>You’ll Click What We Let You Click

> From Down Under comes this story of a trial Web-censoring program, designed ultimately to be deployed across Australia:

Web filter to block 10,000 internet
Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson

November 13, 2008 12:32pm

Australia’s mandatory net filter is being primed to block 10,000 websites as part of a blacklist of unspecified “unwanted content”.

Some 1300 websites have already been identified by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Communications Minister Senator Conroy revealed details of the Rudd Government’s proposed web filter as he called for expressions of interest from internet service providers (ISPs) for a live trial of the technology, the Courier-Mail reports.

ISPs will test ways to filter the web using volunteer subscribers. The trial will start before Christmas and is expected to last six weeks.

“The pilot will specifically test filtering against the ACMA blacklist of prohibited content, which is mostly child pornography, as well as filtering of other unwanted content,” Senator Conroy told Parliament today.

“While the ACMA blacklist is currently around 1300 URLs, the pilot will test against this list – as well as filtering for a range of URLs to around 10,000 – so that the impacts on network performance of a larger blacklist can be examined.”

A spokesman for Mr Conroy later said: ”The pilot will provide an invaluable opportunity for ISPs to inform the Government’s approach.

”The live pilot will provide valuable real-world evidence of the potential impact on internet speeds and costs to industry and will help ensure we implement a filtering solution that is efficient, effective and easy for Australian families to use.”

An ACMA trial of web-filtering technology this year found it could slow internet access by as much as 87 per cent and by at least 2 per cent.

Electronic Frontiers Australia board member Colin Jacobs said his civil liberties group was concerned at what would be deemed “unwanted content”.

“It is unclear how ACMA will scale up their blacklist to 10,000 websites and what will go on the list,” he said.

“Conroy said the list would contain illegal and unwanted content but we still have to see what would end up on that list.

“Under the current mandate that includes adult material, which would mean most material that could be rated R and, in some circumstances, material rated MA15+.”

Applying this technology here in the States would be a relatively elegant way of effecting the “internet hate crime” restrictions that will inevitably follow the Obama Administration’s resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine against broadcasters.

Talk radio — gone.

Websites such as our shop, along with Codrea, Volk, and thousands of others — gone.

Two action items here:

1) Start downloading and, where advisible, printing hard copies of material you think you would need if the ‘Net went dark-ish; and

2) Start thinking about how you will share information between your mates — political, social, and otherwise.

Tempus fugit.

9 responses to “>You’ll Click What We Let You Click

  1. >Other thing to do:Get on information freedom sites and start looking at encryption. It would be much harder, but information can still be put out, and available, though harder to access. That access will require special software to encrypt the data before sending, and decrypting it after recovery.Some guys on AWRM were messing with this, but it would probably take a much more involved method for this sort of thing. Look at how much trouble China is having with their “great firewall” and imagine it ten times worse.

  2. >I thought this was an interesting American twist.http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/09/entertainment-l.htmlIt's the corporations that want to filter, because of all the music revenue they think they aren’t making because of P2P.I bet they get into bed with .gov, block stuff they don’t like in turn for being “allowed” to block P2P traffic. I bet America gets to keep the port, unlike AU, but not the Field Manuals on line and other stuff that could be used against them.+1 WRSA, start printing out the material you think will disappear.

  3. >nullsoft waste. get used to decentralized social networks.

  4. >Well,that’s why you’ve got my contact info…….

  5. >I am an idiot when it comes to computers, but would a “proxy server” in a non regulated country provide you with access to such “deviant sites?”

  6. >Switch from Windows to Ubuntu, as Windows has more holes than a screen door. You wouldn’t be comfortable if you came home to find a stranger had entered your house and looked through your stuff, would you? You should have the same reaction when your computer catches a virus: http://www.ubuntu.comTinker with encryption, and exchange PGP keys with your buddies. Set up this stuff now while it’s no big deal. Did you just buy magazines? Then you should also start tinkering with encrypted mail: http://www.gnupg.org http://enigmail.mozdev.orgAnonymity networks are a hassle. So is concealed carry. You do them because they limit what can be taken from you without your consent: http://www.torproject.orgIf you have a web site, bug your provider to make your content available over a secure server (encrypted).

  7. >Websites such as our shop, along with Codrea, Volk, and thousands of others — gone.Naturally, that is unacceptable.Consider giving the same response as was given when OSHA attempted to regulate and inspect the home office:Laughter.

  8. >I blogged about this a week or so ago, and quite honestly I’m still shocked that a Western country like Australia would be seriously considering going forward with this.This sounds more like China or North Korea than our “friends” down under.Most interesting to me is that from the article I read, the folks leading the charge are Christians, which up here would more often be associated with the right wing (which, I’ll admit, doesn’t necessarily mean freedom).Ultimately, we’d likely have to go back to the dark ages – similar to the pre-public internet BBS systems. Controlled access to private servers, directly dialed into (modems anyone?) by those in need of “free” information. Kind of like a Radio Free Europe for the Internet.Ultimately, unless the UN goes at it (and somehow I think they would if they could), there will always be servers in less controlled foreign countries you may be able to access through proxy. Even then, though, our ability to access “joe sixpack” would pretty much be dead and gone, as most folks would just continue to use the censored internet in blissful ignorance.

  9. >+1 for TOR, though if you havent already given up hope, please consider donating to or otherwise supporting the Electronic Frontier Foundation as they do more to combat net censorship, snooping, or out and out regulation than any multitude of entities combined, and have made considerable progress in the past. They could always use support.