Australia Preparing to Censor Internet

December 15, 2009 -

Just after taking the positive step of opening discussion on the possible inclusion of an R18+ videogame ratings category, Australia is getting ready to implement mandatory Internet Service Provider (ISP) level Internet filtering.

ITNews reports that Australia plans to amend its Broadcasting Services Act next August in order to implement the changes, which are designed to block content that falls under the Refused Classification (RC) category on non-Australian servers.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy (pictured), a backer of the plan, said that, “Most Australians acknowledge that there is some internet content which is not acceptable in any civilised society".

Australia commissioned a pilot program test of the filtering, conducted by Enex TestLab, on nine live (active) ISP networks. Three ISPs used an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) blacklist, two used Deep Packet Inspection monitoring technology, while another used proxy filtering technology.  All participants were 100% effective in blocking sites on the ACMA blacklist. Non-AMCA blacklist filtering was between 78% and 84% percent accurate.

From a report (PDF) on the pilot program:

A small number of customers indicated they experienced some over-blocking and/or
under-blocking of content during the pilot. A small number of customers also reported
slower network speeds as a result of the service which filtered additional categories of
content.

Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) spokesman Colin Jacobs was not impressed with the news, calling the government’s posture that is simply blocking child pornography rubbish, “Refused classification is definitely more than just illegal child pornography.”

He continued:

It's anything that doesn't fit into the Classification Board's other ratings and that include video games aimed at adults, criminality and euthanasia and all sorts of controversial things. Our concern is that once there is a secret blacklist in place it is going to be very difficult for the public to know what's on it and if it will be increased in scope as time goes on.

A list purported to be the actual ACMA blacklist can be viewed on Wikileaks. Released on March 18, 2009, the list contains 2,395 URLs.


|Thanks CMiner|


Comments

Re: Australia Preparing to Censor Internet

No thanks, I'm suspicious it's another shock video.

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---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Australia Preparing to Censor Internet

you sure it wasn't a squatter domain, just linking to other stuff that wasn't real?

sites "promising" incest and rape are quite different than sites with actual content.

Re: Australia Preparing to Censor Internet

I've opened more than 30 of those links now, still only that 1 website that was actually real, and it wasn't illegal. Only thing i can say is that "IF" that list is the official list, nobody has anything to worry about. Nobody wants to see cyber squatter sites anyway.

Re: Australia Preparing to Censor Internet

I gonna check all the 30 links manual, what if you just post the relevant and the working link here so my time will save and i will do it in a much quicker time. Wanna see updates ASAP.
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Re: Australia Preparing to Censor Internet

But as Mr. Jacobs said it's not just that, it's opening the door for the government to blacklist anything they deem "not acceptable" to the public.

Re: Australia Preparing to Censor Internet

Not acceptable = Almost everything

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Re: Australia Preparing to Censor Internet

I know. the subtext to my last post was how innefective the current list is. If they're not actually blocking anything illegal, and they block even 1 legal site (which they have), then the entire project can be dismissed.

 
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