've always been curious how this works if you simply respond "I don't remember".

              The rules state you don't have to comply if you don't have the key. However it's unlikely that any court will believe you forgot the encryption key to anything you access on a regular basis, even if that happens to be the truth.

              • Re:Okay... (Score:5, Insightful)

                by DJRumpy (1345787) on Friday June 11, 2010 @07:11AM (#32533768)

                Isn't the burden of proof on the government in this case? How would they prove (without access records), the last time you accessed a device they themselves wanted access to? I wonder how often this is enforced. We haven't quite gotten that bad in the U.S. yet. I think what their trying to pass in Australia is a bit more difficult, simply because all people are two faced. They may clamor about saving the children, and actually believe that, but at home, they are watching scat porn, roman showers, and even some kinky shit. People are curious by nature, and I would challenge most adults have looked at porn or some other content that would be frowned on. They know this, even if they won't admit it.

                How long will this Conroy douche be around anyway?

            • Re:Okay... (Score:4, Informative)

              by internewt (640704) on Friday June 11, 2010 @05:58AM (#32533454) Journal

              RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000)) requires encryption keys to be handed over, or plaintext provided, on penalty of up to two years imprisonment.

              I've always been curious how this works if you simply respond "I don't remember".

              As I understand things (I studied law at the University of Slashdot, so beware!), they assume you are lying, and bang you up.

              No doubt you could appeal and appeal and appeal, all the way to Europe human rights court. The law sounds very unfair, and would the UK government really let it go all the way? Would they want their law ruled as unusable, or would they rather just have it to threaten? With enough delays in the appeals process, you could spend quite a bit of time in prison anyway before either getting a court to say no, or before the crown dropped the case.

              Is the purpose of the law to get keys off people, or to stop people from wanting to use encryption at all?

              • Re:Okay... (Score:5, Informative)

                by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday June 11, 2010 @07:12AM (#32533784) Journal

                >>>As I understand things [if you claim you forgot the key], they assume you are lying, and bang you up.

                Yes and after I eventually got out of jail, several politicians who voted "yes" to support this stupid law would suddenly turn-up dead. If I'm going to serve time, when I'm innocent of the crime, then somebody will pay the consequences for my lost life. - "From time to time the Tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Revolution is its natural fertilizer." - Thomas Jefferson, founder of the Democrat Party, author of the Declaration of Independence.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Alioth (221270)

            Effectively, doesn't that make anyone who uses automatically keyed encryption liable for up to 2 years in prison?

            It'd be a great way to bang people up you don't like: observe they've been to some HTTPS site - any site will do, demand the encryption keys, when they can't provide the keys, lock them up.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Encrypting sender and recipient is hard and in the summary it's clear that it's mostly sender and recipient that's being recorded. Who's talking to who is more important for data mining than what you're actually saying to each other.

      • webmail over SSL pretty much solves this, unless of course the webmail provider is compromised by the government, so best pick either a foreign provider, or someone with enough weight to say no to your government

        • by erroneus (253617)

          Only if that webmail server is outside of the jurisdiction in question. Otherwise, it goes to SMTP at some point.

          The internet protocols are rife with problems like SMTP. People trusted back then and didn't plan for this type of usage. Changing now seems impossible. ISPs would globally need to switch to some better protocols at the same time to make a change...oh and users too. nearly impossible to imagine.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Migity (1199059)
      Encryption can't hide your source and destination IPs though, so if you're connecting to the lolita-manga website they'll still know that. However, encryption AND an anonymous proxy out there will do the trick.
    • Re:Okay... (Score:5, Insightful)

      OK Mr Wise Geek, let's assume you're right and Australians do figure out that they need encryption to secure their communications. What then? What technologies are available which can offer them secure access to their usual internet services without compromising on features?

      What about web browsing? Http. How can they browse securely? Https? Only available on a per website basis, and besides the security crowd are so pedantic they've convinced Firefox and who knows how many else that self signed certs are worse than unencrypted traffic. No real movement on that front then. Tor? I think the atrocious hit in speed precludes that route. Proxies? I suppose they'll work for about five minutes before succumbing to congestion. Let's just conclude this section by stating that encrypted/secure web browsing isn't going to be a viable option for most.

      The situation for most other web protocols isn't much better. The simple fact of the matter is that the current infrastructure of the net was never built with mass government censorship in mind and is wide open to surveillance. On top of this, virtually no-one is interested in developing the technologies neccessary to make a secure web a reality, and those that are are too concerned with 50 year old theoretical problems than in making a system that everyone can use. We're not getting a secure web unless you count esoterica like Freenet.

      It has nothing to do with figuring out you need to "encrypt everything". It's about needing the two to three decades of research and development required to build an Internet capable of end to end encryption; development that simply has not been done.

      • Re:Okay... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by muckracer (1204794) on Friday June 11, 2010 @05:23AM (#32533288)

        > virtually no-one is interested in developing the technologies neccessary to make a secure web a reality

        IPv6. It already exists and would/could cover a large chunk of your legitimate concerns. Problem is...the switch-over is taking ages... But it's something you can advocate/implement from your end without waiting on other's.

      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        OK Mr Wise Geek, let's assume you're right and Australians do figure out that they need encryption to secure their communications. What then? What technologies are available which can offer them secure access to their usual internet services without compromising on features?

        I use relakks [relakks.com].

        It has nothing to do with figuring out you need to "encrypt everything".

        I do regardless though.

      • by mapkinase (958129)

        Sorry for noob question. Wouldn't proxy anonymizers work? All traffic directed through foreign website?

      • by master_p (608214)

        It's about needing the two to three decades of research and development required to build an Internet capable of end to end encryption; development that simply has not been done.

        Interesting. Why 2-3 decades of research is required? not that I doubt you; can you please elaborate on that?

    • Re:Okay... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by captainpanic (1173915) on Friday June 11, 2010 @06:06AM (#32533504)

      So how long before Aussies figure out that "encrypt everything" is a great idea?

      No. The real question is: "So, how long before the Aussies figure out that enough is enough, and they tell their government to stop being so damned paranoid?"

  • by Decollete (1637235) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:10AM (#32532968)
    than pedophiles and terrorists.
    • by molecular (311632) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:37AM (#32533108)

      Do you mean...

      1.) your fear the gov't more than you fear the terrorists and pedophiles
      2.) you are more afraid of the government than pedophiles and terrorists are

      ?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by cappp (1822388)
      I'm confused by the slant in those articles. It seems the Australians are considering a European-style policy ie. the content of internet use isn't stored but its participants are. They know a variety of low level data regarding log in times, durations, sign-in names and the such, but nothing more. The only place I can see the hyperbole is in the rather vague assertions of anonymous sources. Heck the Delimiter link makes it clear in the first paragraph that the more egregious claims are factually questionab
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by silanea (1241518)

        [...] It seems the Australians are considering a European-style policy ie. the content of internet use isn't stored but its participants are. They know a variety of low level data regarding log in times, durations, sign-in names and the such, but nothing more. [...]

        The first problem lies in the fact that all those records are not taken when a crime is committed but preemptively, because someone, somewhere, will break the law. We are all declared suspects, not of a specific crime, but of doing something that may later be of interest to law enforcement or parties in a civil suit.

        The second problem lies in the provable fact that whenever the government (or any other state institution) grants itself a privilege it will never give it back or agree to have it limited but se

    • by silanea (1241518) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:45AM (#32533132)
      I was about to reply when I realised that your post as it stands can be read in two ways. One I share, namely that the government is a much more immediate threat than any of the scapegoats presented to us, the other - supposedly not the one you intended - brings up a very interesting point. Your sentence could be rephrased as: Pedophiles and terrorists are less afraid of the government than you are. Why should they? They do not mind breaking the law, they do not mind faking their identities or going underground altogether, so they can avoid governmental surveillance. The generally more law-abiding rest of the populace does not have that luxury - we go to work, we pay our taxes, we maintain our social life, we register our place of residency when we move, we buy our plane and train tickets via debit or credit card, we use our own car and our legally registered plates to drive around and so on. Which is why any such surveillance measures have a much more profound impact on us than they have on their supposed targets.
    • by mapkinase (958129)

      If I were Aussie, what would I do? I would probably be forced to use web for professional only purposes from work and only to check my email at home. I would send less emails and do more phone calls, more live visits to my friends and relatives. Surely, I would feel worse, restricted, suppressed, like a baby is constricted by a blanket wrapped by the skillful hands of a nanny. Baby in nanny's hand in a nanny state. That's all true.

      But still, imagine prisoners (those who are lucky not to be raped or crippled

  • HTTPS -- default (Score:5, Interesting)

    by martijnd (148684) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:10AM (#32532974)

    When do we finally make the move to a fully encrypted internet? An unencrypted internet made sense in the days that CPU power was expensive and there were no good encryption libraries. Both these problems were solved a decade ago.

    The block seems to be the current idiotically expensive SSL certificate business.

    The first step would be for the web browsers to add a "low default security" level : user signed certificates are accepted as "normal" connections without throwing up big errors and don't give much of an additional indication.

    Expensive SSL certificates can continue to give the "feel good" level of indication by showing the name of the verified company.

    • Re:HTTPS -- default (Score:4, Informative)

      by molecular (311632) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:17AM (#32533004)

      When do we finally make the move to a fully encrypted internet? An unencrypted internet made sense in the days that CPU power was expensive and there were no good encryption libraries. Both these problems were solved a decade ago.

      Encrypting everything solves only part of the problem.
      Big brother can still see which sites you visit, how much traffic is going on between who and who talks to whom.
      It also doesn't give you anonymous publishing.

      There's solutions for that, though, like http://freenetproject.org/ [freenetproject.org] which comes with a considerable resource penalty, but offers a solution for anonymous publishing.
      Of course it's full of kiddy pr0n, that's the other side of the medal... take your pick.

      "I worry about my child and the Internet all the time, even though she's too young to have logged on yet. Here's what I worry about. I worry that 10 or 15 years from now, she will come to me and say 'Daddy, where were you when they took freedom of the press away from the Internet?'"

      --Mike Godwin, Electronic Frontier Foundation

      • by martijnd (148684)

        I am not saying that HTTPS is the end of all our problems.

        Tracking an internet that is by default encrypted is much harder than an internet that is pure text. They would know which server farm the website terminated at -- but most hosting providers run 200+ websites at the same server.

        So that gives at least some plausible deniability ; and very limited access to what is being communicated.

        Besides browser warnings for user signed certificates there also is the problem that we currently require a unique IP ad

    • Really there should be a "I DON'T CARE OF OSAMA BIN LADEN READS THIS WEBSITE" button you can click combiend with opportunistic encryption. You're still vulnerable to MitM but it takes care of a great deal of snooping and requires zero user competence.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Issarlk (1429361)
      Then the government will just man-in-the-middle for all these "low default security" websites that don't show errors and record the browsing just as with plain HTTP.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by martijnd (148684)

        Good point of course.

        It would still require a substantial investment in equipment to proxy all the internet connections of all citizens and not slow down things down to a crawl.

        The first goal should be to make this kind of "dragnet" approach to scanning the whole internet as expensive as possible.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by molecular (311632)

      When do we finally make the move to a fully encrypted internet? An unencrypted internet made sense in the days that CPU power was expensive and there were no good encryption libraries. Both these problems were solved a decade ago.

      You will never see "us" making some move as changing something this big from one day to the other (see IPv6).
      We see groups of people doing it for themselves though. There's a lot of darknets out there already.

      But now my darkest prediction: you will soon see news along the lines of "UK/AU/EU/US/... outlawing private use of encryption" (except some exceptions like banking). Control-freaky governments will likely try to pull something like this off (in the name of the children and against terrorists, or course

    • Re:HTTPS -- default (Score:5, Informative)

      by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:31AM (#32533082) Homepage Journal

      It is possible for a man in the middle to attack https. The only way around it is for certs and keys to be transported by sneakernet.

      But now customs can search us for "pornography" so (sneaker+747)net can't be entirely relied on

    • Re:HTTPS -- default (Score:5, Informative)

      by SpazmodeusG (1334705) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:50AM (#32533154)

      I just noticed after reading this post that https://www.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org] doesn't encrypt. It just redirects to the non-encrypted version.

      We're screwed if even the technical sites don't support encrypted connections.

    • Re:HTTPS -- default (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ledow (319597) on Friday June 11, 2010 @05:07AM (#32533222) Homepage

      That won't help the wider picture - that only helps the web, the principle is the problem, not the practice. Once they start blocking / monitoring websites it's only a matter of time before bypassing that filter becomes an offence and/or they branch out into other traffic.

      You're actually looking for a complete P2P, SSL network to overlay the Internet and provide the security of connection. And as Tor demonstrates - at the moment - that's hard, slow and doesn't protect people's privacy unless they do *everything* right.

      Seriously, it's what's needed... some form of P2P, traffic-sharing, encrypted "darknet". It's the only way to stop government sniffing your traffic, choosing what websites they approve of and/or downloading things you might otherwise not be allowed to. Ideally, someone should build a little matchbox-sized device that just anonymously routes data from peers over secure connections via wifi, Tor-like, mesh-networking, with auto-routing, auto-discovery of wireless networks and internet connections, etc - with some QoS of course so no one peer can flood the others out. It's possible now with some embedded device that just accepts all wifi connections and joins them to a CloudVPN / Tor kind of deal. Spread enough of them around a town and you can bypass the traditional Internet entirely, transporting encrypted data over it when necessary, using any connection to another box of its kind that it can find otherwise. And it only takes one person to join to a physically-foreign network and the whole place will be able to contact the world (albeit slowly in that contrived example).

      A mix of Tor, CloudVPN, mesh-networking, Kismet, P2P software.

      I've said before, it's only a matter of time before "The Internet" becomes nothing more than an infrastructure to carry data for such a network - like back in the old days. The routers won't have any clue what data they are actually routing (always was a breach of layering to have them do that anyway), they just provide the fastest paths to the intended recipient. "The Internet" becomes a backbone network for a kind of global VPN. I'm not talking tomorrow, but give it a few decades and that will end up happening. As it is, we have to encrypt anything sensitive / useful anyway. Before you know it, every protocol running on the Internet will be encrypted (already true for certain things like certain SMTP, chat, web, filesharing, remote shell, etc.), so it's just a matter of lumping them together into a single VPN-style connection. Then "The Internet" returns to its original purpose - providing routes to other places and transmitting data that you don't necessarily know its origin or destination.

      As a nice by-product, eliminates things like protocol-based bandwidth-limiting too.

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:11AM (#32532980) Homepage Journal

    What banner is flying over this huge censorship push? What is the general public's thoughts on all this? Usually with this sort of absolute censorship you have a particularly powerful head of state like in Russia, Iran or North Korea. Australia still has free elections (to my knowlege). Here in the USA we had a bit of tightening here and there security-wise with 9/11, but Australia doesn't seem to have any sort of dictator-to-be, nor do they have any significant terrorist threats or major overarching foreign policy that would require them to keep an eye on dissidents. Usually someone can point to some major speech by a prime minister or president outlining an "improved security policy" for the welfare of the country against some outside boogeyman, but from what I can tell, Australia is tightening it's grip on everything for censorship's sake.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kramulous (977841)

      Two days ago, there was a mothers' group here demanding that local councils put up signage in all parks warning of the native birds. A 6 mth old child was pecked once by a pee-wee and had to be rushed to hospital to get a bandage.

      No one really cares and people want their moment of campaign but really don't give a shit about anything. The belief is that the Internet is like the wildwest and any sort of policing is good.

      They don't realise the background profiling, indexing/classification, manipulation that

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by internewt (640704)

        Two days ago, there was a mothers' group here demanding that local councils put up signage in all parks warning of the native birds. A 6 mth old child was pecked once by a pee-wee and had to be rushed to hospital to get a bandage.

        People don't want to take responsibility for their own lives and actions, and modern politicians buy votes from these people by pandering to them.

    • by w0mprat (1317953) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:46AM (#32533140)

      What banner is flying over this huge censorship push? What is the general public's thoughts on all this? Usually with this sort of absolute censorship you have a particularly powerful head of state like in Russia, Iran or North Korea. Australia still has free elections (to my knowlege). Here in the USA we had a bit of tightening here and there security-wise with 9/11, but Australia doesn't seem to have any sort of dictator-to-be, nor do they have any significant terrorist threats or major overarching foreign policy that would require them to keep an eye on dissidents. Usually someone can point to some major speech by a prime minister or president outlining an "improved security policy" for the welfare of the country against some outside boogeyman, but from what I can tell, Australia is tightening it's grip on everything for censorship's sake.

      I'm confused too. I live in New Zealand and to be fair, neither side of the Tasman Sea really understands the thinking of the other country.

    • by Sasayaki (1096761) on Friday June 11, 2010 @05:00AM (#32533198)

      Australian here- It's pretty simple really. (Disclaimer: I've posted this before, but it bears repeating)

      We have a political system where, instead of directly voting for a prime minister, we instead vote for our local representative; the party with the most seats gets to elect the prime minister. Essentially.

      The problem comes when the two main political parties own almost equal seats, but many seats are "safe" seats. Think Texas. Is a Democrat ever going to be elected in a landslide in Texas? Nah. Is a Republican going to take San Fransisco in a landslide? Nah.

      So, politicians focus on the marginal seats. Think Florida, which could go either way.

      It just so happens a number of those seats are, currently, in and around Adelaide; a highly religious, conservative city known as "The City of Churches". So, politicians on all sides of the political spectrum are metaphorically sucking our version of the Bible Belt's dick in order to get those precious one or two seats, which means they can keep/gain government respectively.

      Which means our current administration is pushing through knee-jerk think-of-the-children legislation while the opposition is basically screaming "US TOO BUT BIGGER, BETTER, MORE KNEE-JERKY."

      It's pure horseshit and doesn't represent the will of the Australian people at all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Australian here- It's pretty simple really. (Disclaimer: I've posted this before, but it bears repeating)

        We have a political system where, instead of directly voting for a prime minister, we instead vote for our local representative; the party with the most seats gets to elect the prime minister. Essentially.

        The problem comes when the two main political parties own almost equal seats, but many seats are "safe" seats. Think Texas. Is a Democrat ever going to be elected in a landslide in Texas? Nah. Is a Republican going to take San Fransisco in a landslide? Nah.

        So, politicians focus on the marginal seats. Think Florida, which could go either way.

        It just so happens a number of those seats are, currently, in and around Adelaide; a highly religious, conservative city known as "The City of Churches". So, politicians on all sides of the political spectrum are metaphorically sucking our version of the Bible Belt's dick in order to get those precious one or two seats, which means they can keep/gain government respectively.

        Which means our current administration is pushing through knee-jerk think-of-the-children legislation while the opposition is basically screaming "US TOO BUT BIGGER, BETTER, MORE KNEE-JERKY."

        It's pure horseshit and doesn't represent the will of the Australian people at all.

        Not too sure that Adelaide is the bible-belt of Australia - Adelaide actually has a lower than average percentage of Christians than Australia as a whole.

        Also, the "City of Churches" isn't due to the high number of Churches.

        Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adelaide

        Religion

        Over half of the population identifies as Christian, with the largest denominations being Catholic (22.1%), Anglican (14.0%), Uniting Church (8.4%) and Eastern Orthodox (3.8%). Approximately 24% of the population expressed no religi

      • by master_p (608214)

        It's pure horseshit and doesn't represent the will of the Australian people at all.

        That's a problem in all "democratic" countries: they are not true democracies. Common folks cannot be elected because they lack the funds required for their promotion, and the private news networks won't present them because they are common folks, i.e. powerless people that have no power to promote bills in favor of the private news networks' owners.

  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:19AM (#32533016)
    Rudd has to call an election soon, but what a choice it will be: Either Conservative-Christian Kevin Rudd or his opponent Conservative-Christian Tony Abbott. Abbott has refused to speak out against the net filter. Secretly, I would say he quite likes it and will go along with it.

    > "I think that it makes sense to try to ensure that the homes of Australia aren't invaded with pornography via the internet," said Abbott. "On the other hand I don't want to see wider censorship and I don't want to see the internet destroyed as a tool for people's education or as a tool for people's businesses." Talk about fence sitting.

    > What it came down to was a question of whether it was technically feasible, according to Abbott. Yet he wasn't willing to air his thoughts on the matter. "I just don't know enough about it at this stage to have an opinion on that," he said.
    http://www.zdnet.com.au/abbott-drawn-into-filter-debate-339300089.htm [zdnet.com.au]

    Given his conservative position on everything else he ever talks about, I'd say he *does* have an opinion on it... but he wants to cash in on the Rudd protest vote. At the end of the day we get to choose between two political parties... near identical... both headed by conservatives who like the idea of a net filter to stop the unwashed masses looking at boobs and bottoms, and to get them back into church. Pic related:
    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/03/31/tony-abbott-and-political-catholicism/ [larvatusprodeo.net]
    http://www.abc.net.au/compass/s1362997.htm [abc.net.au]
    http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=19151 [cathnews.com]
    • Secretly? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sasayaki (1096761) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:58AM (#32533184)

      Abbott has refused to speak out against the net filter. Secretly, I would say he quite likes it and will go along with it.

      Secretly? (Disclaimer: I have posted this before, but it's worth restating)

      Tony Abbot visited humble Darwin city recently and it was there that I personally got to ask him, in his public question and answer time, the following question (roughly remembered):

      "The Internet is an important part of the lives of many young Australians, as well as Australia as a whole in this modern age- what do you think of the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's plan to censor the Internet?"

      His answer began:

      "Well, I'm afraid I'm probably going to disappoint you..." and yes, unfortunately, he did.

      Paraphrased his answer was: "Stopping child pornography is extremely important to me and the Liberal party and therefore, if we can prove the censorship plan doesn't work, we will oppose it; but only *this particular thing*. We will continue to seek effective means to block 'filth' (his word) from entering our country any way we can. If the filter works, we will support it."

      Basically the message I got from his reply is that Tony Abbot believes that the filter will work "well enough" and is too much of a hot potato to oppose politically. The subtext I personally divined from his answer was a little more chilling; that the filter didn't go far *enough* for his tastes, and that he'd personally rather a complete whitelist than a blacklist. Therefore, speaking as a card-carrying Liberal... if you think that voting for the Liberal party in the next election will make the filter go away, you are sadly mistaken.

      On a side note, the fact that he himself is an extremely religious man probably doesn't help a great deal, since it seems that too many politicians tend to "trust God about these things" when it's abundantly clear that God knows sweet F-A about the Tubes and how they work.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by master_p (608214)

        On a side note, the fact that he himself is an extremely religious man probably doesn't help a great deal, since it seems that too many politicians tend to "trust God about these things" when it's abundantly clear that God knows sweet F-A about the Tubes and how they work.

        The religion card has been played a lot in most countries, including eastern ones and western ones. Let's not forget George "God told me to go to war with Iraq" Bush.
        The religious politicians destroying democracy and civil liberties is the best example there is about the harm religion does.

  • I have to ask... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by random_ID (1822712)
    Why? Given the amount of data involved, this seems like gross overkill. Even for hardcore Big Brother.
  • by blue_teeth (83171) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:20AM (#32533022)

    when you support spreading democracy and freedom in other countries. Bombing the shit out of them, to spread your so called "way of life". Internally your "perceived freedoms" are slowly eroded. Go ahead and mark me as troll and go back to living in your cocoon.

     

  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:28AM (#32533066)
    Trivially easy to circumvent once again. Google already offers SSL encryption for web searches and for Gmail and I don't even need to mention all the privacy tools available. I think the bulk of people have moved away from their ISP based email due to the impoverished email service ISPs offer. I myself have already moved all my email to cloud based email a long time ago - what is the point in sticking with ISP based email? Native email clients don't really offer much compelling functionality over cloud services other than a way to loose all your emails when your hard drive dies.

    I already use SSL for Google and Gmail. Of course the ISP can still track and log your cleartext http and dns lookups etc, but it at least offers some privacy.

    Everybody who has something to hide on the internet is already using these trivial methods and others. This is about spying on the average citizen. Poor privacy on the internet in particular social media is already hurting countless millions of people identity theft and scams, we really do NOT need the government spying too.
    • by molecular (311632) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:48AM (#32533142)

      Trivially easy to circumvent once again. Google already offers SSL encryption for web searches and for Gmail and I don't even need to mention all the privacy tools available.

      I think you're taking this too lightly, just a couple o' thoughts:

        * just because _you_ have a way around it doesn't meen the general public does and it also doesn't mean it will not impact you in some way.
        * encryption is only part of the solution (see other posts)
        * email can still be scanned, only transport between you and your mailserver is encrypted, the gov't could still pressure gmail into delivering the data (even easier, less mail providers)
        * international mail can (is!?!) still be scanned by officials
        * psychological effect: Joe Schmoe will think: "I better not look at teen porn on the web or else I might get suspected". Once you get just the /feeling/ of being monitored, your freedom of speech is already seriously impaired.

    • I think you're all missing the point here. The purpose of the net filter isn't to actually genuinely prevent access to those websites that are "evil". The purpose is to convince voters that the government is doing something about "evil" and thereby gain votes.

    • by Ash-Fox (726320) on Friday June 11, 2010 @05:15AM (#32533256)

      Trivially easy to circumvent once again. Google already offers SSL encryption for web searches and for Gmail and I don't even need to mention all the privacy tools available.

      I don't understand how this doesn't stop ISPs from doing a man in the middle attack on gmail and using their own valid SSL cert - I mean, it's not like I can't register a certificate for mail.google.com, the majority of legitimate authorized SSL cert providers will let me purchase it regardless.

      Or they could invest in buying one of Netronome's high performance transparent SSL proxies (What? Did you really think current SSL schemes are that secure these days?).

      Everybody who has something to hide on the internet is already using these trivial methods and others.

      If technical people are serious about implementing such a system correctly, the bar of entry for the knowledge to get around this will get raised quite exponentially.

      This is about spying on the average citizen.

      I doubt your 'average citizen' would even know (s)he needed to get around it first, and then having the knowledge bar of entry some how to get around it, seems highly unlikely.

  • by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:57AM (#32533178)

    Is Labor is deliberately sabotaging their chances of re-election???

    • by Sasayaki (1096761)

      To you and I they are. To regular Joe Blow they are FIGHTING THE NAZI-COMMUNIST-TERRO-PEDOPHILES.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:58AM (#32533186)

    Google offers SSL access now [google.com]

    Encrypt your stuff. They can still track the target IP addresses, but no URLs. Next stop: Widespread use of foreign proxies, then TOR.

  • agnostic rule (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:59AM (#32533188)

    nobody who is devout, or even remotely religious, should be allowed into government.

  • by SmarterThanMe (1679358) on Friday June 11, 2010 @05:00AM (#32533200)

    This political stance is part of the ALP's general move to social conservatism.

    Unfortunately, this is the way that Australian politics is moving. We have a two party system, the ALP (Labour, notionally the "Left") and the Coalition (counterintuitively named Liberals and the country-oriented Nationals who are notionally the "Right"). The ALP is currently in government, but the balance of power is held in the Senate by one vote usually exercised by a couple of minor parties, Family First (ultra-right ultra-socially conservative), a couple of independents and the Greens (left wing progressive, but the government mostly refuses to negotiate with them). Usually it's down to the Family First Senator to decide whether a given piece of legislation passes the Senate or fails, and he's revelled in the power of his role. So the government has expended a lot of effort in wooing the Family First Senator, which has caused a slight move towards the right and towards social conservatism.

    However, the ALP has apparently decided that the best way to get votes is to, as much as possible, be almost exactly like the Liberals. While they were ready to do something about Climate Change before the election, they have largely done nothing (because it's too hard). While they spoke about the importance of funding public options, such as public schools and hospitals and so on, they still haven't done anything about the massive and disparate amount of funding that is given to the private option. While they say that they say that they're against government misuse of public funds to advertise ahead of the upcoming election, several million dollars have been spent on exactly that purpose (noting that, in this case, I agree with the expenditure, but even so it is a Coalition thing to do).

    Even on issues where you'd expect the ALP to be starkly different to the Liberals, nothing. Refugees are still being treated as lower forms of life, just as they were under the previous Coalition government. The ALP has gone out of its way to foment a war between itself and the Education unions by subjecting teachers to extraordinary public criticism (without actually putting up the funds and the political will to fix problems from above). Welfare recipients are still being hounded and stigmatised for the fact that they could possibly be cheating the system (even though the vast majority aren't) with no talk of improving the system and helping welfare recipients themselves to reduce their imposition on society. On and on and on, there is increasingly less difference between the ALP and the Liberals.

    The Coalition has responded by going further and further towards the right. They've elected Tony Abbott as their leader, because the last leader had the gall to negotiate with the ALP on an carbon emissions trading scheme (which subsequently dropped like a stone in the now hostile Senate). Tony Abbott is one of the most conservative politicians currently representing Australia. He approaches politics from the perspective of his own highly religious Catholic upbringing and lifestyle, doesn't believe in anthropogenic climate change and is really quite keen to return Australia to the 50's in respect to how we treat anyone who isn't an Anglo-Saxon white Male of upper-middle (or higher) socioeconomic background and being above the age of 35.

    Unfortunately, the ALP's strategy is going to bite them in the ass. No Coalition voters have been wooed over to the ALP side, but, now that both parties are on the Right or the Far Right and well and truly entrenched in conservative politics, many former ALP voters are turning to the Greens or other alternative parties. The Greens now have a swing in their favour of between 7 and 9 percent, mostly taken from the ALP, and other smaller parties are enjoying smaller swings in their favour. It's likely that the Greens will hold, themselves, the balance of power in the Senate (because Family First aren't likely to have a Senator elected this time around) but we could have a situation where Greens could get electe

  • Honestly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Friday June 11, 2010 @05:18AM (#32533270)

    A system like this wouldn't be so bad IF governments could be trusted with keeping their hands off the data UNTIL a crime was committed. Then, when they had physical evidence of a crime, a bit of data mining and searching could dig up other relevant facts. However the Australian government (famous for Task Force Argos [wikipedia.org], who took someone to court for posting a video freely available on YouTube citing child abuse) and other governments around the world have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to refrain from abusing such data.

    Mention the words "terrorism" or "child pornography", and suddenly governments want to go so far as to break existing laws to prevent these crimes. However there is only one problem - if the person has not committed the crime yet, they are not a criminal. So we get cases built on "conspiracy to commit" and "intent to commit", cases which erode our freedom each single time. Because any psychologist will tell you that some very nasty thoughts can pass through the heads of very average people AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS. The insides of our heads must remain inviolate and not subject to the state, or we become slaves. The law must draw the line at "yes but did the person go out and ACT on those fantasies?", not "did the person think about it". Otherwise everyone guilty of watching, writing or producing a murder mystery show is guilty of murder.

  • Write the data to floppy disks and toss them down the elevator shaft into the basement. If the government ever wants the records, point them to the basement coal chute...
  • The Defence Signals Directorate would collect all data moving around Australia and out into Asia ect.
    From dictionary to natural language processing they have all networks linked in 24/7.
    The AFP (feds) and state task forces could request broad warrants for the rest as needed (when funding is restored).
    Why this public acknowledgment of a great clandestine tool?
    The act of making it legal/public will cause many of interest to re examine their networks.
    Changing signal intelligence to gain a few short term le
  • Many people wrote "let's just use HTTPS and everything will full of unicorns" or whatever....

    Does that solve the problem of seeing one's web history? No! It just hides what are you doing on the website, but does not hide which website you go to.... (last time I checked)

    So please, tell me something new/different because HTTPS (no matter how desirable it is indeed) does do jack shit about being monitored like this...

  • by WinstonWolfIT (1550079) on Friday June 11, 2010 @05:49AM (#32533414)
    It will be interesting to see over the next 40-400 years whether the civil liberties model of the US or the more socialist model of the Commonwealth works out better. Both have faults, and at this point it's purely academic which sucks less.
  • Just start e-mailing copies of everything to the member of parlement responsible and let them deal with it.
  • by stevegee58 (1179505) on Friday June 11, 2010 @06:11AM (#32533516) Journal
    Like most Americans, whenever I think of Aussies I think of Crocodile Dundee or Steve Irwin: rugged, outdoorsy individualists. Australia has a history not unlike that of America's Old West: Guns, deserts, ranchers, rugged individuals with a no-nonsense can-do attitude.

    What the hell? How did they end up under the thrall of their Auntie? Is this where the US is headed?
  • Best protest vote (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jeeeb (1141117) on Friday June 11, 2010 @06:32AM (#32533582)
    Any fellow Aussie slashdoters have good recommendation for way to vote in protest to this kind of legislation?

    I'm thinking of voting for the Greens in both houses. But I'm also wondering where to spread my preferences. Other than to the liberals and labor that is...

    It's truly a sad period in our nations history when we have choices as abysmal as Tony Abbot and Kevin Rudd.
  • In Sweden... (Score:5, Informative)

    by uffe_nordholm (1187961) on Friday June 11, 2010 @07:09AM (#32533754)
    We have something called IPRED, that means that copyright owners can, via a court decision, force ISPs to reveal who has had a certain IP number a certain time. This person can then be sued for copyright infringement, if the copyright owners suspect them of it. This law is something the EU has thrust upon us, unfortunately it looks like a former Swedish minister of Justice was a major advocate of the EU directive.

    And not long ago, the Swedish police talked to the current government, and told them that this law is giving them problems. Since no ISP wants to loose customers, a lot of them have stopped storing the information about who gets assigned what IP number when. So even if you know beyond any doubt what IP address has been doing illegal, you cant find the person "owning" the IP address.

    And also, people are learning to encrypt their traffic, and to use anonymising services (proxies and/or TOR). Together with the ISPs not storing much information for long, the end result is that the Swedish police have lost the ability to track people who distribute eg child porn on a massive scale.

    The Swedish politicians were warned of this potential development before the law was passed, but seem to have chosen to not listen. And now they are left with a population that has learnt to conceal itself on internet, so that even if they remove the law, the police will still be left trying to deal with anonimised and encrypted traffic....

    I think the Australians would do good to talk to Sweden before they take any steps they cannot untake later....
  • assholes of the internet

    keep representing australia, up there with the autocrats and the theocrats in the iron fist department. you're awesome

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