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68 posts

Master Geek
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# 213979 22-Apr-2017 06:57
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In the interests of a lively debate, I'd like to propose that there is a strong case for Government mandated internet filtering.

 

I'm expecting to debate this topic in a public forum later this year and want to hear from people with opposing points of view (advocates of a unfiltered internet) to see how well my argument stands up to public scrutiny. 

 

We accept Govt mandated controls in many aspects of life which infringe on our personal freedom for the greater good of society or for our own protection.

 

Examples include; gun control, speed limits, WOF, seat belts, motorcycle helmets.

 

Imagine a society where anyone can obtain a handgun by walking into a gun store, complete some cursory checks and walk out with a loaded, lethal weapon. We don’t need to imagine that society, it exists today in the USA where there were about 9000 gun deaths in 2014*. If we applied that same death rate to NZ, nearly 500 people per year would die as a result of being shot. Instead, our actual gun death rate is around 40 per year. Even if we accept that societal differences account for a large portion of this variation it seems obvious to me that a hundred people every year in NZ owe their lives to our Government regulating the sale & possession of firearms in NZ.

 

If we accept that Government regulation that trades some of our freedom for a greater community good why shouldn’t we accept that in a digital world ?

 

 

 

Disclosure: I'm paid to sell filtering solutions to ISPs. But these opinions expressed here are not those of that company and in some case are not even my own opinions. These points of view are put forward to encourage a healthy debate.


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933 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 1768674 22-Apr-2017 07:35
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I'm all for blocking kiddie porn, sites hosting ransomware, the IP addresses of ransomware command & control centres and other sites hosting malicious malware. This is stuff that happens in the physical world already.

I do this already on my own home network with Cisco FamilyShield.

About the gun death rate, how did you get 500 for NZ? NZ's population is not 1/18th of the USA's.

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Uber Geek
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  # 1768680 22-Apr-2017 07:53
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How good are the controls at blocking TOR, VPNs, Encrypted/hidden forums, sites that have not made it to the blacklist yet, etc? How does your solution handle encrypted traffic? Are you doing deep packet inspection, or are you just looking at the headers? Because I am not OK with my legitimate encrypted traffic like banking, paypal etc being opened.

 

If you can't 100% guarantee it will block the really bad stuff, then we all lose a bit more freedom and it actually doesn't stop the really bad stuff from being seen.

 

Once it is there, what is to stop the government from turning up the dials and blocking things they have decided we don't need to see 1984 style? Who decides what is good and what is bad, who draws the line?





Try Vultr using this link and get us both some credit:

 

http://www.vultr.com/?ref=7033587-3B


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Uber Geek
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  # 1768681 22-Apr-2017 07:54
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About the gun death rate, how did you get 500 for NZ? NZ's population is not 1/18th of the USA's.

 

Suicide by gun.  Presumably because of high (hand)gun ownership rates, suicide by gun is a common way for (particularly men) to kill themselves.

 

About 2 out of 3 gun related deaths in the USA are suicide, 1 out of 3 homicide, accident etc.  However that doesn't answer a question as to whether suicide rates are increased due to ease of access to firearms.  It's kind of "final" though - you don't put a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger as a "cry for help" in expectation you'll be saved.


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  # 1768682 22-Apr-2017 08:01
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shanehobson:

 

 

 

We accept Govt mandated controls in many aspects of life which infringe on our personal freedom for the greater good of society or for our own protection.

 

 

 

 

We generally "tolerate" mandated controls when there's a proven link between the activity and physical harm.  Still - you'll have people argue that speed limits are too restrictive or "revenue gathering".

 

It's a slippery slope to start censoring access to material on the internet, as you're forever going to be arguing about what's harmful, and what isn't - so who decides?

 

I expect that the most horrific offenders and criminals wouldn't be stopped anyway.


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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1768683 22-Apr-2017 08:11
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Fred99:

 
About the gun death rate, how did you get 500 for NZ? NZ's population is not 1/18th of the USA's.


Suicide by gun.  Presumably because of high (hand)gun ownership rates, suicide by gun is a common way for (particularly men) to kill themselves.


About 2 out of 3 gun related deaths in the USA are suicide, 1 out of 3 homicide, accident etc.  However that doesn't answer a question as to whether suicide rates are increased due to ease of access to firearms.  It's kind of "final" though - you don't put a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger as a "cry for help" in expectation you'll be saved.



A quick google search reveals
U.S.estimated population 326 million
N.Z. estimated population 4.6 million
(source worldometers.info)

So 9000/326x4.6 = 127

So I think the OP is saying one could argue 87 (127-40) fewer lives are lost in N.Z. each year due to our stricter gun laws.


gzt

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Uber Geek
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  # 1768684 22-Apr-2017 08:20
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Disclosure: I'm paid to sell filtering solutions to ISPs. But these opinions expressed here are not those of that company and in some case are not even my own opinions. These points of view are put forward to encourage a healthy debate.

In other words these points are put forward to sell your filtering solution.

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Uber Geek
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  # 1768686 22-Apr-2017 08:35
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What is the cost? Not just of the hardware, but of the ongoing subscription services to maintain black and white lists, firmware upgrades etc? How about the additional manpower cost to replace, maintain and ensure the hardware is working? Who absorbs that cost? Is it the government, or is it the ISP? Either way the public end up paying.

 

What is the throughput of the hardware? Is putting this in place going to grind my connection to a halt?

 

What happens with false positives? A 99% correct detection rate means 1% could be false positives and at billions of packets, that adds up fast. 

 

Is part of filtering identifying offenders?

 

Who maintains the blacklists and what is the process for if your site wrongly ends up on one? 

 

Is the owner of the connection responsible for the traffic going through it, do they get tagged if someone looks at something dodgy on their connection? 

 

 





Try Vultr using this link and get us both some credit:

 

http://www.vultr.com/?ref=7033587-3B




68 posts

Master Geek
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  # 1768694 22-Apr-2017 09:03
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Kiwifruta

 

500 is the hypothetical death rate in NZ if the US gun death rate (10 deaths per 100k) was applied to the NZ population. I drew this data from a Wikipedia article. Like all statistics, they're open to interpretation. I think we would all agree that the statistics are reasonable accurate +/- 20%.

 

 

 

Toyonut

 

All filtering solutions can be circumvented and so any filtering tools applied need to accompanied by education, regulation & legislation. You're unlikely to implement porn blocking on your home internet without also having a discussion with your teenage son about what you're doing and why you're doing it.

 

I'm not here to sell a solution, so I won't be discussing specifics. If you're interested, I'm happy to take that discussion into a private forum.

 

Scope creep is a valid risk of any Government regulation, just as the police's tolerances for excess speed have diminished there is potential for regulatory scope creep in any situation (real world or online).

 

In an ideal world, legislation would define outcomes or regulation in a general way. It's then the police's job to prosecute possible offenders and the courts comprising judges and juries of our peers (not the police) to pass judgement. I think we get pretty close to that ideal here in NZ. But there will always be exceptions.

 

Fred99

 

The stats I have seen indicate that gun death by suicide is >50% of all gun deaths in both USA & NZ. You could argue that people seeking to suicide will just find another way.

 

Prohibition isn't a catch all. There will always be the determined few who will buy a gun on the black market or use digital tools to circumvent internet filtering tools. 

 

 

 

Toyonut

 

Some of your questions are specific to the filtering solution employed so I won't go into those here. This is a philosophical discussion about Government mandated filtering.

 

Who pays for it ? In cases where I've seen mandatory filtering imposed, the ISPs wear the cost. The cost to implement will vary depending on the technology employed. It's usually extremely low. 

 

There is always some collateral damage. If we seek to block 100% of all guns in a region, then some "non-guns" are probably going to banned along the way (eg flare guns, starter pistols)

 

Filtering does not equal monitoring. Filtering can be accomplished without monitoring. Adding logging or monitoring adds overhead (cost) to any filtering solution and introduces significant concerns around privacy of information which would need supporting policy, process and legislation.

 

 

 

The intention of this discussion was to cover filtering / censorship but not monitoring / logging as that's a completely different bag of snakes.


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  # 1768712 22-Apr-2017 09:30
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I have many responses to this but will start with just one. Those who censor generally do it badly and do it for the wrong reasons. Those who want to censor generally have suspect motives. Filters like the one used in this country make an excellent search tool for paedophiles. Just use a script to generate likely random site names and see what happens. Every time you hit the filter, add that site to your list. Someone actually did this in Denmark a few years ago and was able to re-create the secret blacklist in this manner. The problem with these kinds of things is that the people who believe in them usually don't understand them.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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Uber Geek
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  # 1768713 22-Apr-2017 09:49
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shanehobson:

Kiwifruta


500 is the hypothetical death rate in NZ if the US gun death rate (10 deaths per 100k) was applied to the NZ population. I drew this data from a Wikipedia article. Like all statistics, they're open to interpretation. I think we would all agree that the statistics are reasonable accurate +/- 20%.





You appear to be mixing gun death rate (all types) and homicide numbers.

2625 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 1768716 22-Apr-2017 10:04
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I'm not interested in having the government broadly control what I can and can't access.

 

Block the kiddie porn sites by all means, but not the rest. It's too much of a slippery slope, and who decides what will be added and where it will end. First porn, then "piracy sites", then unauthorised streaming, and then news sites that people don't want us seeing......

 

If my ISP does this, I will switch ISPs. If all ISPs have to do this, I will be first in line for a secure VPN.

 

I don't want a committee of worthies deciding what information I can and can't access. I will take responsibility for what I view, and for controlling what any minors who may have access to my connection can do.

 

Trying to draw an analogy to gun violence is silly IMO. I can see a perfectly good reason for supporting my neighbors not having unrestricted access to assault rifles and grenades, as general safety could be at risk, including mine. I couldn't care less whether my neighbours are accessing Playboy.com, streaming that Elijah Woods movie that the censor stupidly tried to block, downloading an ABBA MP3, or similar in the comfort of their own homes. They aren't remotely the same thing.

 

This is naked commercial self interest. Peddle your product on it's own merits, not by trying to have the government make it compulsory.

 

 


810 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 1768755 22-Apr-2017 10:14
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Respomse to OP:
There's a big gap between control, regulation, and filtering. So OP, what is your arguement(s) for filtering, because I'm pretty sure you haven't made any.

We already have regulation (control would be enforcement, and I don't know how well it's enforced). Everything illegal is still illegal online, we have specific anti cyber bulling legislation, and correct me if I'm wrong but the TICS act reads like the government has complete control, or at least sign off, over the design of internet infrastructure and who companies can hire to design/impliment/maintain. Am I forgetting any laws, aside from the likes of copper regulation which isn't an online activity issue?

Also, I haven't heard about it for a long time, but there is or at least was a government run voluntary kiddie porn blacklist that at least one ISP was using.

So, yeah, regulation and control and filtering are different things. Unless you get specific about the mandatory filtering you're talking about and/or provide an arguement in general for mandatory filtering there's nothing else to respond to.

Response to further post:
You make a good arguement for private voluntary filtering, this doesn't translate to mandatory government filtering.

I'm not sure we can have a "philosophical discussion about Government mandated filtering" without specifying the problems it's intended to solve, the reasons for those problems existance, and any other solutions to those problems. To put it bluntly, the thing you want to sell to the government doesn't exist in a vaccum.

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Uber Geek
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  # 1768758 22-Apr-2017 10:21
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NZ has some filtering in place already, introduced in 2008 as I recall:

 

https://www.dia.govt.nz/Censorship-DCEFS

 

 

 

Although I'm sure it doesn't capture everything, and has incorrectly caught websites in the past (such is the nature of these technologies)





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Antonios K

 

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1768759 22-Apr-2017 10:22
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Oh, and I forgot the bit about there being no practical difference between actually intercepting and just breaking encryption. Either way it's broken, either way trust and security is lost.

Anyway, you're pro filtering, it's up to you to make a case for it - not us to make the opposite for you to respond to. I look foreward to seeing if you can.

2509 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 1768760 22-Apr-2017 10:25
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I'm reminded of the NZ police using checkpoint to target euthanasia meeting attendees.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/85752421/police-admit-using-checkpoint-to-target-euthanasia-meeting-attendees

Should a government agency be created to block all websites that encourage all illegal activities?

Why not block pro-marijuana sites?

Block websites like Breirbart's, because it's racist?

Block sites like YouTube, because the comments could be considered bullying?

If you want research material, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation

https://www.eff.org/

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