Feeds

Oz gov suggests world's worst copyright protection scheme

Desperate to retain internet villain of the year title

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

After taking the prize of internet villain of the year for worst internet blocking proposal on the planet, the Australian Government appears determined to do the double, with what has already been described as the world’s worst comms interception scheme.

This time, the issue is copyright protection, as the government touts proposals to get all Australian ISP’s to spy on their citizens in order to monitor for copyright compliance.

The Attorney-General’s Department has just closed its request for comments on its draft of "computer network protection" amendments to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979.

In their submission, Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) have expressed concern that "the proposed legislation provides a very broad exception to the prohibition on interception of network communications for the purposes of ensuring that a network is "appropriately used"".

They claim that this is a very broad category, and means that "all network operators in Australia will be able to monitor the substance of communications that pass over their network for compliance with their Acceptable Use Policies – the terms of which could include nearly anything".

The motivation behind this proposal appears to arise from a recent piracy trial, in which ISP iiNet defended itself in the NSW Federal Court against allegations that it breached intellectual property rights of 34 major music and movie companies.

iiNet have argued quite simply that they have no idea who is downloading what over their network – and further, that under existing Australian law, they have no justification for probing further.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has already created a stir by using a CommsDay Summit in May of this year to publicly describe this stance as "stunning" and "a classic".

However, iiNet may yet cause further embarrassment for the government by summoning the Australian state censors into court to provide evidence that, as the law stands, their interpretation of it is correct.

This is why, according to file-sharing portal, ZeroPaid, Australia is now mulling the concept of "boldly going where no other country has gone before in terms of mass communication interception".

They argue that the proposed new law would place Australia in a category more extreme, from the perspective of copyright protection than even the US or France, with its continuing proposals for a three-strikes law.

They add: "One wonders if the government has any idea what kind of task it would be to force ISPs to patrol their own networks on a packet-by-packet basis."

This law is to be debated in the Australian parliament in December of this year – so there is still plenty of time for anyone opposed to it to make their opposition public. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.