Feeds

Oz watchdogs howl over 'Cyber-Safety' net filter

Can you opt-out?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Aussie civil liberties watchdogs are warning the country's "Cyber-Safety" internet filter plan won't actually let adults choose to opt-out from web censorship.

The Australian Labor party's $125.8m proposal is being pitched as a means to prevent children from accessing online pornography. The scheme includes a choice to opt-out, but many are now claiming the option won't in fact prevent internet censorship altogether.

Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) said even those who don't want their internet filtered will still be put on a second, secret blacklist designed to block "illegal" content.

"The news for Australian Internet users just keeps getting worse," said EFA spokesperson Colin Jacobs. "We have legitimate concerns with the creeping scope of this unprecedented interference in our communications infrastructure. It's starting to look like nothing less than a comprehensive program of real-time Internet censorship."

The concern appears to have its origins from a forum post by Mark Newton, a network administrator for the ISP Internode.

"The Government's plan is for there to be two blacklists, one for 'unsuitable for children,' and another one for 'unsuitable for adults,'" he wrote.

"The much-touted 'opt-out' would merely involve switching from blacklist number 1 to blacklist number 2."

"Under the proposal, there's no scope at all to switch to no blacklist at all. Regardless of your personal preference, your traffic will pass through the censorship box."

Reports of a secret secondary blacklist remain unconfirmed, due to the government's mixed messages on proposed opt-out provisions.

But the threat of such a system is enough to make pundits rather uneasy. Not only because the filter may incorrectly block websites or even controversial opinions, but because it may have an effect on Australia's internet speed and availability. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.