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6 posts

Wannabe Geek

Topic # 27262 20-Oct-2008 10:47
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Under the government's $125.8 million Plan for Cyber-Safety, users can switch between two blacklists which block content inappropriate for children, and a separate list which blocks illegal material. Pundits say consumers have been lulled into believing the opt-out proviso would remove content filtering altogether. The government will iron-out policy and implementation of the Internet content filtering software following an upcoming trial of the technology, according to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

A spokesman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the filters will be mandatory for all Australians.

“Labor’s plan for cyber-safety will require ISPs to offer a clean feed Internet service to all homes, schools and public Internet points accessible by children,” Marshall said.

“The upcoming field pilot of ISP filtering technology will look at various aspects of filtering, including effectiveness, ease of circumvention, the impact on internet access speeds and cost.”

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) contacted by Computerworld say blanket content filtering will cripple Internet speeds because the technology is not up to scratch. Online libertarians claim the blacklists could be expanded to censor material such as euthanasia, drugs and protest. Internode network engineer Mark Newton said many users falsely believe the opt-out proviso will remove content filtering.

“Users can opt-out of the 'additional material' blacklist (referred to in a department press release, which is a list of things unsuitable for children, but there is no opt-out for 'illegal content'”, Newton said.

“That is the way the testing was formulated, the way the upcoming live trials will run, and the way the policy is framed; to believe otherwise is to believe that a government department would go to the lengths of declaring that some kind of Internet content is illegal, then allow an opt-out.

“Illegal is illegal and if there is infrastructure in place to block it, then it will be required to be blocked — end of story.”

Newton said advisers to Minister Conroy have told ISPs that Internet content filtering will be mandatory for all users.

The government reported it does not expected to prescribe which filtering technologies ISPs can use, and will only set blacklists of filtered content, supplied by the Australia Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). EFA chair Dale Clapperton said in a previous article that Internet content filtering could lead to censorship of drugs, political dissident and other legal freedoms.

“Once the public has allowed the system to be established, it is much easier to block other material,” Clapperton said. According to preliminary trials, the best Internet content filters would incorrectly block about 10,000 Web pages from one million.



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355 posts

Ultimate Geek

  Reply # 172222 20-Oct-2008 11:32
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I've never been a fan on censorship in any form. It's a very slippery slope and eventually the huge moral grey holes create serious friction. Is it okay to display a picture of a naked child in a war image? Can a child research marijuana for a school assignment [and preach of its evils]? I've researched many of the blocking programs already available online such as Cyber Patrol and Net Nanny and NONE of them have a clean record of fair censorship.

When the government is able to mandate that the public should be ignorant of a certain issue (say, marijuana) and blocks all information about said illegal substance, they're no better than China.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 172302 20-Oct-2008 16:42
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Depending on how they classify content as "illegal", it is possible for a filter to be a very good thing (block some of those companies profiting from spy/adware)

rm *

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  Reply # 172303 20-Oct-2008 16:45
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More Nanny State controls.

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  Reply # 172420 21-Oct-2008 00:25
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I would be laughing if they weren't dead serious, especially with results like these
EFA says Filtering Trial a Failure

Thu 31-Jul-2008

Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) today labelled a recent government trial of ISP-based Internet filtering a failure.

The recently released ACMA report entitled “Closed Environment Testing of ISP-Level Internet Content Filtering” showed that of the six unnamed ISP-based filters evaluated:

* One filter caused a 22% drop in speed even when it was *not* performing filtering;
* Only one of the six filters had an acceptable level of performance (a drop of 2% in a laboratory trial), [b]the others causing drops in speed of between 21% and 86%;
* The most accurate filters were often the slowest;
* All filters tested had problems with under-blocking, allowing access to between 2% and 13% of material that they should have blocked; and
* All filters tested had serious problems with over-blocking, wrongly blocking access to between 1.3% and 7.8% of the websites tested.

Despite this report highlighting the inaccuracy of these filters and the loss of performance caused by their use, Senator Conroy announced the government will press ahead with a real-world pilot program in furtherance of Labor’s pre-election commitment to force all Australian ISP’s to filter their customers’ Internet access.
“Leaving aside the serious privacy and free speech implications of mandatory ISP-based Internet filtering, the government’s own trial shows that ISP-based filtering can cause serious performance degradation and is not accurate enough to be forced upon people who don’t want to use them,” said EFA Chair Dale Clapperton.

Why do the people who know hardly anything about the internet attempt to make rules for it? Ted Stevens anyone?

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  Reply # 172439 21-Oct-2008 08:36
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Why do the people who know hardly anything about the internet attempt to make rules for it? Ted Stevens anyone?

Why do people who know hardly anything about ANYTHING make rules??? They are called politicians, and you will find there is something else behind this idea, most likely a foot in the door for RIAA type organisations or DRM proponents.

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  Reply # 172447 21-Oct-2008 09:22
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* One filter caused a 22% drop in speed even when it was *not* performing filtering;
* Only one of the six filters had an acceptable level of performance (a drop of 2% in a laboratory trial), [b]the others causing drops in speed of between 21% and 86%;
* The most accurate filters were often the slowest;

This is great news = NZ broadband speeds have just moved up the rankings Tongue out

Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend from $150 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
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  Reply # 172505 21-Oct-2008 12:54
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That's what they get for voting in the communist  labour party, in Australia :) but seriously they would be better off putting the millions into giving every family some kind of net nanny software rather than trying to do it at the network level.

It's much easier and more performant (imo) to deal with filtering www and ip addresses at the family pc end rather than at the network carriers router.  Also that makes it opt in.

Can't wait to see the number of false positives or bribery taking place by one online competitor to block another competitors website.

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Reply # 172658 22-Oct-2008 01:33
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Great so if im a kid in OZ i can d/l pron movies but cant view pron pics and if im to apply the other rule i can view pron pics but cant d/l pron movies err that just doesn't seem right to me maybe they go the china way and just ban the outside world altogether

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 172676 22-Oct-2008 08:04
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Censorship shouldnt come from the government - Unless you want to become like China

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Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 172700 22-Oct-2008 09:43
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