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Australia Censorship The Internet

Telstra Fears LulzSec Attacks, Hesitates On Internet Filter 188

Posted by timothy
from the well-wouldn't-you dept.
After the earlier report that some of Australia's largest telcos (and ISPs) were to start censoring internet traffic based on a blacklist, rdnetto writes with the news that "Telstra is now hesitating to deploy the internet filter it had previously promised to implement, fearing reprisals from online vigilantes." The linked article specifically names LulzSec as the source of such reprisals.
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Telstra Fears LulzSec Attacks, Hesitates On Internet Filter

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't know if we should be thankful. These sort of things never end well.
    • Re:Nice? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Z00L00K (682162) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @03:18AM (#36565470) Homepage

      And censorship never ends well either.

      Too much "protection" and you have a totalitarian regime.

      If you want to take out crime - do it at the source or check the cause for the crime first. Strangling the internet is like shooting the messenger.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by djdavetrouble (442175)

        If you want to take out crime - do it at the source or check the cause for the crime first./i?

        Shouldn't be too difficult to rearrange the worlds wealth equally, distribute the workload evenly to the populace, remove humans innate competitiveness, get rid of all people that are insane / have no self control, control the crazy teenagers and rewrite the rules of most societies. Lets get to work on that....

        • Re:Nice? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by xero314 (722674) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @12:45PM (#36569242)

          Shouldn't be too difficult to rearrange the worlds wealth equally, distribute the workload evenly to the populace, remove humans innate competitiveness, get rid of all people that are insane / have no self control, control the crazy teenagers and rewrite the rules of most societies. Lets get to work on that....

          The people in the advanced countries now face a choice: we can express justified horror, or we can seek to understand what may have led to the crimes. If we refuse to do the latter, we will be contributing to the likelihood that much worse lies ahead. - Noam Chomsky

          The issues you raise are solvable, and each one has been addressed at some point in some culture (except competitiveness but that would be foolish to remove), we just need to be willing to look at the cause.

  • by Ryanrule (1657199)
    neato
  • Article is false. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bbqsrc (1441981) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @01:54AM (#36565056) Homepage
    Never trust News Corp. Here's some real journalism: http://delimiter.com.au/2011/06/25/telstra-proposes-to-filter-interpol-blacklist/ [delimiter.com.au]

    Not that the real answer is any better than what the Australian said, but the truth is what matters.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Dig it:

      In addition, the age of children depicted through content on the sites must be younger than 13 years of age, or perceived to be less than 13.

      Nice little catchall there

      • by IICV (652597)

        Actually, didn't you hear about Australia banning tiny titties in porn? [theweek.com] After all, women with small breasts who are of legal age may play the role of underage girls in pornography, and that's like a single step removed from child pornography, which we all know causes nuclear devastation and must be stopped at all costs.

  • FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ja'Achan (827610) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @01:55AM (#36565062) Homepage
    Step 1: Create a scary and unspecific enemy
    Step 2: Give it some publicity
    Step 3: Demand funding and protection based on speculation ('Maybe someone might attack us! Think of the children!')
    Step 4: Profit! And power, too.

    Looks like it still works.
  • by bky1701 (979071) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @01:56AM (#36565076) Homepage
    You have already done more to protect the rights of common people than most governments in the world have in years.

    This really makes you wonder how a shadowy group of people on the internet have more influence than elected officials and regulatory boards. Of course, I guess that's because they have completely different goals... we are possibly seeing the dawn of a new world here.
    • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @02:50AM (#36565372) Journal

      You have already done more to protect the rights of common people than most governments in the world have in years.

      The average Western government each allows tens of millions of people to enjoy basic freedoms under the rule of law with a reasonably impartial justice system. By the standards of perfection, everywhere is awful; by contrast with justice in many places 40 (Spain, if you're gay?), 50 (Southern US, if you're black?) or 200 (Britain or France, if you're poor and steal a loaf of bread?) years ago, governments are in some areas doing really well. And if we spend a moment imagining ourselves as a chattel-wife in Saudi Arabia for a moment or held at gunpoint for everything around us in Somalia, suddenly that horrible rights-denying US doesn't seem so bad.

      It's clear that things have been getting worse over the past 30 years in the West. It's clear that we could demand and do a lot better. It's also clear that lulzsec's civil disobedience is having some sort of effect, although it's not quite clear how it'll play out (maybe it'll just be used as an excuse to impose more stringent anti-terror[tm] laws on the Internet?). But, when compared with history and the world in general, protecting the rights of common people is something your government almost certainly does more of every day than lulzsec. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water, even if the baby is sick.

      • by Professr3 (670356)
        I hate to tell you this, but the southern US *is* black - at least the majority are, especially in urban centers.
        • by xnpu (963139)

          Exactly. Not to mention that (albeit not very scientific) programs like "What would you do" clearly show southern whites stand up for their black neighbors more than those in the north.

      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        your comments are derogatory

        all southerners hate blacks therefore its the rule of law?

        hogwash, there is just as many questionably motivated arrests in Detroit as there is in Atlanta, LA or DC

      • by wisty (1335733)

        >It's clear that things have been getting worse over the past 30 years in the West.

        Really? Since 1981? So the 1970s was as good as we got? What about the 70s oil and energy crisis? Watergate? The Vietnam war? Pol Pot, and the West's apathy towards him? Pinochet leading a CIA-backed coup? Not to mention Margaret Thatcher.

        The West has had ups and downs. You can certainly cherry pick things we've screwed up, but there are a lot progress being made behind the scenes. Sure, there's moral panics over terrorism

        • Really? Since 1981? So the 1970s was as good as we got?

          In Western civil rights terms, yes.

          What about the 70s oil and energy crisis?

          This wasn't a civil rights issue.

          Watergate?

          The fact that the President not only could be impeached, but was impeached, shows how great things were. You think that's going to happen again?

          The Vietnam war?

          This was a stain on the US, yes, but it ended in the middle of the decade. It also admitted a huge amount of popular and well-publicised protest. You even almost got rid of conscription - elimination of the Selective Slavery System, unfortunately, hasn't happened.

          Pol Pot, and the West's apathy towards him? Pinochet leading a CIA-backed coup?

          I guess you could argue that to igno

          • Thatcher was 1979 = 2011-30.

            Lol, embarrassing. = should have read [unsupported symbol to indicate approximately equal to]. Thatcher didn't really start fucking things up until a year or two into power, though.

          • by AK Marc (707885)

            The fact that the President not only could be impeached, but was impeached, shows how great things were. You think that's going to happen again?

            Nixon was not impeached. Clinton was. So you were wrong on both accounts (that there was an impeachment in the '70s and that there wouldn't be one again).

            • Nixon [washingtonpost.com].

              Clinton's technical impeachment was trivial, partisan and he was acquitted. It was one of IIRC three attempts, the other two of which never reached trial. It was essentially an abuse of the impeachment process and didn't work. It was technically an impeachment but in spirit a waste of time.

              Proceedings towards Nixon's impeachment received bipartisan support [washingtonpost.com] from the House Judiciary Committee, appropriately targeting an abuse of power with the Articles of Impeachment [watergate.info]. Everyone knew what the outcome woul

              • His commuting of Libby's sentence alone should have been grounds for some sort of investigation. That was just blatent cronyism. Libby is found guilty in a court of law on found counts of impeding a federal investigation... but the investigation would possibly have turned up evidence of political games even more embarassing, so Bush thanks him by commuting his sentence. The message is clear: "Laws are for the little people to follow, not us."
                • by hairyfeet (841228)

                  As much as I hate to defend Dubya (I personally think he'll rank in the top 5 of shitty presidents) the Libby pardon was all Cheney who basically rode Dubya 24/7 until he got what he wanted. If you look at Bush's history he was always against pardons and did surprisingly few as governor and as president, less than one quarter of Clinton for comparison.

                  As for TFA the problem is we in the west have left behind actually protecting children a dozen exits ago and now are firmly in the total batshit red scare ter

              • by AK Marc (707885)
                I understand your point, but it is factually wrong. Nixon was not impeached. There was a vote to begin impeachment proceedings, but the proceedings were never completed. The proceedings against Clinton were completed. Clinton was impeached.

                Just because the average person thinks "impeached" means "removed from office" doesn't allow you to use the words wrongly. Impeachment is like a grand jury indictment. The case has to be brought before the grand jury. They started the process to get Nixon's case t
                • Even though I believe the impeachment process worked in Nixon's case but were abused against Clinton, you're right that it doesn't mean I should misuse the technical term "impeachment". I should have talked in terms of the effectiveness of "impeachment proceedings" or something. Sorry.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          The government can spy on everybody, and shouldn't, but does; but they aren't acting on it very much.

          Yes well, amassing power and abusing power at the same time doesn't tend to work so well. Dictatorship 101 says that by the time the public starts protesting, it should already be too late. The barriers, the self-imposed compartmentalization and restrictions the government puts on itself are nothing but curtains the government could pull aside or pierce at will. Handing them more and more power is like sticking your hand deeper and deeper in a bear trap on the logic that it hasn't snapped shut yet.

          Besides,

      • by ultranova (717540)

        The average Western government each allows tens of millions of people to enjoy basic freedoms under the rule of law with a reasonably impartial justice system.

        No, the average Western government doesn't "allow" this, it's just along for the ride. The social structure and memes generated in the last couple hundred years allow it. And they are slowly but surely being eroded, in part by said governments.

      • oh, so many others are worse.

        be glad its only the US broken-ness that we have to endure.

        (your logic failed...)

      • by poity (465672)

        Agreed until you used "civil disobedience" to describe what they did.

        Civil disobedience is not abiding, and thus breaking, a law in order to protest its injustice -- protesters use civil disobedience so that the crime and the unjust punishment can be starkly juxtaposed in the public eye. Lulzsec have broken only laws regarding computer fraud, yet they were not protesting computer fraud laws they thought unjust, they were protesting laws of censorship, i.e. they committed a different crime in retaliation for

        • The people who label themselves lulzsec have done more than one thing. Civil disobedience is the refusal to obey a law considered unjust.

          So, random acts of vandalism aren't really civil disobedience. But releasing information demonstrating corruption is likely civil disobedience - it's implicitly or explicitly argued that you believe such information should be public and that laws to the contrary are unacceptable and worth breaking. Looking somewhere in between, a DDoS might be civil disobedience - if some

        • by arth1 (260657)

          Civil disobedience is not abiding, and thus breaking, a law in order to protest its injustice -- protesters use civil disobedience so that the crime and the unjust punishment can be starkly juxtaposed in the public eye. Lulzsec have broken only laws regarding computer fraud, yet they were not protesting computer fraud laws they thought unjust, they were protesting laws of censorship, i.e. they committed a different crime in retaliation for what they saw as injustice -- that is a HUGE difference.

          Is it, now?
          Indigenous people pitching tents on the lawn of the parliament is considered civil disobedience, even when they aren't protesting tent pitching laws.
          Demonstrators sitting down in the road to stop a cortege of cars are demonstrating civil disobedience, even when they're not protesting pedestrian laws.

          In short, you got this totally wrong. Civil disobedience is when you refuse to follow a civil order. That kind of follows from the name, really. Whether the order has anything to do with your cause

      • by discord5 (798235)

        if we spend a moment imagining ourselves as a chattel-wife in Saudi Arabia for a moment or held at gunpoint for everything around us in Somalia

        It's clear that things have been getting worse over the past 30 years in the West.

        So you're saying that one excuses the other here? "Our women are still allowed to drive and criminals aren't pointing guns at us, so it's okay for us to give up a little of our freedoms. It's all still good..."

        Yeah, it's all still good, but like you said, definitely on the decline. There's always some sort of boogeyman (commies, pedophiles, terrorists, ...) to cause a scare. It's been only a few months since there was talk of the White House trying to implement a "shutdown" for the internet in a state of em

        • So you're saying that one excuses the other here? "Our women are still allowed to drive and criminals aren't pointing guns at us, so it's okay for us to give up a little of our freedoms. It's all still good..."

          Since several respondents seem to have jumped to this conclusion, no, I'm definitely not saying that. I'm only saying what I said: we should acknowledge the good in what we have established (as well as the bad). There neither cancelling out of the good by the bad nor of the bad by the good.

          Considering that NATO is getting their panties in a bunch over Anonymous I'm expecting that they're not going to suggest an open Internet as we know it today.

          You know what irritates me perhaps more than is healthy? Thanks to the Internet we've seen a decline in amateur radio and shortwave listening, ham radio being the only true decentralised communications medium relying on n

    • by Palmsie (1550787)

      we are possibly seeing the dawn of a new world here.

      Or the resurgence is an old world. Hacking is nothing new, neither is the hacker culture. Wikileaks was the spark that rekindled the soldering embers that once were in the 80s and 90s with their unwavering pursuit toward exposing organizations and governments (regardless of whether you agree with their actions or not). I expect we will see much more of these types of groups and actions until the US adopts serious net neutrality laws or in (one might wish) that they add net neutrality or freedom of informati

    • You have already done more to protect the rights of common people than most governments in the world have in years. This really makes you wonder how a shadowy group of people on the internet have more influence than elected officials and regulatory boards. Of course, I guess that's because they have completely different goals... we are possibly seeing the dawn of a new world here.

      A world that is increasingly-connected by computer networks is a new world, and this is one fascinating aspect of it. Powerful governments and institutions have embraced technologies that are barely understood by businessman/bureaucrats/elites and are difficult for them to protect and control; despite this, they've used their power to place this tech at the foundation of practically everything in the industrialized world. Typical short-term thinking, done in the pursuit of greed, hegemony, and increased p

    • mafia tactics.

      over the centuries, they have always worked. fear is the main motivator in mankind.

      the diff is that the governments usually used the fear card to keep citizens in line.

      now, we have a 'citizens internet mafia' (in effect) scaring those in power (corrupt in power; important distinction) and getting a good result from it.

      you know, its hard to tell one mafia from the other. entertainment mafiaas, government mafiaas and now the hacker mafiaas.

      at the end of the day, you evaluate who helped your li

  • There's now... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by taktoa (1995544) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @01:58AM (#36565082)

    ... a chilling effect on censorship

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I know there are going to be lot of nay sayers calling this anarchy but they think we don't know are we forgot that defying the "law" was the only way so many countries got their freedom from the Brits (Didn't Aussies have a freedom fight?)

    • by bky1701 (979071)
      Many people are just sheep, as has always been the case. Those with no morals or values will surrender anything when told to, while those who stand for what they believe will keep being called terrorists. Eventually, though, the "terrorists" win - and not in the bad way. Then they are called heroes.
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The cyber rights movement has begun. No to cyber segregation. Australian ISP's are a lot like the bus companies in the deep south.
      All that expensive infrastructure needs a lot of users paying in every month.
      Just as empty buses rolled, users can find other isp's.
  • there are actual silver linings.
  • LulzSec getting praised for accomplishing good.
  • by kaptink (699820) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @02:37AM (#36565302) Homepage

    A note on Telstra's new filter. - and I suspect this has been done on purpose to make people think that the actual filter that labour is planning isnt all that bad in some kind of last ditch smooch attempt on Conroy - possibly due to Telstra and co getting left out of the NBN. If you look at what labour has proposed, it goes far beyond just the worst of the worst child abuse material and hence the public backlash. So I can't see any groups like Lulzsec getting all uperty about this filter since it is only blocking the very nasty stuff. Anyway nobody likes kiddy porn except the broken. So I can only imagine this is part of a FUD campaign by Telstra and Conroy to ease Ausies into his planned censorship regime and seed the idea that the whole filtering concept is infact just about blocking child abuse material - which is just not true.

    • Yeah they aren't (ab)using the filter to block anything but the "worst of the worst" now, but the whole uproar over the original filter was unaccountable bureaucrats deciding what would go on the SECRET filter list. I don't see how Telstra deciding what goes on the secret filter list is really any better.

      When some idiots claim that the works of Bill Henson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Henson) are child pornography (and thus a significant portion of classical and renaissance paintings and sculpture) th

    • First they came for the terrorists,
      and i didn't speak out because I wasn't a terrorist

      Then they came for the pedophiles,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a pedophile.

      Then they came for the flag-burners,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a flag burner.

      Then they came for me
      and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  • by kawabago (551139) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @02:44AM (#36565340)
    Our local resource center for our less affluent residents provides free internet access. It is supposed to have a filter for porn, only porn. Someone asked me to help them find information on medical marijuana and it was blocked by the filter. It wasn't porn but it was blocked. I asked the manager what else is being blocked? They didn't know. They didn't know how to change it either. I just hope no one dies because of that filter. Filter's always filter out more than they are supposed to, including legitimate political dissent. How free is your country if the government can control what you see, hear and read?
    • I think the Nanny state needs to back the F off and let the people decide what they want to block. I don't need the gubbermint to tell me what I can or can't see. Those who control the flow of information believe themselves to be your master. Information is power.
  • I don't care if they "blame" lulz... or if lulz really made a difference. Telstra sucks for agreeing to "filter" the Internet. Perhaps it's "great" they want to be like China and filter the Internet. The Internet does not want those filters.

    "The net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it" -- John Gilmore, 1993. That meaning existed llong before Telstra existed, and long after they will.

    Telstra - be quiet. You don't have the backbone to provide the freedom of Internet communication to the

    • by jamesh (87723)

      Telstra - be quiet. You don't have the backbone to provide the freedom of Internet communication to the masses.

      I actually wondered if they used this as an excuse to back out of putting the filter in because they don't really want to. Of course if they really did have a backbone they'd tell the government "no. this won't work, and even if it did work it would be wrong", but at least this way they won't turn on the filter but aren't directly disobeying the government.

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