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Censorship Australia Government The Internet Your Rights Online

Australian ISPs To Start Filtering the Internet 151

daria42 writes "Australia's controversial mandatory internet filtering scheme may be on the backburner for now, but that doesn't mean it's gone entirely. In the next month, the country's two largest ISPs, Telstra and Optus, will start voluntarily filtering users' connections for a list of URLs containing child pornography. The only thing is, the users themselves don't seem to have much choice in the matter — and as the Electronic Freedom Foundation points out — there are no avenues for appeal for those websites which may feel they've been unfairly blocked."
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Australian ISPs To Start Filtering the Internet

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  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Friday June 24, 2011 @08:22AM (#36553624)

    Like seriously it's almost on the same page WTF Editors! [slashdot.org]

    • by tecker ( 793737 )

      Dupe isn't even a day old!!

      Oh I am going to be modded into oblivion for this, and likely loose some karma, but it was actually ~27 hours (4:20 am for article1 on 6-23, 7:19am for article2 on 6-24).

      However this trend is quickly becoming problematic and approaching same front page dupes and soon both in the 15 count RSS feed. Do the editors even read the site?

    • It's not fantastic [offlinesucks.com] at all!
  • Again ? (Score:5, Funny)

    by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Friday June 24, 2011 @08:24AM (#36553642)

    Maybe the editors are in Australia and the previous story [slashdot.org] was censored there ?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "The only thing is, the users themselves don't seem to have much choice in the matter"

    They could switch to a different ISP if they had any sense. Though anyone still on Telstra these days is demonstrably lacking in that.

    • Is Australia really so fortunate that the users have the ability to switch? In many cities here in the USA, you've got unimpressive cable internet and if you're in the right spot, even worse DSL as an option. I've always been under the impression that people in the rest of the anglophone world were trapped in similar situations.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Is Australia really so fortunate that the users have the ability to switch?.

        Sort of. The local copper loop to the home is generally owned by Telstra, but the federal government mandates that they must lease access to other service providers. The price is fixed and both sides complain more or less continually that it is either too high or too low. My internet service comes from comcen through telstra wires which must be 30 or 40 years old. Optus and Telstra both have co-axial cable to many homes but the cable services are more expensive than ADSL through copper, possibly due to ther

        • Also, for those of us not on a wired connection, Telstra mostly offers far better mobile connections to rural and remote areas which are prohibitively expensive to connect with DSL or cable. The trouble with Australia is that a disproportionately large proportion of the population lives in only half a dozen cities, so if you opt to live out of the main stream, you also have to live with the fact that the telcos will just pass you by. Internode fills a lot of gaps (very well indeed), but even they struggle w
      • Generally. In some cases you're just plain SOL. For example, I live in a proper, built up area (Palm Beach, QLD), but my nearest exchange is 3KM away, so ADSL2 is next to pointless. I could get cable, but the prices for that are disgusting. The best I can do without loosening my belt and bending over every time the bill comes in is 1500kbps ADSL1. But oh, the glorious NBN will save me! Damn it.
      • Dual American and Australian citizen here with houses in both countries, so I have some knowledge about this.

        In general, yes, Australia is that fortunate. Note that I say 'in general' - there will no doubt be some indignant person in Australia that replies to this and says "I can only get Telstra". But if you live in the major cities that contain ~90% of Australia's population, and you have a phone line, you almost always have a choice of anywhere between half a dozen, and 20+ ISPs. The reason for this is t

      • Yes, with the caveat that when you sign up with Optus for ADSL you typically have to enter into a 24 month contract with the vendor, so might be a bit of a wait until you can switch.
    • Ahh, this is such a great canard. Do all people have such a choice? And how long until they are all filtering so that even the people with a choice lose them?

    • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

      There's a lot of sense in what you say about Telstra/bigpond, and a lot of nonsense. Fortunately I live in an area where the alternatives are viable - westnet/iinet, for example. Not everyone is lucky to have that - Optus is lamentable, and I never recommend them to my customers.
      If the choice is telstra/bigpond vs. optus, then optus miss out. If I can steer people towards westnet, iinet, or even harboursat, I will.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Electronic FRONTIER Foundation. Way to be slashdot

  • That it will be child pornography?

    Competitors, political dissidents, sites who pay to block opponents etc. Sounds like a fabulous opportunity to me.

  • "sites with child pornography" are the new witches.
  • So they filter a URL. The same service can be accessed from different host names, some of them obtained from public domain name servers, some of then not. The users could use an alternate DNS root with a totally different idea of the names given to web sites, as long as the servers are configured appropriately. So say Telstra thinks a particular site is called a.cp.com but my DNS which sits between me and the internet calls it b.pc.com and the server knows this name as well. Telstra never heard of it so the

  • Why is it that everybody seems to concentrate on filtering it?

    Since when there is some place in the world where absolutely anything can be hosted with impunity to the point that the only recourse is blocking access to it? And wouldn't blocking it be exactly the wrong thing to do?

  • Is this coincidence that the same 2 ISPs just made significant deals with government to further the NBN? Sounds like a condition of the deal to me, and the government gets to keep their hands clean.
  • What I want to know is how filtering of these sites will help at all.


    Here is what I am seeing. Austrailia blocks these sites and what happens:
    1. Technology is downloaded and used to get around this filtering (VPNs,alternate DNS,etc.)
    2. New sites pop up creating a game of whack-a-mole
    3. Lawsuits and public outcry killing the project
    4. Long shot but the viewing of these sites might go down

    Now you will notice that nowhere on that list does the terms "kiddie porn sites go away" or "kids stop being

    • by X10 ( 186866 )

      This will definitely help: it will help pedophiles do their thing undisturbed. Filtering pictures of child abuse off the web makes them invisible to a general public, which will cease to put pressure on the government to stop child abuse. Meanwhile, pedophiles use their own channels to continue to distribute pictures of child abuse, and for that, to abuse children.
      ISPs should not filter anything. Governments should put maximum effort in taking down child abuse networks. And let's stop calling it "child porn

    • Nah not even that will happen. It's not a law. It's not 'Australia' blocking it. It's two out of the hundreds of ISPs (admittedly, big ones, but most people in Australia have a relatively wide choice of ISP cf. the US) doing it of their own making. So:

      - People on ISPs other than those two (which includes anyone with half a clue about the Internet - these ISPs are essentially the 'clueless ma and pa' ISPs), won't be affected.
      - People on these ISPs who care enough about the issue will switch to another ISP. T

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