Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Censorship

Some Of Australia's Tubes Are About To Be Filtered 339

Posted by samzenpus
from the think-of-the-koala-children dept.
Slatterz writes "The first phase of Australia's controversial Internet filters were put in place today, with the Australian government announcing that six ISPs will take part in a six-week pilot. The plan reportedly includes a filter blocking a list of Government-blacklisted sites, and an optional adult content filter, and the government has said it hasn't ruled out the possibility of filtering BitTorrent traffic. The filters have been widely criticized by privacy groups and Internet users, and people have previously even taken to the streets to protest. While Christian groups support the plan, others say filters could slow down Internet speeds, that they don't work, and that the plan amounts to censorship of the Internet. At this stage the filters are only a pilot, and Australia's largest ISP, Telstra, is not taking part. But if the $125.8 million being spent by the Australian Government on cyber-safety is any indication, it's a sign of things to come."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Some Of Australia's Tubes Are About To Be Filtered

Comments Filter:
  • by Mrs. Grundy (680212) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:04AM (#26824061) Homepage

    Please, if you use one of the ISPs in this program, send a very strong message and dump them as soon as the filters go live. Tell them that you are quite capable, thank you very much, of filtering your own content.

    I guarantee that if this gains traction it will not stop at porn. Welcome back to the Middle Ages.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:24AM (#26824165)

      Mmm... no.

      1) my ISP (iinet) has repeatedly stated [slashdot.org] that it is only taking part in trial to demonstrate how badly it will fail, so I wouldn't be sending them any message they didn't already know
      2) there's no way I'm joining Telstra if I have a choice! Which of the good ISPs aren't in the trial?

      • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:39AM (#26824259)

        my ISP (iinet) has repeatedly stated [slashdot.org] that it is only taking part in trial to demonstrate how badly it will fail, so I wouldn't be sending them any message they didn't already know

        Apparently they don't already know that even flirting with this will lose them a lot of business, which is the message that I hope is sent to them. No buying this "No seriously guys, we're doing it IRONICALLY" crap The history lesson to ISPs and "christian groups" that should be written here is that censorship is radioactive, if you even give the IMPRESSION that you're okay with censorship you will go bankrupt.

      • by Techman83 (949264)
        Most aren't in it. Only ones I've heard of are Primus and Webshield, that latter only because of this whole netfilter business(read my comment about them further down)

        "The initial round of ISPs are Primus Telecommunications, Tech 2U, Webshield, OMNIconnect, Netforce and Highway 1.

        No doubt they were selected due to not being to vocal about the filter and being rather small ISPs here in Australia. Primus is probably the biggest out of the lot of them.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Probie (1353495)
        So they are going to withhold content from there customers, and potentially slow down net traffic just to prove a point? I don't think they would be my first choice.
      • by mabinogi (74033) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @07:12AM (#26825433) Homepage

        Which of the good ISPs aren't in the trial?

        All of them.

        The trial will happen, it may even get extended, but the filter itself will never happen.
        It will never get through parliament, and even Conroy himself isn't actually saying the filter is a certainty - just that the trial is.

    • by PenguSven (988769) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:34AM (#26824227)
      have you seen the list of ISPs? they're all nobodies that have fuck all customers. Primus is the only "big" one, and they're fucking tiny, and I can tell you right now, they have alterior motives - the CEO tried to do a deal with the Senator who's pushing the filtering, so that Primus would supply filtering tech.
    • by rdnetto (955205) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:55AM (#26824359)

      I'm with iiNet, but there's no way I'm dumping them, and here's one reason why: http://www.iinet.net.au/customers/iinews/internet-filtering.html [iinet.net.au]

      To summarise it, iiNet's only going along with the trial to demonstrate the futility of filtering. They're also currently fighting a court case regarding copyright infringement to maintain their user's privacy, instead of just rolling over like most other ISPs would.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by plasmacutter (901737)

        "o summarise it, iiNet's only going along with the trial to demonstrate the futility of filtering."

        I'm going to punch you in the face now...

        I'm doing it to prove that, one day, someone tougher than me will come along and make me pay for it, but for now I will continue punching you in the face.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by wdef (1050680)
          "I'm going to collaborate with the [insert oppressive regime here] just to prove that the regime is not viable." Doesn't sound quite right, does it? A total boycott by all ISPs of this idiodicy would be far more effective. Dump iNet and all the others immediately, but be sure to email them first and tell them why.
      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday February 12, 2009 @10:27AM (#26826939)
        Yeah, and I'm fucking your wife just to demonstrate that adultery is wrong.
    • by twostix (1277166) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:06AM (#26824417)

      The problem we now have, and it's a hugely problematic problem, is that the government is going to use this legislation as a bargaining chip to push through it's economic stimulus plan.

      Late last year I was hoping and sitting rather comfortably in the knowledge that this would never make it through the senate.

      But now a few individual senators are holding the government over a barrel regarding the stimulus plan, the same senators that support the censorship (except the greens). So expect the government to sacrifice the internet giving them everything they want to gain support for their new financial endevours.

      The internet in Australia doesn't have a hope I'm afraid.

      I won't even mention that yet again Rudd seems to be bringing us into line with China. He really seems to have an infatuation with that country and everything they do, and I think it's got a little more to do than just being able to speak their language. It's getting to be really quite creepy.

      In other words I'm waiting for the bastard to sell us out.

      I voted for labour above the libs, something I'm somewhat regretting now (and not just for the internet censorship) I must say.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I voted for labour above the libs, something I'm somewhat regretting now (and not just for the internet censorship) I must say.

        So all of this is YOUR fault! BASTARD!

        But seriously, most of Australia was fooled by this tourist. Personally I saw the crap that our (Labour) state governments were doing and thought, FUCK THAT! So I stuck with the Libs.

        Actually, I want an alteration to be made to our voting slips. All voting slips should have a question on the bottom of it which says:

        Do you watch any of the following TV shows or formats:
        a) Australian Idol
        b) Big Brother
        c) Biggest Loser
        d) Dancing with the stars
        e) So you think you can dance

        I

        • by donaldm (919619)

          But seriously, most of Australia was fooled by this tourist. Personally I saw the crap that our (Labour) state governments were doing and thought, FUCK THAT! So I stuck with the Libs.

          The problem was we were only given a "one horse race" what with Howard stating he was not going to complete his term no wonder the majority voted Labour. Having seen what the Labour party had done in NSW I was not going to vote Labour, however the dilemma was who to really vote for.

          As for the TV shows how about adding "Home and Away" as well. I usually find that I can find plenty of things to do rather than watching those shows :)

          One of the problems with Labour IMHO is they seem to listen to many of the

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Eskarel (565631)

        Bullshit.

        Firstly, when the opposition opposed the stimulus plan their approval rating dropped 4 points, they're going to show some token objection and get a few tax cuts in and cave because they don't have a choice.

        Secondly, without either the greens or the liberals, it still won't pass the senate. The greens hate it, and if the libs are going to support it, then it'll happen with or without the loonies.

        This may pass, but it's not going to pass as part of the economic stimulus package and it's not going to

      • by fabs64 (657132)

        The internet censorship was clearly stated before the election. Yes it's hair-brained, no it won't work, but they DID tell you they were going to try.

        That Rudd is trying to "bring us into line with China" is a pretty ridiculous assertion based on one single thing.

        Sure is lucky the ballot boxes only require numbers anyway, it's "Labor".

      • by dbIII (701233)

        I won't even mention that yet again Rudd seems to be bringing us into line with China

        Howard would do exactly the same - it's the policy of trying to impress the people with the money. Rudd would have been doing the same with the USA if they had swapped places in time - possibly even the same blank cheque of Australian support Howard promised immediately after 911. I think the trade deal would have worked out a bit differently however since more competant people would have been involved that wouldn't have

      • by seanadams.com (463190) * on Thursday February 12, 2009 @09:41AM (#26826433) Homepage

        it's a hugely problematic problem

        As problems tend to be...

  • by SpazmodeusG (1334705) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:06AM (#26824071)
    Everytime one of our friends or relatives asks us about a problem with their internet our response shall be,

    "Oh that'd probably be the internet filter causing your drop-outs, thank Stephen Conroy"
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by KenMcM (1293074)
      I like it. Let's, however, have them thank Kevin Rudd's Labor government. They're all responsible. We don't want to make it too easy for them to make Conroy the scapegoat.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        To be fair, everyone was under the assumption that filtering was going to be completely opt-in.

    • I think i'll apply this to Phorm in the UK, should it ever arrive.

      Might not need to, though, should the EU do something right.
  • by dogganos (901230) <dogganos@gmail.com> on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:13AM (#26824101)

    Its people's fault. Plain and simple.

    Because after this tragic act of censorship, the people in the next elections, while having the opportunity to vote down the current government, most probably will not. Even if they do, they will most probably vote for another party that has most probably done something equally bad when they were government.

    It's called mass amnesia, and its the reason why our democracies are in fact ""democracies"".

    • by Techman83 (949264)
      I disagree, the people chose a government that were going to investigate an optional filter. Who was to know that it was going to change.

      Then there is the Alcopop tax, to curb binge drinking in young adults. Well all pre-mixed spirits have become so expensive that said young adults are turning to post mixing there drinks, so instead of getting a controlled, albeit high amount, they are getting an uncontrolled and in most cases stronger mix, leading to an actual increase of binge drinking in young adults.

      K
  • by samuraiz (1026486) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:14AM (#26824109)
    I know a lot of Chinese nationals have been immigrating to your shores lately, Australia, but this is the wrong way to make them feel at home.
  • It's begun (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shungi (977531)
    Well - I was wondering why the net's a bit slower today... Thought it was the random fluctuations I get from time to time but no... Sigh... Sad thing is, you mention this to people here and it's oh... Well, kinda bad, but meh..
  • I don't understand (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aerthling (796790) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:14AM (#26824119)

    I don't understand these alleged Christians' obsession with force and control. Forcing your own will upon someone else is the very antithesis of Christianity.

    • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:20AM (#26824153) Homepage Journal

      Wow, you're right! Shit, how did they miss this! And this is just a new phenomenon too!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Korbeau (913903)

      You're very right sir. We very much prefer nice comfy chairs.

    • by aerthling (796790)

      I apologise if my comment was overly obvious. It's only recently become apparent to me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by interkin3tic (1469267)

      Forcing your own will upon someone else is the very antithesis of Christianity.

      No. The sentiment "Mind your own business" is not really a strong theme in Christianity at all.

    • The Australian Labor Party that's pushing this isn't particularly known for its ties to Christianity, growing as it does out of the historically anti-religion Socialist movement.

  • Tor (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I'm going to venture a guess that tor [torproject.org] is going to become very popular in Australia very soon...

    Though, I'm sure some teenagers will figure out how to bypass those filters even more simplistically. Good on them. Say no to a censored Internet!

  • by razgriz (994603) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:25AM (#26824177)
    Christian Groups in HK are trying to push web filtering on ISP to 'protect their children'. Those groups are nuts. They even think David (Michelangelo) is porn and should be banned. We will protest against it on 15 Feb. Sorry for my poor English.
    • by Inda (580031)
      Your English is fine. It reads fine. It's better than most of the posts I've read today.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:28AM (#26824191)
    But the 3 largest in Australia -- Optus and iiNet as well as Telstra are not taking part in these trials. How the hell are they going to get any accurate data if they're simply using 6 small ISPs? What next, they just flick on the switch for all ISPs and it it should work fine?
  • by mudshark (19714) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:33AM (#26824213)

    Once a jolly swagman plugged into the internets,
    Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
    And he sang as he watched and waited as he torrented
    "Don't go deploying your filters on me".

    "Deploying your filters, deploying your filters
    Don't go deploying your filters on me"
    And he sang as he watched and waited as he torrented,
    "Don't go deploying your filters on me".

    Down came the content speeding through the internets,
    Up jumped the swagman and viewed it with glee,
    And he sang as he shoved that content on his backup disk,
    "You'll be a-wasting your filters on me".

    "Wasting your filters, wasting your filters
    Don't go a-wasting your filters on me"
    And he sang as he shoved that content on his backup disk,
    "Don't go a-wasting your filters on me".

    Up rode the Conroy, mounted on his ISP,
    Down came the troopers, one, two, three,
    "Where's that jolly content you downloaded so illicitly?
    You've been evading the filters from me."

    "Evading the filters, evading the filters
    You've been evading the filters from me."
    "Where's that jolly content you downloaded so illicitly?
    You've been evading the filters from me."

    Up jumped the swagman and handed them his backup disk,
    "You'll never crack my encryption", said he,
    And his packets are tunneled and proxied through the internets,
    "You'll never get your bloody filters on me".

    "Your bloody filters, your bloody filters
    You'll never get your bloody filters on me".
    And his packets are tunneled and proxied through the internets,
    "You'll never get your bloody filters on me".

    • by aerthling (796790)

      That was brilliant. Thankyou.

    • by Techman83 (949264)
      And the original for anyone interested. I laughed hard, well done!

      Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong,
      Under the shade of a Coolibah tree,
      And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boil,
      You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

      Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
      You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me,
      And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boil
      You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

      Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong
      Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with
    • Excellent. Parody, satire & humour in general has always been one of the best ways of showing up these types of ridiculous auhoritarian practises IMHO.

    • by kramulous (977841) *

      Wow!

    • by kramulous (977841) *

      For those who WTF'ed at the above ballad, this video will give a little insight to what it means to Australians

      Bledisloe? [youtube.com]

      It's the only response we have to the New Zealand Haka.

  • Providers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Techman83 (949264) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:38AM (#26824249)
    Webshield [webshield.com.au]is one of the providers participating, here is some of the feed back from their site

    David from South Australia I would like to say that; I am so happy using Webshield because I don't have to worry about what the children are doing, passwords or anything. I was constantly keeping tabs on things before, but now I know Webshield is doing it for me.

    Angie from South Australia Before I used Webshield, I would constantly be checking my children on the internet, worried and anxious about what they might 'accidently' find. But now with Webshield, I can leave them to their homework, etc and not stress."

    Julie from Queensland With 2 boys approaching teenage years and a husband who works late into the night at times, we (and I say âweâ(TM) on behalf of my husband as well) are glad for the peace of mind webshield provides. With pornography and all that it leads too, sweeping through families â" even strong families â" as it is channelled right into our houses, wreaking absolute heartache and havoc, we can only be glad for protection.

    Those three quotes are quite probably the most disturbing potential outcomes from such a system.

    The brutal truth of the matter is that what ever you can _easily_ find on the web via http is far less dangerous than Predators lurking on Friend face or Instant Messaging, which cannot be filtered. (You could block them entirely, but could you imagine the uproar of Millions of people then!). And wanting to block "Unwanted Material" this screams scope creep in a big way.

    I am an Australian, and the B/S the Dis-Honourable Senator Conroy continues to feed us is quite alarming. I have met the man in person and witnessed first hand his obvious technical ineptness.

    I for one will be fighting tooth and nail to inform everyone I know and I am already geared up at home to "circumvent" any filter.

  • by itsybitsy (149808) * on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:47AM (#26824303)

    There must be some way to bypass the tube tying that these folks in the governments around the world are doing. Yes, sure there are snoop blockers and other web sites that enable encrypted bypassing of restrictions but State based Freedom Limiting Terrorists have figured out that firewalls exist. I'm wondering about legal means to assault these State Based Terrorists who continue to assault our freedoms including our freedoms of communication.

    Sure it's likely different in each country due to the differences in laws but there must be strategies that will work across the entire planet to protect the masses Natural rights to free communications.

    One idea is the open project to monitor ALL GOVERNMENT AGENTS, EMPLOYEES, STAFF and POLITICIANS and publish their movements, their activities, their lives. Millions of Little Brothers watching the members of the Big Brother control freak cult (aka members of any group that considers itself a State or Government at any level).

    The purpose in part is to expose the hypocracy of these members of the governments but it's also to let them know that they are being watched.

    Who watches the watchers? The population must be the ones who watch the watchers. This is why all public business must be in the public domain for it to be valid public business, otherwise it's just the work of "terrorists pretending to be the State"!

    ps. If I vanish you'll know why.

  • First, the little penguin bites Linus, and now it bites the internet!!

  • They should be spending that money on improving our internet instead. Doesn't seem like they want any votes in the next election.
  • by huwr (627730) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @04:45AM (#26824627)
    For this to come into force properly, the Government will need to pass legislation through Parliament. While they can get it through the lower house easily, the Senate will be much harder. In the Senate the Government will need the support of either the Coalition or all the cross-benchers (Greens, Family First and Xenophon) in order to gain the majority. I know the Coalition intends to vote no and I can't see Greens supporting it, so it will fail to pass.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Dear Senator Conroy,

    I am a member of the Western Australian Labor Party and a long time supporter of the ideals and values the Australian Labor Party and Trade Union movement promote in our country. I am writing to express my extreme concern on the mandatory Internet filtering you and your office are trialling over the next six weeks.

    I understand that the decision is being considered as an option to assist parents, schools and public resources (such as libraries) to keep children away from unwanted Internet

  • by xenobyte (446878) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:32AM (#26824851)

    All those filters are usually erected in an attempt to 'protect the children' but so far I haven't seen any kind of hard evidence showing the children are 'damaged' from looking at porn or similar.

    Actually I've seen a study showing quite clearly that porn has no negative effect on children at all. Back in 1968 porn was legalized in Denmark and porn shops popped up everywhere, especially in a section of Copenhagen called Vesterbro. About 1/3 of all shops there were porn or porn-related shops in those days. This meant that almost no matter where children looked they saw porn (dildos, explicit magazines, books, movies) and there was a lot of prostitutes in the area as well. All this happened when the children was mostly unsupervised by adults (on the way to school etc.). Now the study compared the children that grew up in this area with similar children from similar backgrounds growing up elsewhere, and looked at deviations from 'normal' when it came to crime (especially sex offenses), sexual preferences and orientation, attitude towards sexual deviations and so on. The result was quite clear: The 'porn-exposed' children had a similar life to the 'normal' children but had a more tolerant attitude towards everything sex-related, and often had more friends from the 'deviant' groups like homosexuals, transsexuals or so on.

    The conclusion was therefore clear: Porn does not hurt children emotionally or sexually and it even seems to create more tolerant adults that is less likely to be ignorant of sexual themes. This is a good thing in my book.

  • Why aren't iiNet participating in the trial?

    They have been the most vocal in agreeing to the trail since it was announced, specifically so they can use the results to show how stupid this is [iinet.net.au]!

    Have they been banned from the trial because of this attitude?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Techman83 (949264)
      They spoke out against it, do you really think the government are going to pick them. This "trial" is all about finding people to support Conroy's "findings".
  • No censorship please (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Luc1fel (1469805)
    I'm hoping that all these attempts will fail in the test phase. Because the last thing I want is to be denied information because someone else is not capable of protecting themselves due to their stupidity.
  • by Antony T Curtis (89990) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @08:05AM (#26825767) Homepage Journal

    These so-called Christian and Parent groups who advocate such nanny state intervention are only doing so because they are too lazy.

    You want to protect the children? You supervise them. You don't give them a computer with internet access that they can use privately in their bedroom in the dead of night: You put the computer in some family location where a responsible adult is available.

    Or... Lock the router in a cabinet with a simple timer switch on the power brick.

    The phrase which sums up our modern era : "Can't someone else do it?"

    Bah!

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr

Working...