Thursday, March 19, 2009

Leaked list and leaked report - is Conroy insane?

A list of "banned" websites in Australia was leaked today.  Check out The Blarg of Fosenz for a good blog on the story.

Both the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have good stories on this.

Apparently the list of banned sites includes:

  • A Queensland Dentist
  • A Tuckshop
  • Some gay porn sites 
The other bit of news is the report  as published by the Age newspaper - prepared by Professor Landfeldt, one of Australia's leading telecommunications experts, says some of the fundamental flaws of the scheme raised in his report include:
  •  All filtering systems will be easily circumvented using readily available software.
  • Censors maintaining the blacklist will never be able to keep up with the amount of new content published on the web every second.
  • Filters using real-time analysis of sites to determine whether content is inappropriate are not effective, capture wanted content, are easy to bypass and slow network speeds exponentially as accuracy increases.
  • Entire user-generated content sites such as YouTube and Wikipedia could be blocked over a single video or article.
  • Filters would be costly and difficult to implement for ISPs and put many smaller ISPs out of business.
  • While the communciations authority's blacklist would be withheld from internet users, all 700 ISPs would have access to it, so it could easily be leaked.
  • The filters would not censor content on peer-to-peer file sharing networks such as LimeWire, chat rooms, email and instant messaging;
  • ISPs and the Government could be legally liable for the scheme's failures, particularly as content providers have no right to appeal against being blocked unnecessarily.
Meanwhile Senator Conroy has come out and said no no no this isn't the list and you naughty people how dare you publish this list.

I have to wonder what Senator Conroy is doing. I would also wonder what is going on in the Labor party when they are implementing some of the worse censorship without any mandate to do so. There is more serious matters to worry about e.g. the economy, greenhouse emmissions, etc rather than pretending to implement a scheme which won't do anything to protect anyone - but will do plenty to annoy and stop the internet dead in Australia.

If you are worried about this make sure you contact your local MP.  Check out the Getup Website for ideas.

If New Zealand can stop the draconian Section 92A then surely Australians can do the same thing and stop the censorship crazy Labor Party.

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