Feeds

Aussie government to rig filter testing

Opponents of Great Aussie Firewall take to the streets

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The great Aussie firewall is coming apart at the seams, as opposition mounts, and critics have a field day dissecting inept government plans for testing their shiny new filters.

While the government might expect opposition from, well, the opposition, it is possible that the architect of the plan, Labour Senator and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, was not expecting dissent to come from within his own ranks. However, last week’s Conference of New South Wales’ Young Labour passed a motion calling for an opt-in system instead of the mandatory one proposed by the government. Motion 42 read:

"The internet is a free medium for the open communication of ideas and opinions without hindrance, and thus, should not be censored.

"NSW Young Labor supports individual discretion and choice with respect to the internet, rather than censoring the world wide web and its content."

Further embarrassment lurks in the testing plan for the internet filter now being tacked together by the government. According to a response sent to a member of the Australian Whirlpool forum, the test will not actually involve any live customers. The letter explains:

"In consultations with ISPs, concerns have been raised that filtering a blacklist beyond 10,000 URLs may raise network performance issues, depending on the configuration of the filter. The pilot will therefore seek to also test network performance against a test list of 10,000 URLs.

"This will be a closed network test and will not involve actual customers. The list of 10,000 sites will be developed by the technical organisation assisting the Department on the pilot, which has access to lists of this size. As this test is only being performed to test the impact on network performance against a list of this size, and actual customers are not involved, the make-up of the list is not an issue."

In a well-argued piece that our own internet censors over at the Internet Watch Foundation could possibly learn from, Ars author and former ISP techie Iljitsch van Beijnum writes:

"There's no way to build a filter box that can filter all the URLs where porn is hosted throughout the internet. A DNS-based filter that helps naive users avoid being confronted with explicit content would probably work to a certain degree. An IP-based filter for a small amount of very illegal content ... may also work. But anything more ambitious than that is certain to fail; either it won't work very well, or it will bankrupt the ISPs".

Piling on the government’s woes, opposition is now moving off the web and onto the streets. Protests are planned to take place on Saturday December 13 in all States: in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart. Event details can be found on the Stop the Clean Feed website. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.