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Censorship Australia Government The Internet Your Rights Online

Telstra Starts Implementing Australian Censorship Scheme 212

Posted by timothy
from the demonization-has-its-downsides dept.
daria42 writes "After four long years of debate about whether Australia will receive a mandatory Internet filter, finally some action has been taken. Yesterday the country's largest ISP, Telstra, started filtering all customers' connections for child pornography. The filter is DNS-based, meaning it's easy to circumvent, but you can't opt out of it — if you sign up to a plan with Telstra, your connection will be filtered for certain web addresses whether you like it or not. "
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Telstra Starts Implementing Australian Censorship Scheme

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  • Opt-out (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Fwipp (1473271) on Friday July 01, 2011 @10:49PM (#36639378)

    Even if you could opt out of this, the Australian government would just know who to put on their watch list.

    • Re:Opt-out (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dyinobal (1427207) on Friday July 01, 2011 @10:53PM (#36639402)
      How's this stopping child porn. The hard core predators will simply go out and find a kid, or change their DNS settings. Maybe this impresses the think of the children demographic but it doesn't do anything.
      • Re:Opt-out (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jamesh (87723) on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:51PM (#36639568)

        How's this stopping child porn. The hard core predators will simply go out and find a kid, or change their DNS settings. Maybe this impresses the think of the children demographic but it doesn't do anything.

        A bunch of cases recently have seen some people let off because it can't be proven that they didn't stumble across the child porn accidentally. Now apart from pictures of girls that looked like they might not have been quite 18 i've never stumbled across anything like child porn by accident so I find that a bit hard to believe, but if there is evidence that the person took steps to circumvent the filter it is harder for them to argue that they stumbled across it by accident.

        But you're right, there was child porn before the internet and there will be child porn after the filter is implemented. And while it might stop a few brainless idiots obtaining pictures, it won't stop anyone who is seriously motivated to find them and it definitely won't stop the images being produced in the first place, which is the real crime.

        • Re:Opt-out (Score:4, Insightful)

          by dgatwood (11270) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @12:17AM (#36639648) Journal

          ... but if there is evidence that the person took steps to circumvent the filter it is harder for them to argue that they stumbled across it by accident.

          Yeah, if there is evidence that they took those steps to circumvent the filter. Is there anybody on Slashdot who isn't already running his/her own DNS server at home? Didn't think so. I have two authoritative public DNS servers on my home network that also provide caching DNS for my intranet and DMZ, and I doubt I'm alone in that regard.

          The bigger concern here, at least in my mind, is that this might turn into a witch hunt. Let's say that Telstra suddenly decides to see which clients are using their DNS server, then reports the ones that aren't to the authorities because after all, they're probably doing it to download child porn, pirated movies, warez, or whatever else that Telstra is blocking this week. That could turn into a whole lot of hassle for a whole lot of people. And particularly when it comes to child porn, once accused, forever shunned, making it triply important that folks in Australia ensure that such witch hunts do not occur....

          Maybe I'm just being too paranoid.... Nah.

          • Yeah, if there is evidence that they took those steps to circumvent the filter. Is there anybody on Slashdot who isn't already running his/her own DNS server at home?

            Well I'm not running my own DNS servers and I am not quite sure why I should be. My local ISP isn't doing anything weird and there is Google and OpenDNS as backup (as well as numerous others). Not being snarky or anything, but why would I want to do that? Seems like one more thing that I would have to maintain and one without any clear benefit.

            • by dgatwood (11270)

              A lot of folks on slashdot host their own domains, which usually means running your own DNS servers.

              Also, a lot of folks run Linux, and the default configuration on a lot of Linux distros provides a caching-only DNS server on the box, unless this has changed recently.

              • by jamesh (87723)

                A lot of folks on slashdot host their own domains, which usually means running your own DNS servers.

                I think you're getting mixed up between a DNS server and a caching resolver.

                • by dgatwood (11270)

                  Uh... no, I'm not.... Every BIND-based DNS server that's authoritative for a domain is also a caching DNS server for other domains unless you explicitly disable recursion in resolv.conf.

                  Most folks have recursion limited to their local subnet to reduce the risk of certain types of cache poisoning attacks, IIRC, but unless the defaults have changed since I built my last box, the default BIND config leaves recursion wide open.

                  I couldn't care less about caching in the client library (resolver). That's basical

            • Re:Opt-out (Score:4, Interesting)

              by xnpu (963139) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @06:03AM (#36640364)

              Using OpenDNS or Google DNS messes with content distribution networks. I don't recommend using them.

              There's many reasons to run your own DNS:
              * Improved performance, even if small.
              * Avoid ISP incompetence (plenty ISP's don't honor refresh/expiry times or otherwise deliver a sub-optimal DNS service.)
              * Ability to include alternative TLD's.
              * To apply your own filtering (for everyone in the home).
              * Use DNSSEC if your ISP doesn't.
              * Run your own internal domain (e.g. for development purposes.)
              * Hosting your own DNS and website from your home server.

              etc. I'm sure others could come up with much more.

          • by DarkOx (621550)

            What makes you think they don't just redirect any tcp/udp 53 traffic to the DNS server they want you to use? Are you verifying your DNS is really talking to the roots or your desired upstream server?

            • by dgatwood (11270)

              IIRC, DNSSEC will prevent that from working, assuming you have it set up properly and the TLD you're contacting has it enabled.

        • A bunch of cases recently have seen some people let off because it can't be proven that they didn't stumble across the child porn accidentally. [...] if there is evidence that the person took steps to circumvent the filter it is harder for them to argue that they stumbled across it by accident.

          One could still end up on undesired page by accident, e.g. by clicking an URL that has the IP address directly in it. No DNS lookup, no filter. And someone could take up a hobby of sending e-mails with these links to Aussie politicans, then tip the police that someone's browser cache has dirty stuff in it.

      • by WillKemp (1338605)

        How's this stopping child porn. The hard core predators will simply go out and find a kid, or change their DNS settings. Maybe this impresses the think of the children demographic but it doesn't do anything.

        It's got nothing to do with child porn. It's about pandering to sicko christians who want to ban all porn. This is just the thin end of the wedge. It comes from exactly the same place as those disgustingly insulting "no pornography" signs outside Aboriginal communities in the NT - i.e. Family First, who had the balance of power in the senate for several years.

      • by xnpu (963139)

        The "viewers" don't even need to change their DNS. The webmaster can simply register another domain or use the IP address in his links. If the aussie viewers are sufficient for him to create content (which is what we're really fighting here - supposedly), then they're also sufficient for him to take these simple and cheap measures.

        Really, this filter is totally bogus. The only thing it will filter is joe blow visiting wikileaks.ch or whatever else accidentally ends up in the filter.

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Now of course Interpols track record with wikileaks and Julian Assange likely makes them a questionable authority that should be subject to review. So is is child pornography when a US gunship pilot shoots children whilst seemingly in a sexually agitated state as a result of the idea of murdering people with their big gun. So will the US and other governments demand that websites that show US and other Allied Soldiers act's of brutality against children be banned and branded and child pornography.

    • Re:Opt-out (Score:4, Informative)

      by The Qube (749) on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:30PM (#36639510)

      Nice try, but this has nothing to do with the Australian Government.

      Telstra and other ISPs are implementing a blacklist that is managed by Interpol [crn.com.au].

      The same system is in use by some ISPs in the UK and other European countries.

      And as far as the list goes, it is actually very conservative in its definition of child pornography, only classifying sites depicting minors under 13, not under 18.

      • Because "Under 18" really isn't illegal in many countries.

        It's just the USA where if you're having sex with a smoking hot 17.999999999999999 year old you're going to be put on a list for life. Even if you're 18.000000000000000001.

        Thems the rules.

        • by definate (876684)

          In Australia the age of consent is either 16 or 17 depending on the circumstances (homosexual relationships, age of both partners, and state you're in).

          However, with regards to pornography, that's a whole other set of laws, which I'm uncertain about.

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          There really should be exceptions made when both participants are effectively the same age... Many people have been screwed for celebrating their 18th birthday by having sex with their (few weeks or months) younger girlfriend.

        • by toriver (11308)

          Child porn laws generally set the limit at 18 regardless of sexual age of consent. So you can have sex with your hot girlfriend as long as you do not record it...

      • by definate (876684) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @12:00AM (#36639592)

        Nice try, but you obviously haven't been keeping up with the local news.

        The current government (The Australian Labor Party) has been trying to push through this form of censorship, to gain support from the religious zealots in the country. They need the religious zealots support, because they do not have a large enough majority to ram through what they want. This censorship plan was developed by minister Stephen Conroy, and at the previous election they had to ditch this plan, because it was so amazingly un-popular.

        At the same time the Australian Labor Party has decided to "nationalize" (debatable as to whether the National Broadband Network is really nationalized or not) the internal internet infrastructure of Australia, by laying down billions of dollars, buying up a fuck load of fiber, and handing out a lot of contracts to roll out more fiber. This plan is being setup and run by minister Stephen Conroy, the exact same man who came up with the original legislative censorship plans, has now been given a fuck load of money, and authority. Telstra owns MOST of the infrastructure the government is looking to buy, as it was Australia's first (I think it was the first) telephony provider, which used to be nationalized, but was privatized in the late 90s.

        At the same time Telstra started to censor the internet, they were awarded a very large favourable contract, from the government, to purchase this infrastructure from them. Both of these were announced in THE SAME WEEK. This is a mighty fine coincidence.

        Now, you might say, but that's just a coincidence and doesn't mean anything. The company is just voluntarily deciding to censor the internet.

        Well, in the same week another company, Optus, which is Australia's second largest telephony provider, was awarded a very large favourable contract for the purchase of their infrastructure handed to them, and in the same week, that company also decided to announce that they would voluntarily censor the internet with this same list, under a similar time frame.

        So...
        There are 2 companies, selling a large amount of equipment to the government, for very large amounts of money, with very favourable terms, and they both decided to announce, in the same week that these contracts were handed out, that they will voluntarily censor the internet.

        That is FAR too great a coincidence.

        Additionally, ISPs like Internode, which are the nerds choice of ISP, who also own a significant amount of infrastructure, and were active in dissenting against the prior censorship plans, have been told flat out that they will not be offered such favourable contracts for their infrastructure, in the same week these were awarded.

        So yes, "technically", you're correct, but we all know that the government would have had a hand in this, especially because these plans were so wildly unpopular with the public, that any ISP that implements censorship of any kind, knows they will get backlash over it. In fact, Telstra knows it was going to get this backlash, and actually put off implementing it specifically because they were afraid of reprisals from LulzSec, AnonSec, Anonymous, and similar.

        What ISP do you know, that voluntarily does things like this, which don't improve its profitability, which expose it to reprisal, and targeted attacks, without being forced to by government?

        Not to mention, two of them at the same time.

        The Australian Government, and their currently "unlimited" spending account, has EVERYTHING to do with this.

        I have links for all the above, but there's too many, and I'm too lazy. Instead, just read Delimiter [delimiter.com.au] which has some of the best coverage on this.

        • by mnot (71203)

          Additionally, ISPs like Internode, which are the nerds choice of ISP, who also own a significant amount of infrastructure, and were active in dissenting against the prior censorship plans, have been told flat out that they will not be offered such favourable contracts for their infrastructure, in the same week these were awarded.

          Uh, I loves the Internode, but they don't own the kind of infrastructure that's important here -- last-mile.

          • by definate (876684)

            Yeah, I know they don't own last mile, except in a few places (their research places, etc), they do also own some interstate infrastructure, and some wireless infrastructure. The point was that, while Optus does own other more necessary infrastructure, their deal included the purchase of infrastructure similar to Internode's. However, Internode wouldn't be offered as favourable a contract.

        • What ISP do you know, that voluntarily does things like this, which don't improve its profitability, which expose it to reprisal, and targeted attacks, without being forced to by government?

          Telstra has always marketed itself as a family-oriented ISP. Look at its ads. They're all squeaky-clean family scenes where everyone smiles and has fun, the kids text friends and engage in wholesome activities, and everyone gathers around the television in the end.

          Telstra panders to the conservatives and religious zealot

        • This is not mandatory.

          The current government (The Australian Labor Party) has been trying to push through this form of censorship

          You mean Conroy, not the Labor party. Deputy comms minister Kate Lundy has been an outspoken critic of filtering and this keeps failing on Labor's back bench, not on the opposition or the Greens (In other words, the filter failed in the house when Labor had a majority, it didn't even make it to the senate where the Greens would have blocked it).

          At the same time Telstra started t

          • by definate (876684) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @12:44PM (#36642066)

            Ahh, I see you're not good at reading, let me help you out.

            You mean Conroy, not the Labor party.

            Completely wrong. The beginnings of these policies started with Kim Beazley [archive.org]. Additionally, if it's not a Labor party policy, then you need to tell the Prime Minister that [theaustralian.com.au], and you might ask them to update their pages [dbcde.gov.au]. While you can say the most recent ones are crafted and pushed by Conroy, it does have the support of "the party", where its leader and strategists speak for what the party supports.

            Deputy comms minister Kate Lundy has been an outspoken critic of filtering

            Partially wrong. She's been an outspoken critic of... THIS type of filter. She wants it to be an opt-out filter. [canberratimes.com.au] She was however an outspoken critic of ISP level filtering... when LIBERAL [smh.com.au] was in power [katelundy.com.au].

            The contract was to buy that.

            This is where the reading comprehension comes in. Even with the single line you quoted, in no way, can it be taken to mean 'they were paid to censor the internet'. Please re-read it. What it says is 'They censored the internet, at the same time as they were awarded a contract', not a contract for censoring the internet, but a contract for buying the infrastructure.

            Please, keep up.

            This is because they own 0% of the pits and ducts (or copper) that make up the last mile which is where the NBN is operating.

            Now this is reasonably true, except that Agile (Internodes infrastructure company) does supply last mile connections for many [zdnet.com.au] rural communities [theage.com.au]. On top of this, they own a significant amount of interstate fiber, which is something the NBN also had in its deal [delimiter.com.au], though to a lesser extent at this stage.

            You dont actually understand what's going on here and should never have been modded up.

            The thing I like about your post, is the arrogance it has, while being exceptionally wrong. It's almost like you're trolling me. Not sure if you're retarded, or trolling. I'm erring on the former.

      • by RsG (809189)

        And as far as the list goes, it is actually very conservative in its definition of child pornography, only classifying sites depicting minors under 13, not under 18.

        Which is what is actually meant by "child pornography" in the generally understood sense. When a person is arrested and the news says something like "kiddy porn found on perp's laptop", what the audience understands it to mean is sexually abusive images of prepubescent children. No member of the general public would call a topless picture of a 17 year old photographing herself in the mirror kiddy porn, though legally it would be considered such is many jurisdictions.

        If anything, this means the Interpol li

        • by hjf (703092)

          You do know that "bona fide" means "in good faith". As in "with good intentions", right?

          • by RsG (809189)

            Huh, I'd always heard it used to mean "genuine". Wiktionary [wiktionary.org] does support both meanings, however a literal translation is "good faith".

            It's likely a case of a phrase taking on a second, similar meaning over time. "Goof faith" and "not counterfeit" are obvious intersections; it's a small hop from there to "genuine". Still, I didn't know that when I wrote it. My bad.

        • by AftanGustur (7715)

          It's still not a very effective solution to the problem though. Bona fide child molesters are not going to straighten up and fly right because their ISP implemented a filter.

          You are absolutely right, but the problem is not only the molesters.

          The general consensus is that Child pornography should not become "accepted" for a variety of other reasons.
          Kids are naturally very attached to those that should be protecting them and providing them with security and education, so it is all too easy for these people to abuse the children in their care.

          Only when these kids grow up do they realize what has happened and they live in constant fear their "little secret" becomes public, th

        • It also assumes there is some competence on the part of the list administrators. I'm sure everyone here recalls the incident when the UK's child-porn-blocking body blocked an image on Wikipedia and in the process screwed up the site's anti-vandal measures - even though the offending image was an album cover that could be seen on Amazon.com. There was also a leak of an early version of the Australian list which showed it to be full of the strangest non-offensive random things like the webpage of a hair salon
      • And as far as the list goes, it is actually very conservative in its definition of child pornography, only classifying sites depicting minors under 13, not under 18.

        Can you link me to somewhere I can download the list? As it stands, I've no idea what's on the list, and whether it accurately actually truly only limits itself to those things. Historically, these lists have NOT limited themselves to only these things. Even the list that the Australia Government previously wanted to use, was found to have A LOT of material which was far outside of these bounds, when it was leaked.

        • For obvious reasons, no-one not directly involved in the list's management will ever be permitted to see it. You'll just have to trust that the secretive agency with the power to block any site on the internet and no public oversight is doing the right thing.
      • by AftanGustur (7715) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @02:08AM (#36639852) Homepage
        This is the database in question. [interpol.int]

        The Database is maintained by Interpol, and is available to any ISP upon request, not just in Australia.

        All Interpol member countries have given this project a green light and like "The Cube" is saying above, it is very strict in what constitutes a "Child Porn", i.e. age of 13, and the images have to show abuse.

        The ICPO database in already implemented in a lot of countries, they have just done it without telling anyone, so only those that are actively seeking Child porn on the Internet are aware of the blocking.

        • by toriver (11308)

          But some countries seem to go beyond that: Apparently, sites that show over-18 models who sport ponytails or braces ("young" features) have sometimes been blocked, and also fictional child porn (comics, text), i.e. look at the case of the American stopped on the Canadian border for possessing a Japanese manga.

      • If there is a list of IP's that host children under 13 being sexually abused then why are they not being shut down instead of being put on a blacklist???
    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      True - but this is only one ISP out of the hundreds that are available [whirlpool.net.au]. Plus, the filter is very small in scope - nothing to do with the Australian Government, but rather maintained by Interpol, and purportedly blocks only child abuse content with ages less than 13 involved.

      So, either you care about it enough to switch ISPs (which due to the forced wholesale laws in Australia, virtually everyone can do, and is a good idea anyway since Telstra usually aren't the best choice), or you don't care and you will c

    • by mjwx (966435)
      You opt out by joining an ISP that doesn't implement this voluntary filter such as Internode, Adam or iinet.

      BTW, the filter is voluntary because it failed in parliament twice. The system actually works sometimes.

      Signed, Happy, unfiltered Internode customer.
  • by gavron (1300111) on Friday July 01, 2011 @10:55PM (#36639410)

    Domain Name System servers must conform to the standards. If Telstra is unable or unwilling to comply, they can be removed. Sure, they're popular in Australia... but you want to be ON the Internet, you have to work WITH the Internet.

    DNS is specified in RFC 1034, RFC 1035, covered further in the Hosts Requirements RFCs (1122, 1123).

    Telstra, if you can't be standards compliant, you will be worked around.

    Australian users: use any public DNS server that is standards compliant. You'll avoid the censorship, and you won't lose connectivity.

    Telstra -- Australian for "Censorship"

    E

    • by mtaht (603670) on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:46PM (#36639552) Homepage
      Nearly every Linux machine ships with named (bind9) available and often, even turned on, in a caching-only configuration. To use it by default you just disable /etc/dhcp/dhclient's domain-name-servers request and point your resolv.conf to localhost. By doing this you get NXdomain back, too... and your local cache of dns entries is likely to be more performant than an ISPs 10s of ms away for cached entries. You can also run dnssec, if you so choose. Latest versions of bind can do dnssec, you can enable it with one line in the conf file. Ever since multiple services started messing with DNS a decade ago... returning broken queries, pointing to ad sites, not doing ipv6, not returning mx records, etc... I've run my own dns server. Now that dns is being mis-used for censorship, perhaps more will rebell. As servers go, in memory it's rather small...
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by jamesh (87723)

      That's the most bullshit argument i've ever heard. My spam filter blocks some email, which means it isn't standards compliant. My browser redirects me to a warning page if the page i'm about to visit is known to have been compromised - that's not standards compliant either.

      And what's with all the blaming Telstra? Telstra might be a private company in theory but the government is still pulling it's strings. If Telstra wasn't around the government would be making another ISP comply, and that's exactly what wi

      • by gavron (1300111) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @12:34AM (#36639680)

        It's unusual that you haven't been exposed to that much bullshit or that "DNS", "browser", and "redirects" seem to you be the same thing.

        No worries. DNS is the fundamental name to number translation. Any host on the Internet must not screw with this (I posted the RFCs but I understand you didn't read them).

        Browser is one choice of application type, and not relevant to any discussion.

        Redirect is a function of a browser and even less redirect.

        Have a beautiful day, and look up why "it's" and "its" are not the same word, sweetie.

        DNS should not be messed with. It's a foundation of the network. The host-RFC says so.

        Best regards.

        E

        • What you fail to realize is that these people don't care that they're not standards compliant. Standard compliant just means that it is easy for others to interface with you. Telstra really doesn't care about that - it only cares that it provides enough Internet access to enough people to give a nice, fat bonus to its execs. And that doesn't require that it implements DNS in a standards-compliant way. I mean, you're not supporting child pornographers, right? So be quiet and accept the new and improved stan

        • by jamesh (87723)

          It's unusual that you haven't been exposed to that much bullshit or that "DNS", "browser", and "redirects" seem to you be the same thing.

          No worries. DNS is the fundamental name to number translation. Any host on the Internet must not screw with this (I posted the RFCs but I understand you didn't read them).

          Read them. Implemented them. Understand why a caching resolver (which is what we're talking about here, not DNS servers) might sometimes need to tinker with the records. If you wanted to block access to facebook on a network then creating bogus facebook.com and related entries is the fastest and cleanest way to do that, assuming the people on your network don't know enough to circumvent it and/or you block port 53 from IP's that aren't your resolvers.

          Browser is one choice of application type, and not relevant to any discussion.

          Redirect is a function of a browser and even less redirect.

          having trouble parsing that last sentence.

          Have a beautiful day, and look up why "it's" and "its" are not the same word, sweetie.

          Oops. Typo, not

      • by Eskarel (565631)

        We blame Telstra because the government isn't forcing them. They may be pressuring them(though I haven't heard much publicly since Rudd got knifed a year ago), but they haven't and can't make it law.

  • Blacklist? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hjf (703092)

    What the fuck? They have the addresses, why can't they track down the servers and their owners? Isn't that more useful (and easier) than doing all this theatre?

    • Re:Blacklist? (Score:4, Informative)

      by thr13z3 (214476) on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:16PM (#36639472) Homepage

      Servers are hosted in countries who lack laws to deal with those.

      • by hjf (703092)

        I'm pretty sure child pornography is illegal in basically every country. You don't ned no newfangled "internet laws" to deal with that.

    • Re:Blacklist? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:32PM (#36639516)

      They have the addresses, why can't they track down the servers and their owners?

      Many are located in Russia or the 'Stans. These are places where organized crime runs deep in the circles of power, and thus are difficult or impossible to snuff out.

    • by jamesh (87723)

      For all the people arguing about censorship, how is tracking down the servers and shutting them down not an even worse form of censorship though? Should governments just shut down every server with content they don't like?

      • Because it's being done the right way: Police investigation, gathering of evidence, court order, criminal charges, fair(ish) trial and right of appeal, and right to file a civil claim for compensation should there be a mistake. As opposed to the censorship method, where a secretive organisation declares a site forbidden and not even the site owners are informed, with none of the safeguards provided by courts and no right of appeal.
  • OpenDNS (Score:4, Informative)

    by MischaNix (2163648) on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:27PM (#36639506)
    As a gentle reminder to anyone who doesn't already have these IPs on a sticky note, the OpenDNS IPs are:
    208.67.222.222
    208.67.220.220
    • by heypete (60671)

      Google's are even easier to remember: 8.8.8.8 and 4.4.4.4.

      UltraDNS also offers an OpenDNS-like service with the IPs of 156.154.70.1 and 156.154.71.1 .

      • by thr13z3 (214476)

        But those are located in the US so you have to be willing to sacrifice some speed in exchange for their services and I wouldn't be surprised if someday we were to find out that Google is monitoring/recording/using everything going through their DNS.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by moj0joj0 (1119977)

        Google's are even easier to remember: 8.8.8.8 and 4.4.4.4.

        UltraDNS also offers an OpenDNS-like service with the IPs of 156.154.70.1 and 156.154.71.1 .

        Quick correction, Google's are: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
        http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/ [google.com]

      • Not sure how long they're going to be public but GTE/Level3 are 4.2.2.1, 4.2.2.2.

        I used them long before google's came into existence.

        I DON'T like how OpenDNS tries to redirect me if something doesn't resolve or seems fishy. I'm a big boy. I can handle the interwebs.

    • by tombeard (126886)

      Are they just fudging the isp DNS servers or are they blocking IP addresses and and "backtracing" (sic) requests to those IPs? I really don't care if they want to censure the DNS of my ISP as long as I can continue to access any DNS I like.

    • Google DNS is quite easier to remember

      8.8.8.8

  • Google DNS [google.com] OpenDNS [opendns.com]
    • by jez9999 (618189)

      OpenDNS has a choice of 'What are you protecting?' Unfortunately, they didn't have the option I wanted; 'my freedom'.

  • Child Porn First... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by andrew3 (2250992) on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:32PM (#36639520)
    Child porn will be blocked first. However, the problem with internet censorship is that other material (such as political material, eg. WikiLeaks) could also be blocked eventually. The first rule of censorship is to not talk about it; it's ironic that we don't know what websites are going to be blocked. Bad stuff has already been done because of the filter anyway. Look at Bulletproof Networks - they were threatened fines of $11,000 per day for linking to a leak of the blacklist.
    • by pitchpipe (708843)

      However, the problem with internet censorship is that other material (such as political material, eg. WikiLeaks) [will] also be blocked [in the near future].

      I found a couple of grammar errors in your sentence.

    • I imagine that after child porn, there will be influencial pressure groups demanding the blocking of the following:
      - Sites aiding or promoting copyright infringement
      - Sites deemed libelous by an Australian court, even if author and site are based outside of the country
      - Site deemed threatening to national security (Wikileaks)
      - Sites deemed to promote racial or religious hate
      - All pornography, probably by an extension of the AU retail rating system to include online distribution.
      - Non-pornography sites
  • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @12:10AM (#36639624) Journal
    I understand being opposed to child porn, hey, I'm opposed to it to. But if I knew of a child porn website, the first thing on my mind would be, "whose website is that, and how can we stop them?" and secondly, "who is hosting that website, and how can we get through them to the ones who are actually hurting the children?"

    Censoring websites does absolutely nothing for the victims of child porn, and does absolutely nothing to stop the ones who are participating in it. This is true even if the censorship mechanism worked. What are you Australians thinking? How do you let your politicians get this kind of power?
    • by thegarbz (1787294) on Saturday July 02, 2011 @12:54AM (#36639720)

      and how can we get through them to the ones who are actually hurting the children?"

      This has never been the goal in Australia. Most of the laws exist to punish the viewers of material not the people who produce it. Frequently people get dealt with larger jail sentences if they have child porn on their computers than they do if they are caught actually propositioning or grooming children for sex. The backwards nature of this is absurd in todays society and this has nothing to do with Australia.

      In the USA teenagers got prosecuted for girlfriend sending nude picture to boyfriend taken with a mobile phone. No one got hurt, and no children were "saved" due to the prosecution. You surfing a porn website and you accidentally end up with child porn? Well you can be held liable since your browser cache is counted as "downloading".

      I guess that would really fuck the entire 4chan readership of Australia then. How many times have there been the occasional sicko posting child pornography on that site only for the thread to be deleted a few minutes later. Didn't read it? Tough the picture was in your browser cache.

      By the way any Telstra user here confirm if 4chan still works?

    • by houghi (78078)

      How do you let your politicians get this kind of power?

      Same as they do in most countries, by allowing lobbying to sidestep voters.

    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      At the last election people were given the choice "freedom" or "fast internet". Enough took the fast internet and decided freedom was something they could worry about later. sadly you ill find those morons will also now be some of the ones screaming the loudest about the government censorship which they voted for.
    • > How do you let your politicians get this kind of power?

      We haven't let them "get this kind of power". This is being done by an ISP, not the government.

    • Because that requires effort and expense. Real child porn sites are probably going to be hosted somewhere in a third-world dustbowl, Russia or a *stan that dislikes the entire western world. Shutting one down requires cooperating with another country's place force through mountains of paperwork, serving subpoenas, dealing with uncooperative ISPs stalling for time, going through financial records, eliminating the false leads from stolen credit cards... it could take weeks and cost hundreds of thousands of do
  • Let's get this out of the way first: I agree that child pornography sites should be "blocked" (censored). Better still, nuke them off the internet. No argument from me in that regard.

    Ok, now that's out of the way, let's consider something else. Suppose someone accidentally clicks on a link (in a spam email, for example) that leads to a known child pornography site. Yes, people shouldn't click on unknown links in emails, but they do. So, they click on the link and are presented with the "this domain/link is

    • I don't know about how things will be done in AU, but here in the UK they wouldn't get a 'blacklisted' error. They would get a fake 404 page, so they never know they were trying to look at a blocked site. It's just a lot easier for the list operators, as if they should screw up and block something they shouldn't then chances are no-one will ever notice.
  • The title and summary are a little misleading. They imply that this is related to the Australian government's proposed mandatory censorship scheme. It is not the same scheme and it is not being done in the same way. If there is any relation, it is that this scheme is intended to pre-empt any effort by the government to pursue mandatory censorship.

    This scheme being implemented by Telstra is the exact same scheme already implemented by UK ISPs BT, O2 and Virgin.

    Unlike the Australian government's mandatory sch

  • Does it help if you point your DNS client at alternate DNS servers that don't cooperate with the Australian government (or anyone else, except maybe each other)?

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876

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