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Australia Censorship The Internet Your Rights Online

No Internet “kill Switch” For Australia 152

An anonymous reader writes "Well, it looks as though at least some Governments have a backbone. Egypt switched off its internet to stop protests over the past few days, and the US Government is considering legislation that will give the President 'kill switch' powers over the internet as well. But in Australia, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy — best known for his attempt to filter the country's internet for child pornography and the country's flagship national fibre broadband rollout, says such a scenario couldn't occur."
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No Internet “kill Switch” For Australia

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  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @04:20AM (#35088186) Homepage Journal

    The current Government barely made it back in to office at the last election. They need every cheap shot they can think of to boost their popularity ratings. I assume the algorithm in use here is that Conroy scans the Daily(tm) on his iPad(tm) at the start of the week, picks a bit of news relevant to his constituency which looks bad, and composes a speech saying he won't do that. Repeat next week and so on.

  • That's nice. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by enter to exit ( 1049190 ) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @04:40AM (#35088260)
    If any government is facing a threat it will do anything it needs to protect itself, regardless of laws. Having or not having a law will not make the slightest difference in the face of a real emergency.
  • by Spad ( 470073 ) <slashdot.spad@co@uk> on Thursday February 03, 2011 @04:49AM (#35088290) Homepage

    Take responsibility for the security of the services you host on the internet?

  • by JustOK ( 667959 ) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @05:04AM (#35088344) Journal

    because they are setting up an attack vector, where none existed, that could be used to bring down the internet.

  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @05:10AM (#35088358) Homepage Journal

    Egypt shows that the killswitch can't be used for more than a week or so because business and Government both complain that they need it to do their work and keep things running. If it lasted a week in Egypt I reckon it would last a day in the US. At the same time people are good networkers and they know how to get the word out. An intranet can be a wifi card and a copy of mediawiki, though I am sure the solutions used in Egypt were pretty low tech. In short the kill switch does more damage than good. It can't be used for any length of time and it is pretty easy to work around. You may as well switch off the water and see how far you get.

  • by bug1 ( 96678 ) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @05:16AM (#35088376)

    Conroy was asked the question by a journalist, it wasnt a press release or something.

    Judge for yourself here is the clip []

    If you wish to be fair, how about a critical response to the oppositions approach to the Internet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 03, 2011 @05:20AM (#35088384)

    Just how critical is your "critical infrastructure" if you can render it unusable (i.e. take it offline), at a moments notice, and would prefer to do so as an alternative to it being destroyed?

    The only difference between taking it offline and destroying it, is that it (might) take longer to bring back online afterwards, if it's destroyed.

    It's like saying "enemy bombers are about to bomb our city" and responding: "to prevent this, we'll burn the city down!".

    What you should have, as your counter-strategy, is to shoot down the bombers. Invest in anti-aircraft guns, if it's such a likely possibility. Don't think that you're solving the problem by passing a law that says you get to burn everything. Law or no law, you'll be fighting tooth-and-nail against your own populace if it comes down to civil servants with torches trying to burn things down, because, hey: people like their stuff (and their internet) more than they like you.

    The fact that perhaps it's easier to rebuild burn ruins than bombed ruins isn't much of a benefit, even if it is faster; this is especially true for anyone who happened to need for their to be a city that they could use during that time. How have you helped them, exactly?

  • by dutchd00d ( 823703 ) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @05:25AM (#35088394) Homepage

    Secure the infrastructure that you expose to the internet. Make sure that no evil-doers can get in. If there *is* an attack and it all goes horribly wrong disconnect the infrastructure. No need to pull down the entire network.

    If you want to stop burglars you put a lock on your door, you don't dig up the street that they use to get to your door.

  • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @05:44AM (#35088470) Homepage Journal

    Why are people letting the US govt away with this? An internet kill switch sounds an awful lot like a violation of free speech, especially if they're thinking of using it in the same way the Egyptian govt did. The constitution is starting to look like a bad joke.

  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @07:32AM (#35088816) Journal
    Would that include a kill switch, or not?

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant