Internet filter ISPs reveal clean-filter technologies

Several Internet filter scheme participants confirm what appliance they are using for the government trial

Six of the nine Internet service providers participating in the Government’s content filter trial are using a Marshal8e6 solution.

Despite several delays and hiccups along the way, the Federal Government’s Internet filter trial has progressed at a steady pace. Last month, several participating ISPs reported that they were well underway while one had yet to implement the filtering equipment.

A Netforce spokesperson revealed it is using Marshal8e6 but could not specify the product. Tech2U, OMNIConnect, Webshield and Nelson Bay Online have also confirmed with ARN that they have taken on a Marshal8e6 R3000 series Web monitoring, filtering and reporting package.

A spokesperson for Primus Communication said it was also using the same set-up but later retracted the statement due to uncertainty over information sensitivity.

The appliance-based product is used by corporate networks and ISPs. It touts a pass-by technology that, the vendor claims, does not inhibit the original data stream to prevent impact on performance. Through signature-blocking, the product is capable of filtering peer-to-peer (P2P), instant messaging, anonymous proxies and online gaming.

In the US, the R3000 set-up is most popular with educational institutions. Local Marshal8e6 vice-president, Jeremy Hulse, cited strong Australian interest from the same sector.

Webshield was already a filtered service provider before the content filter scheme. Managing director, Anthony Pillion, said the company is using a combination of clean-feed technologies for a circumspect result.

“Different technologies are best-of-breed at online filtering,” he said. “8e6 is good at Web content alone while others are good at Internet traffic. Web filtering is more granular and flexible than just blocking a black list and we haven’t stopped at Web content level.

“We can deal with P2P as well as chat protocols and circumvention technologies. All of those things require slightly varied technology that will bring the best result to what we are trying to achieve for our customers.”

Highway1 was the only ISP to confirm it is committed to another Web filtering technology.

“For diversity, we decided to do something different,” general manager, Nicholas Power, said. “When we were doing our research, we knew some people were using the 8e6 pack but I would prefer there were as many diverse solutions as possible.”

Optus and Unwired declined to comment on what tools they have implemented for the filter trial.

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73 Comments

Geordie Guy

1

Unsurprising yet surprising all in one

I'd love to see clarification on "deal with" p2p traffic as I suspect that this is a specious statement. Also, I wonder what has changed in the past few months that mean the "pass by" filtering used prevents impact on performance, when in the original trials conducted by Enex in Tasmania last year it was those sorts of products that resulted in the most severe perforamce degradation?

The rhetoric is cute, but when are we actually going to see independantly verified empirical data?

Frank

2

I wonder how they are filtering "anonymous proxies"

The only way I can think of is they are breaking the encryption, if they are, no financial transaction done on those networks will be secure...

harry

3

Internet filter

Censorship is censorship and the internet filtering supporters are the enemies of freedom. This Government is throwing away what my grandfather risked his life and fought for.

Anonymous

4

It ain't over until it is over

"... but when are we actually going to see independantly verified empirical data?"

Maybe when the trial is over? Duh.

As for the filtering being "censorship" - of course it is, just like <R> and X rating of films and removing naughty bits from television programs. We pay our public servants good money to filter out the crap from the media before we are confronted by it.

Censorship is not a dirty word - libertarianism is a dirty word. You may not care what content is on display (in any form of media) to your kids, but most parents do.

Anonymous

5

It's a parents responsibility to monitor and control what their kids have access too.

Anonymous

6

So how much money do Marshal/8e6 stand to gain from all this if ISPs are forced to implement it?

All in the name of the children, of course...

Anonymous

7

North Korea here we come

I don't need the Government to look after my kids, I'll take care of that thanks.

Today it's porn being filtered, tomorrow it's Liberal Party fan sites, the day after we are North Korea.

Thanks for nuthin KRUDD.

Anonymous

8

Go away

An "Opt-in" system would be welcomed, a "no-choice" system would put us in a category of nation that no Australian wants to be in...

Anonymous

9

The children

"Wont someone please think of the children!" - The Simpsons

I would prefer my children to grow up in the real world which includes porn and other things than in a censored, government filtered delusion.

Dash

10

this is great news

Its early days yet, but this is great news for all parents if the Government implements this technology.Our children can then be safe from unwanted exposure to x-rated pornography and graphic violence.Peer-to-peer filtering capabilities are a real plus as well.I wonder what excuse the Anti-Censorship mob will come up with now as to why it can't work ;)

Almost Anonymous

11

Re: It ain't over until it is over

We won't see any "independently verified empirical data" from this trial as it's been a scam from the start. If it were a legitimate trial, there would be published success criteria. As it is, we are assured that we will just magically know afterwards if it has worked. This is not how unbiased trials are conducted.

I'm glad you acknowledge that filtering is censorship, especially since Mr Conroy swears blue in the face that it isn't. I disagree with you over movie ratings though, since information on what level of adult comprehension I must have before I see a film is useful and is not censorship.

Interesting view you have on dirty words, as I'd say censorship is about as dirty a word as you can get. Behind a veil of censorship a government can get on with the truly ugly things, safe in the knowledge that it won't get found out. How much dirtier do you think words can get?

And finally, kids are the red herring in this issue. The fight is against mandatory censorship of adults. Parents can already restrict their children's internet use. We are fighting government restriction of adult internet use here, so leave the kids out of this.

Almost Anonymous

12

Re: this is great news

Not all parents want the internet dumbed down to the level of children. And if they did, then how old do we target? 15? 10? 5? Should the internet just be a picture of coloured blocks and a teddy bear? Clearly a one-size suits all kid-safe internet is nonsense.

As for making the internet porn free, none of the offered technologies do this. They block a handful of sites. The other couple million porn sites are still available.

Bear in mind that these "peer to peer filtering" capabilities will, if they work at all, push peer to peer software suppliers to provide countermeasures. Encryption and a few other tweaks should nullify all this p2p filtering hype.

Ah, and why won't it "work"? The question should be "Why do you think it CAN work?" Leaving aside the fact that no one has specified what to "work" means here, the reason the pro-censorship "mob" says it will "work" is all about wishful thinking. If I fervently want something and scrunch up my eyes and whisper it three times, then I'll get it. How can you prove I won't?

Anonymous

13

sorry, you're wrong

Sorry, but you're completely wrong. Read here....
http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/sites/cyber.law.harvard.edu/files/Porn%20exposure_Michele%20Ybarra_June%2020.pdf
Accidental Exposure of all Children to X-Rated Pornography on the Internet is THE issue.
# now prepare for a deluge of the same old, tired drivel from the Anti-Censorship mob #

Anonymous

14

Very simple

It's called IPv6 and/or the encryption "switch" on the P2P client. Fixed!

ISP level internet filtering is not effective and teenagers are the ones to ask about how to bypass a filter...

Sydney

15

Everyone just ignore 'Dash', even he is too embarrassed to post a user name to the tripe he posts. Dash is an insecure individual, afraid of being 'confronted' by real world events, probably one of these Christians who cannot trust themselves to follow the book. This is all very simple, if you dont want your children looking at nasty events, simply either stop them from using the Internet, or filter your Internet at your PC. Everyone wins. Do not allow the mentally fragile and politically correct destroy the greatest communications medium of all time.

Anonymous

16

"Wont someone please think of the children!" - The Simpsons YUK!

Buddy The Simpsons is just one of the many programs on TV that's dumbing down our kids also for you other people out there i take the middle ground about filtering, i think that certain violent & nude PORNOFICATION acts is'nt something you'd want your kids to see & don't say you would stand there & let them because you'd be a huge liar.

Okay i've said this many times on other forums/comment sections and that is we need to filter out certain things the main ones are PORN/RAPE/VIOLENCE of course you're not going to get rid of it all but we must start somewhere , i hope the Gov does'nt listen to all you guys & the EFF instead listen to my proposal all the aforementioned R rated material should be restricted to the same standards as the Public TV networks but i hear you say the net has too many ch's to police this is true so we must 1st come up with a .xxx filter and any individual or Company who wants to run one of these sites must adhere to putting their site on the .xxx domain.

Otherwise they would be fined ,we could also do the same with any violent sites this would also help weed out those awful rape/underaged porn sites etc, once these crims (& they are crims) know they are likely to be heavily fined they will of course try another avenue but if you put up enough roadblocks you will eventually stop these bastards.

Also i want some hands up among you guys as to how many of you play Violent war games online etc ? come on be honest probably most of you, what you guys should be asking your self is are certain organisations/people already controlling you? these games are not helping world peace they keep WAR on the minds of most 14-70 old kids/men and continue to make money for them, that's right you buy game get excited & then want to kill as many people as you can ,you then want a faster computer to get the latest game & it continues, in the famous words of Jack YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH.

Women are much smarter in my opinion when it comes to this stuff , & by the way words of malice from you all won't stop me from what i truly believe & that is to change the world it must start at the most basic level there must be people like myself to occasionally tell other males they they could find another alternative to these Types of games & Porno/violent Movies & that life can be exciting without all that stuff.

Anonymous

17

Censorship

This whole thing is a red herring, it surely isnt about children, its about parents that are too lazzy to monitor what thier children do and want big brother to do it all for them, and its certainly about controling adults, China here we come, how long will it be before Rudd and Co block Google ???

Anonymous

18

Money talks - or in this case maybe not

Latest chinese attempts at controlling the flow of informaton have gone back to PC level filtering, in spite of all the big technology networking boys like CISCO lending their expertise to state oppression.

Of course - its a Windows executable - so you won't see Microsoft complaining. When the state requires that people install your product you got it made .... well in Microsofts case maybe that should read 'more' made.

Oh yes.. of course ... all in the name of the children.

Anonymous

19

"Wont someone please think of the children!" - The Simpsons YUK!

Indeed! I'm thinking of the children and I've come up with a proposal all right thinking people will accept.

Everyday on our roads and highways paedophiles, thieves, robbers, sex maniacs and other evildoers are driving about committing their nefarious activities with impunity.

I propose we filter this traffic by establishing armed roadblocks at all intersections. Vehicles will be searched and occupants interrogated. Little trailers like those used for dog washers can be used for onsite waterboarding of suspects to eliminate the false positives. Sure it may slow traffic a little but only those who support child sex will complain about that - and it will have the benefit of lowering the road toll. Win win.

And of course with increases in technology we'll be able to speed up the slower rate of traffic - if that makes sense. For example - you could be cleared at a central clearing station and have a barcode tattoed on your forehead... a quick scan at a roadblock and through you go. Or maybe you could just stay home and not go anywhere or do anything. Watch your filtered TV , browse your filtered internet, read your filtered newspaper and drink your filtered coffee. That's surely the safest option anyway.

Anonymous

20

Why not ban cars all together

I think we should go further and ban cars all together, after all they kill more people in Australia than Guns and we have just about banned them.
Don't let anyone do anything and we will all be safe and free.

Anonymous

21

y mandatory?

Just have it as opt-in feature, but dont force everyone else to put up with it,

Whats next? no ULP in cars? only LPG?
Nah, that won't happen.
Because the gov gets 38cents per litre sold, in tax.

Almost Anonymous

22

Re: sorry, you're wrong

If you actually believed that accidental exposure to pornography harmed children you would be demanding an optional filter, for use by those who have children. Luckily for you, these already exist and can be used by whomever wants one. Congratulations, you have already won!

However, since you are instead demanding a mandatory filter (while occasionally taking time out to call your opponents names), you must have some other aim in mind. In short, this is nothing to do with children, and your behaviour makes this obvious.

As I said earlier, we are fighing for the rights of adults here. Everyone who mentions children is muddying the waters with irrelevant emotive nonsense.

Anonymous

23

"Everyday on our roads and highways paedophiles, thieves etc"

Hey to the Bozo who posted that along with other stupid suggestions that were made to make me look bad,they are obviously your extension to what i would do in addition to my post, let me tell you something i gave some clear examples of what i think should happen as i said i don't expect the likes of you to agree but having said that (& as usual) you did'nt go through my post point by point so you(& countless others like you)have again cherry picked a couple of things out of my comment & simply tried ridicule my ideas.

You're going to have to fight me on every point & then we'll see who has the most relevant argument, hopefully you
have enough time to do this.

Anonymous

24

I agree

and let me say this:

A wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom

Anonymous

25

red herrings

"This whole thing is a red herring". So the whole thing is a red herring now is it? Someone mentioned earlier that children are the red herring in this issue. Quite the opposite.....they are the reason why Mandatory ISP Filtering is needed.
http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/children-go-online/End%20of%20Award%20Report,%20UK%20Children%20Go%20Online,%20Sonia%20Livingston.pdf
The REAL red herring in this issue is that Political Content will somehow be filtered. Thats just plain rubbish to even suggest that this would happen in a democratic country like
Australia.
Strange how the Anti-Censorship "lobbyists" follow the same lines of rhetoric that the Internet Industry Aaaociation (Australia) layed down in 2006, isn't it?
http://www.iia.net.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=462&Itemid=32
Makes you wonder doesn't it?.....

Anonymous

26

"Someone mentioned earlier that children are the red herring in this issue. Quite the opposite.....they are the reason why Mandatory ISP Filtering is needed."

No, inadequate parenting is the problem. If parents stopped being so damned lazy and monitored their children's activities on the internet, or even took the step of installing a filter themselves (seriously how lazy can you be) then we wouldn't have this issue. Parents who are this lazy and inept who demand the government to take on part of their parenting duties should not be allowed to have children.

Ken

27

No, actually YOU're wrong.

"sorry, you're wrong"

Did you even READ the document you linked to? There is nothing in that document that even remotely actsuggests that X-rated pornography is harmful to children. In fact, if anything, the document indicates the exact opposite. Here's a few quotes:

"Based upon youth-report, the Internet does not appear
to be a ‘risk environment’ for x-rated exposures
differently than the offline environment (movies and
magazines)."

"Only when we are clear about the influence the Internet is
and is not having on youth behavior will we be able to affect
appropriate intervention strategies."

So the author is not clear about what influence the Internet has on youth behaviour.

In any case, even the pro-censorship people must question the efficacy of the government's proposal. The most recent version of proposal from the government (and it changes almost daily) is that they are going to filter only RC material from the ACMA blacklist.

"According to ACMA, 51 per cent of the blacklist, or 499 URLs, is RC content."
(<A HREF="http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/web/2009/06/03/1243708489312.html">source</A>)

Google reported in July 2008 that they had indexed <A HREF="http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/we-knew-web-was-big.html">1 trillion unique URLs</A>. That's 1,000,000,000,000 unique URLs (and growing at several billion per day). And the Australian government is currently only going to filter an effectively static list of 499 of those. That's 0.0000000499% of the web.

Is it really worth spending more than $44m of taxpayer money on something like this? Or would it be better to spend that money on educating parents and children alike on how to better manage their Internet experience, and to provide additional funding to the AFP to track down the people who are creating the child pr0nography in the first place?

Mitchel

28

Waste of money

This filter is nothing but an expensive farce, Its the parents job to supervise thier kids either on the internet or watching tv, Place filters on your OWN pc's and have the PC visible. The Government is not a parent substitute its your own damn responsibility to look after your own kids. Not waste tax payers money on such a stupid thing as a ISP filter.

Anonymous

29

What democratic processes?

Backdoor deals about mandatory censorship to the entire country made in secret. I can't see a problem with that...what democratic processes?

X

30

The ironic and stupid thing about all of this is that it will make the real criminals, child porn peddlers, etc, adopt tactics that make them much harder to catch in australia.

Google 'VPN' and within 10 minutes you will find that for $15 a month they can have an encrypted link to a machine in a foreign country from which they can peddle as much child porn as they like.

Also because it is easy to use encryption at a similar level as the banks, military, the australian government can't just peek inside and see what is going on.

I can list several other examples of why this filtering method is stupid, and why it only keeps seriously stupid people out of prohibited content.

This is, and has always been, a knee jerk reaction from a minister who barely knew what the internet was before he became communications minister. (Which doesnt surprise me, politicians don't get paid for being experts in the portfolios they have an influence over)

Mostly Anonymous

31

Re: Everyday on our roads and highways paedophiles, thieves etc

Your incoherent ranting is quaint but unsporting. You've called someone "bozo", "stupid", and "the likes of you". All those insults mean we should ignore you because you lack ideas and must make up for them with belligerence. Please take more care to be civil and rational next time.

Now, the analogy with roads and criminals who use them is directly relevent to the proposed internet censorship system. Because both criminals and law abiding citizens use the internet, the government is proposing to set up roadblocks on the internet which will inconvenience all internet users. Why would you support this and not support armed checkpoints on roads which are clearly and undeniably used by criminals also?

As for rebutting your arguments point by point, which arguments are these? Are you talking about the post that asserted that people who play war games somehow have something wrong with them? If so, you'll have to put your arguments more logically since they start by assuming that filtering is a good thing. We don't believe that, so you should construct an argument about why a filter of any sort would help.

Remember, anyone who needs a filter can already go and get one, so you should supply arguments on why a mandatory filter helps adults. All other cases are already covered by existing commercial products.

Anon too...

32

RE: Unsurprising yet surprising all in one

I think that you may want to actuallt research what you are talking about here.

First of all ENEX Labs did not test any ISP based filters. Were you aware of this? Or have you been misinformed?

They tested PC based filters. Different products, different implementations, different scope, different stats and results...

"Also, I wonder what has changed in the past few months that mean the "pass by" filtering used prevents impact on performance, when in the original trials conducted by Enex in Tasmania last year it was those sorts of products that resulted in the most severe perforamce degradation?"

And do you have any referrable sources that confirm which products tested were "pass by" filters, and their results? Do you actually know what "pass by" means?

I am totally interested in any confirmed empirical data from actual tests done with the products and scope foreseen for this proposed filtering. Less interested in the myriad assumptions, doomsayers, political activists, paranoids, ACLs etc that are causing so much noise around the subject.

Anonymous

33

Re: Someone mentioned earlier

Now that is a good line:

"Parents who are this lazy and inept who demand the government to take on part of their parenting duties should not be allowed to have children."

If you think that internet filtering was an assault on freedoms, now we have people deciding who is allowed to be a parent or not...

Fundamentalists of the world, religious and otherwise, welcome to the new Australia, where have a new group who have decided they want to vet who gets to have children or not... lol

Will they all have to sit exams set by the activist group and be certified as "suitable". Sounds worse that China's birth control policies.

All in the name of keeping "internet censorship" at bay? Just keep the people who do not commit to home filters from having children...

Anonymous

34

"First of all ENEX Labs did not test any ISP based filters. Were you aware of this? Or have you been misinformed?"

I believe you may be the one who is misinformed. See: http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/_assets/main/lib310554/isp-level_internet_content_ filtering_trial-report.pdf

"And do you have any referrable sources that confirm which products tested were "pass by" filters, and their results? Do you actually know what "pass by" means?"

See page 20 of that PDF to see which ones featured Pass-By filtering. The meaning of Pass-By is given on page 15.

Anonymous

35

ISP Filtering Trial report - corrected link

www.acma.gov.au/webwr/_assets/main/lib310554/isp-level_internet_content_filtering_trial-report.pdf

Ken

36

Re: Re: "sorry, you're wrong"

Did you even READ the document you linked to? There is absolutely nothing in that document that even remotely suggests that X-rated pornography is harmful to children. In fact, if anything, the document indicates the exact opposite. Here's a few quotes:

"Based upon youth-report, the Internet does not appear
to be a ‘risk environment’ for x-rated exposures
differently than the offline environment (movies and
magazines)."

"Only when we are clear about the influence the Internet is
and is not having on youth behavior will we be able to affect appropriate intervention strategies."

So the author is not clear about what influence the Internet has on youth behaviour.

In any case, even the pro-censorship people must question the efficacy of the government's proposal. The most recent version of proposal from the government (and it changes almost daily) is that they are going to filter only RC material from the ACMA blacklist.

"According to ACMA, 51 per cent of the blacklist, or 499 URLs, is RC content."
(<A HREF="http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/web/2009/06/03/1243708489312.html">source</A>)

Google reported in July 2008 that they had indexed <A HREF="http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/we-knew-web-was-big.html">1 trillion unique URLs</A>. That's 1,000,000,000,000 unique URLs (and growing at several billion per day). And the Australian government is currently only going to filter an effectively static list of 499 of those. That's 0.0000000499% of the web.

Is it really worth spending more than $44m of taxpayer money on something like this? Or would it be better to spend that money on educating parents and children alike on how to better manage their Internet experience, and to provide additional funding to the AFP to track down the people who are creating the child pr0nography in the first place?

Anonymous

37

Time to get informed

I read some of the comments here and wonder how people can be either for or against filtering without first doing your own research regarding what is proposed. Both sides of the debate have their "red herrings" and both sides have used emotive arguements. (Child porn and Chinese style censorship being the ends of that spectrum).

This is an important issue, and involves the future of communications of not just Australia but the enitre "free" world - as we will be a test case if this goes ahead. By future of communications I mean that the internet will become more and more the primary source of information exchange in coming years. This includes the good stuff (education, business, networking, entertainment) and the bad stuff (crime, terrorism, extreme violence and extreme porn.)

So go and objectively analyse the points for and against. Think for yourself and weed out the mis-information and try to put aside your own preconceptions.

Ask yourself a couple of questions:
Why would this filter need to be done at the ISP level, and not at the home PC level? What about simple home based tracking software that will let a parent review what their kids have been doing?

How will a list of a few thousand "bad" websites keep our children safe, when all the "bad" stuff keeps growing exponetially and could number in the millions? Who and how do you maintain such a list? What about P2P/filesharing where the bulk of internet traffic now resides?

How is a filter built today going to evolve with the rapidly changing face of the internet? Who and how will it be altered?

Why would the list need to be kept secret? If the filter is foolproof, there should be no need for secrecy - in fact political parties looking for easy points could wheel it out and proudly say "Look what we have saved you from."
The film and literature classification scheme is transparent - when a film/book/game is banned there is a record - why should the internet be different?

Will the filter help to catch criminals / pedophiles / terrorists? Will the filter stop the spammers / fraudsters?What is the best method for doing so?

I have gone looking for and found answers to these questions. I'm a parent and I do not believe that the proposed filter will make my child's travels on the internet safe. In the close to 15 years that I have used the internet I have accidentally had porn appear on my screen a handful of times. I have never had child porn appear on my screen.

Anonymous

38

why would it have to be isp level?

"Why would this filter need to be done at the ISP level, and not at the home PC level? "
because this is the ONLY way that ALL kids can be protected from accidentally coming across x-rated porn, and worse.

Will the filter help to catch criminals / pedophiles / terrorists? "
its not meant to, its meant to do one thing only, protect kids from the worst content on the internet. The Federal Police has its own Cybercrime Division to deal with these other things.

"In the close to 15 years that I have used the internet I have accidentally had porn appear on my screen a handful of times. I have never had child porn appear on my screen."
You must be the luckiest man alive ..LOL.. 4 out of 5 of my kids have been accidentally exposed to X-Rated porn on the internet.Read this http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/pdf/CV138.pdf and you will notice that this risk is increasing steadily. Obviously something has to be done and I applaud this Government for doing something for kids and not just talking about it.
#to those that say that there would be too many sites to filter without having any speed degradation.....how come OpenDNS can check a URL list of 464,543 sites ,just in the pornography category alone,with no noticeable speed degradation?

Anonymous

39

"because this is the ONLY way that ALL kids can be protected from accidentally coming across x-rated porn, and worse."

The mandatory filter is not intended to block out X rated porn, only illegal and RC material. How is this going to protect your children?

"You must be the luckiest man alive ..LOL.. 4 out of 5 of my kids have been accidentally exposed to X-Rated porn on the internet"

Do you have a client side filter on your PC to protect your children? If so and the porn still got through, how do you think having the same or similar technology working at ISP level will work any better?

Anonymous

40

the ONLY way

"The mandatory filter is not intended to block out X rated porn, only illegal and RC material. How is this going to protect your children?"
I think, if a good case could be made for it,in regards to the negative effects its having on children (which it is), it probably will be extended to x-rated porn.If the Government is fair dinkum about protecting kids they will.
I wouldn't expect the ISP Filter to be the only part of the solution.Nobody would.
A good system, however, would be to use the Mandatory ISP Filter to handle the worst content and individuals could use OpenDNS or a PC based filter for other undesirable content.That would be great!

Ken

41

why would it have to be isp level?

"because this is the ONLY way that ALL kids can be protected from accidentally coming across x-rated porn, and worse."

How is ISP-level blocking based on a static list of 499 URLs out of more than 1 trillion URLs (1,000,000,000,000) going to achieve this? And why does it need to be mandatory?

References:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/web/2009/06/03/1243708489312.html
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/we-knew-web-was-big.html

How is this more effective than PC-based filtering?

"#to those that say that there would be too many sites to filter without having any speed degradation.....how come OpenDNS can check a URL list of 464,543 sites ,just in the pornography category alone,with no noticeable speed degradation?"

That would be because OpenDNS works by blocking entire sites (domains), not individual URLs, as opposed to the Australian government's proposal, which is to block specific URLs.

Anonymous

42

"Of course - its a Windows executable - so you won't see Microsoft complaining. When the state requires that people install your product you got it made .... well in Microsofts case maybe that should read 'more' made."

And when was the Chinese Government planning on requiring that people pay for the copies of windows that they install? lol

But I do find it somewhat interesting that given china's big push towards the development of a linux distribution called Red Flag that their new censorware won't run on it.

Anonymous

43

http://www.arnnet.com.au/article/307138/internet_filter_isps_reveal_clean-filter_technologies#comment-3740

Could not have put it better myself.

Tritty

44

Can anyone on here please tell me how a 44 million dollar filter blocking a few thousand pages of supposedly child porn, is going to protect Australian children on the internet? If a teenager has access to 100 cartons of beer and you wanted to stop him getting drunk, would you pay an enormous sum of money to remove one six pack? Let alone in the middle of a financial crisis?

Personally I'd spend the money on law enforcement catching the persons illegally supplying beer to minors in the first place, so its stopped at the source. But what would I know.

Anonymous

45

Can anyone on here please tell me

<em>Can anyone on here please tell me how a 44 million dollar filter blocking a few thousand pages of supposedly child porn, is going to protect Australian children on the internet?</em>

It's not. Thats just the motherhood issue used to attack opposition to the states plan to develop infrastructure for controlling the free flow on information on the internet.

Best just ignore the 'save the children' people - they haven't got anything new to say and repeatedly pointing out the stupidity of their position is falling for the trap.

Anonymous

46

Be a parent and stop using technology as an excuse to avoid it.

What is going on here? The people in this group are sitting around discussing technology that attempts to eleviate there responsibilities as a parent! You people are dreaming! You can't use technology to protect your children..... thats your job as a parent. This technology is simply not needed.
Children don't need to be protected from accidently stumbling across porn (child or other wise) on the internet. They need to be educated by their parents that it is there and should be avoided. Young children are no more interested in looking at porn than they are at looking at retirement homes - it doesn't interest them. If they stumble across it, so what? Hopefully if they are using a computer unsupervised by their parents then their parents have already done their duty as a parent and educated the child on what they might find. This being the case, the child will not have any interest in the porn and will move on to more creative things. No harm done, no money spent.
Perhaps the 44 Million should be spent on educating parents to be parents and stop looking for technology to do it for you.
The real issue here is that parents don't feel comfortable doing their job and they can't talk to their kids about the crap they might find on the internet. If you don't want to take responsibility for raising your kids, don't have any and leave it to someone who will.

Anonymous

47

Just some numbers

Have a look at a few numbers:-

Last July Google announced they had catalogued over a trillion web pages, increasing at round a billion a day.

A google search using the term "XXX" will get you around a quarter of a billion hits.

A Google search on "sex" will get you around three quarters of a billion hits.

Now, have a look at these numbers, and can someone explain how a blacklist of less than 1000 pages will make a significant difference to your child's potential exposure to pornography? Quite clearly, the only possible use for such a filter is to hide from naive users (who don't bypass the filter) a small number of pages that are inconvenient to the government of the day, a process that is enabled by the secrecy involved. Without the secrecy it is clear that the filter would have no practical use.

Can anyone think of a better use for $44m (plus the amount to come out of ISP's pockets - i.e. yours)?

Anonymous

48

fudgey figures

"A google search using the term "XXX" will get you around a quarter of a billion hits.

A Google search on "sex" will get you around three quarters of a billion hits."

Neither "XXX" or "sex" typed in Google would give any comparative results in regards to X-Rated Pornography.Not to mention the amount of search results that are duplicated You'd have to be much more specific than that, and you know it!
A Mandatory ISP Filter will do exactly what its intended to do (as the Filter trial results will show)and thats filter the worse of the worst content from the internet so that all children will be protected from accidental exposure to it.

"Can anyone think of a better use for $44m (plus the amount to come out of ISP's pockets - i.e. yours)?"

Are you really a "Concerned Citizen" worried sick about the Government wasting your hard-earned dollar? I've really got my doubts when you come up with fudged figures like this.
Personally I think $44m is chicken-feed if it does what its intended to do.

Anonymous

49

Fudgey Figures

"Neither "XXX" or "sex" typed in Google would give any comparative results in regards to X-Rated Pornography.Not to mention the amount of search results that are duplicated You'd have to be much more specific than that, and you know it!
A Mandatory ISP Filter will do exactly what its intended to do (as the Filter trial results will show)and thats filter the worse of the worst content from the internet so that all children will be protected from accidental exposure to it."

I make no suggestion that this search got an exact number of X-rated Pornography pages. What it does is gives an order of magnitude number of pages that could be considered as "the worst of the worst" and would need to be looked at for filtering - certainly the first page of hits would qualify as X-rated judging from their description.

But quite apart from the search results, I suggest that if a blacklist of less than a thousand out of over a trillion pages is the total number of X-rated pages (which I do not believe for a moment) then the chances of accidental exposure to them is vanishingly small.If you believe otherwise, I suggest a course in elementary statistical theory might serve you well. So either the filter is unnecessary or it is ineffective.

As to how the "filter trial" will show anything, given the secrecy with which it is being carried out is a matter for conjecture. And whether it would do exactly what it is intended to do, I suppose that depends on what the intention is - so far the Minister's statements on this seem to change every time he opens his mouth. And the conspiracy theorists, of course can have a field day with speculating on the "real" intention, seeing that there is no clear intention to do anything achievable.

And for the amount of money involved being chickenfeed - you must live in a different world to me, one without, just to pick a local news item today, a pregnant twelve year old and DOCS pleading shortage of resources as their excuse for not having done anything to prevent it.

Anonymous

50

figures can lie

This debate isn't about "the children". It's about power. All of the ACL fundamentalists seem to want to impose their will on what everybody else can say and do.

They are like the Taliban (VERY like the Taliban) - "you must accept our supreme power over you and our religious right to control every part of your life".

In case anybody in the ACL is listening instead of shouting, here are a couple of points to ponder:

1) Despite Conroy's attempt to buy some votes by pretending the filter will stop all "inappropriate" material, it will only catch a small part, so well-meaning but technically ignorant parents will rely on it instead of watching their kids when they are online;

2) Pro-filter lobbyists use child porn as a stalking horse for their rhetoric about children. But low life who access child porn are too cunning to expose that filth to detection by a filter, so they will be further underground making them harder to catch. Child porn is illegal right now, and the filter will change nothing in this regard.

Anonymous

51

ACL is mainstream actually

If you think ACL members are all Fundamentalists you really don't know your enemy, do you?.The vast majority of ACL members are just average, mainstream, moderate Christians that want to see the right thing done by politicians for the good of society.In regards to this Filtering debate we want to see safeguards put in place by this Government to protect ALL children from accidental exposure to X-rated pornography (and graphic violence too by the way), regardless of their race,colour,religion,their parents finances or their parents computer technical ability.Obviously to achieve this for ALL children it HAS to be mandatory.

"low life who access child porn are too cunning to expose that filth to detection by a filter, so they will be further underground making them harder to catch."......
Another furfy...Paedophiles can't be any further underground than they already are (and have been since 1994), in regards to the actual distribution of CP.They are some of the most tech-savvy criminals you can get! If you read the many docs they have online at the Australian Institute of Criminology you can read for yourself.Mandatory Filtering won't curb the distribution of CP much at all- no-one has ever said that it would.The Federal Polices Cybercrime division has all the resources it needs to tackle this and will continue to be well-funded by this Government.It WILL, however stop our kids being exposed to this most sickening of all crimes.

Anonymous

52

ACL is mainstream actually

Reminds me of a joke: God showing a newcomer around heaven pointing out all the various sects and religious types enjoying their afterlife - Newcomer points to a big brick wall and asks "Whats behind that?" - God says "Oh that - thats the Christians, they like to think they're here on their own"

We can only hope that one day science comes up with a cure for religion.

Hands off my kids you christian madman. I have significantly more concern that my kids learn how to drive a car safely than that they may accidentally see a womans breast or a mans penis, or heaven forbid, that they may see a mans penis being put into a womans vagina. They get way too much sexuality pushed on them in legal commercial advertising for the triviality of porn on the internet to be a concern

My real concern is that my kids will inherit a world where I haven't done enough to protect their freedoms, and that all they can know is what the government or commercial interests deem it desirable that they know - or that they succumb to the moral panicking and false concerns of those that want to regulate our lives to suit their narrow religious values or their greedy commercial interests

Tritty

53

"It WILL, however stop our kids being exposed to this most sickening of all crimes."

So now were spending 44m to stop children looking at child porn? Even the ministers supporters are confused about what the aim of the policy is.

Anonymous

54

It WILL, however stop our kids being exposed to this most sicken

<i>It WILL, however stop our kids being exposed to this most sickening of all crimes.</i>

How will it do that when by far the most common occurence of child sexual abuse is with family members, relatives, or someone known and trusted by the family.

Are you advocating removing ALL children from families, regardless of sex race parental skills etc? Thats a bit extreme isn't it?

One day science will have a cure for religion.

Anonymous

55

filter the net

"One day science will have a cure for religion".....

?!?? this is NOT a Secular vs Religious debate....
There has been calls from academics since 2003 to do something about filtering content from the internet that is harmful to children
https://www.tai.org.au/file.php?file=MR140.pdf
Since then there has bee a steady inflow of statistics from overseas showing the dramatic Increase in Accidental Exposure of Children to pornography and graphic violence http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/pdf/CV138.pdf
Now that the technology has arrived to do the job of protecting them (getting back to the actual article)then lets just do it! We either care about our future generations or we don't. We either place their welfare above our own or we protect our own selfish interests. The choice is simple......

Almost Anonymous

56

Re: ACL is mainstream actually

Intrigued by this bold claim that the ACL is mainstream, I looked at the ACL web site.

The home page lists a bunch of articles, about half of them the general Christian stuff I expected. Of the rest a number are political (arguing against a bill of rights because it would dilute christian influence), which I guess is to be expected given they are a pressure group.

But some are quite worrying, such as the article that argues AGAINST compassion, and the one that claims that christians in the UK are being persecuted by muslims.

Without these two articles, I could accept the ACL as mainstream. With these articles prominently on their web site, they are solidly in the "fundamentalist" camp.

At least I now understand that they have no idea how objectionable the forced filtering of the internet is to free thinking individuals, since forcing their view on others is fine by them.

So, just for you ACL folk out there: filtering the internet for adults is extremely objectionable and will be resisted. Your aim of reducing my range of thought to suit your limited world view will not succeed. Thank you, and have a nice day.

Almost Anonymous

57

Re: filter the net

You keep dragging children into this. The needs of children are already covered by commercially available products. Attempting to justify filtering the internet for adults because children (of an unspecified age) may see something objectionable is as ridiculous as banning steak for adults because babies have no teeth.

As for this being a religious debate, step back and you will see the religous on one side and everyone else on the other. If it's not religiously motivated it sure looks that way.

Anonymous

58

There has been calls from

<em>There has been calls from academics since 2003 to do something about filtering content from the internet that is harmful to children </em>

<strong>UALC libraries support the right to provide unfiltered access to all information in order to maintain intellectual and academic freedom for all users </strong>

That's actually a quote I lifted off another 'academic' position paper. For every academic you find in support - I will find one against.

<em>Since then there has been a steady inflow of statistics from overseas showing the dramatic Increase in Accidental Exposure of Children to pornography and graphic violence http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/pdf/CV138.pdf </em>

Carp!! The only thing that is shown with such studies is that more children use the internet - not that the internet is becoming more dangerous. The reverse is true.

If you actually read the paper you refer to you'd see that the 'dramatic increase' of children reporting seeing a distressing unwanted image has changed from 6% in 2000 to 9% in 2005 - a figure that would seem to readily correlate with the increase in youth use of the internet. More time on the net - more exposure. Gosh.. that must be why when I did social science statistics at uni they said that most social science research is 'true but trite'. They call the change a massive fifty percent increase. I call it less than 1 in 10 in 2000 and less than 1 in 10 in 2005.

You know - I'd bet I'd get a higher figure than that if I asked kids who watched the evening news whether they'd seen a distressing unwanted image on TV in the last WEEK.

<em>Now that the technology has arrived to do the job of protecting them (getting back to the actual article)then lets just do it! </em>

Well - getting back to the actual article - I see that the technology they are talking about is in fact designed to do WAY more than just simple web filtering. It would seem from this article that the legitimate concerns that net users have about the potential for state abuse of that power is something we should definitely be alarmed about and should be what is under discussion - if it weren't for the religious zealots pushing their kiddie porn barrow we might actually be able to do so.

<em>We either care about our future generations or we don't. We either place their welfare above our own or we protect our own selfish interests. The choice is simple......
</em>

Always simple to the zealot. I've raised 5 kids through the internet age and access to porn was a minor issue compared to MSN overuse - viruses and malware from unsafely downloaded software and excessive torrent downloads. Bullying on MSN was a major issue at one point, and so on... certainly not kiddie porn. You'd have to be looking hard to find that, so frankly I'm rather wondering how these people seem to see so much of it that they think their kids need protecting.

Ultimately its all about teaching the kids how to protect themselves in the real world, not hiding it from them.

I'd rather teach my kids to drive safely than worry that they may see a womans breast or a mans penis. My real concern is that they may inherit a world where I haven't done enough to protect their freedoms and they too succumb to the moral panic and false concerns of the those who would impose their narrow values on the rest of us.

Anonymous

59

That's the most rediculous argument EVER!
Little boys have been playing war in one form or another for thousands of years yet alone computer games,Do not bring that into the argument.
Same could then be said of girls playing with dolls then could it? All of the problems girls face these days with trying to look good,You blame the shape of the doll which has over the years changed according to public trends,We ban all dolls now or what?
It comes down to common sense for most things in life,Regardless of subject matter.
It is the parents fault,In this fast paced society we now live in, They want a quick fix solution for everything at any cost.
Even though in the long term their basic freedoms of which some of those same people probably lost ancestors in foreign wars fought and died for are being slowly taken away bit by bit. In the end we will all be living in padded houses so we can't hurt ourselves, WAKE UP and take responsibilty for your own actions instead of finding a scapegoat and taking away everyone else's including your owns freedom.
Maybe take the time to read some science fiction novels(George Orwell) from a time when we never had this technology, See how alarmingly right their predictions were and are unfolding, For example cameras everywhere(just look at London now),Britain has a staggering 4.2million CCTV cameras - one for every 14 people in the country - and 20 per cent of cameras globally. It has been calculated that each person is caught on camera an average of 300 times daily.
Feel safer? What if that same technology is used against you for undue purposes.
It doesn't prevent the crime from still taking place,Just like this filtering will do nothing except hurt the innocent.
Hahaha in regards to some people not having children if they don't have time for their kids,Who knows in future what could happen.
Maybe a new policy will come out 100 years from now that anyone with an IQ lower than 70 will not be allowed to have children, Thus preventing a huge amount of social problems down the line when they mature into adults themselves!
Crazy idea or is it? Where does it stop people,
WAKE UP and smell the roses,RESPECT,RESPONSIBILTY,DISCIPLINE,PUNISHMENT should be taught in schools, Never had these problems when our parents/grandparents were growing up,You acted up you were punished,from that you learnt respect!
Do gooders,religious groups nowadays think they are helping but in fact making matters worse just as is the case with this filtering nonsense!

Anonymous

60

not lucky, just careful

It is not luck that has saved me from accidental exposure to porn, it is knowledge. Like leave the "safe search' filter switched on in the search engine I use. Reading the preview before clicking the link - the porn is usually easy to spot.
Knowing that the little "X" in the top left of the window makes the bad things go away.

And yes the AFP do have a cybercrimes division - and just imagine how much more work they could do if all this "filter" money was directed to them.

So, the computer terminal at the hospital I work at, and the one I use at the University I teach at, both need to be filtered to save ALL kids from accidental exposure to porn? That seems a bit of a stretch - no kids ever use those computers. No, a good home based filter would make it easier to see what the little ones have been up to - and I'd also know if they "accidentally" found porn. We could then have a little chat.

But you didn't respond to the rest of my questions.
- How does a filter of a few thousand pages make the billions of pages out there "safe"?
- Will the filter stop the predators in the chat rooms?
- will the filter stop P2P traffic?
- Will the filter stop the spammers and fraudsters?
- How will the filter adapt to the massive evolution the internet will undergo in the next decade?
- Why (if the filter is mandatory) does the list need to be secret? Why should a publisher of a book that is banned be given notice and be able to appeal or have the community appeal on their behalf, yet a web publisher will find their work dissappears into secret black hole? With no mechanism for appeal?

Someoneelse

61

How fucking lame has the human race become?
Oh noes, I saw 3mm of exposed skin on that woman's arm...
Sure by trading freedom for security you can sleep easier at night, that's what every dictator and would-be ruler will tell you. Get a brain. Anything that a person wants, they will ultimately obtain. whether it's an ebook of hary potter or child porn. You're so worried about blocking the internet that you have ceased to understand that the issue is not about access, it's a responsibly using that access.

Go rot in hell you bigot trash.

Anonymous

62

Self delusion

The Government, and anyone who knows anything about the internet, knows it's not possible to filter all unwanted and undesirable content from the net. This plan is a waste of money, that will create more problems than it solves, and lull lazy minded people into a false sense of security. Anyone who thinks this filter is a good idea, is free to go to live in China or Saudi Arabia, where their every desire for oppression can be realised. This filter can`t and won't deliver what you expect!

Anonymous

63

"A Mandatory ISP Filter will do exactly what its intended to do (as the Filter trial results will show)and thats filter the worse of the worst content from the internet so that all children will be protected from accidental exposure to it."

Do you possess the capacity for critical thought? Do you believe everything politicians say? How about marketers and advertisers? Gossip mags? Tabloids?
Dozens of people have eloquently explained, why it's a statistical and logistical impossibility to filter any more than a minuscule fraction of the material you find offensive. Parenting is for parents. The Government has no business dictating what I can see and read.

Anonymous

64

Late night 1900 ad's

Anyone managed to successfully filter spam yet?
Can we drop this impossible internet filter nonsense, and concentrate on getting rid of those perverse, late-night television mobile phone porn ad's. They're atrocious. If Conman and the ACL want to ban stuff, let them start with that! You'll get cheers instead of condemnation.

Roddy

65

Filter spam? Sure...

The success rates in filtering spam has inreased dramatically overt the past 5 years, as have filtering etchnologies and the success rates for content.

Nothing on the internet is perfect, and it would be true nonsense to expect or demand that from any safety, security, regulation or filter technology...

Roddy

66

What rights do you have?

I have some very bad news for you, be ready for a shock...

The gov has been deciding and dictating what you cannot see and read for 90 years.

Today we call it the Classification Board, it began as "Customs".

I expect you just never noticed it, never felt it, never smellt it, never minded it.... But it was and is still there.

And now they will apply, as best they can, the same procedures and statutes to the internet.

You may or may not have noticed, but the ISP filtering is not regulated by what I find offensive, however this being a democracy (handy thing Democracy...) I can have input to that...

It will apply to RC content, will be reguolated by classification board procedures and review, and can be initiated by Australian citizens submitting a complaint.

Not decided by a complaint, but initiated.

We call that democracy. Real handy political system this democracy.

So parents can keep on parenting, nothing will stop them. Any derros out there who denigrate parents by suggesting they will drop the ball due to this filtering are so far removed from reality that they critically require medical help... lol

Parents have had this support and system for the last 90 years with all other content mediums and dissemination forms, and have yet to drop the ball.

Why would they start now? Dopey assumption, and an insult to parents...

It is always so enlightening when someone accuses another person of lacking the capcity for critical thought simply because they disagree with them, that says something about the accuser...

Roddy

67

Oh how we suffer here in oppressive Australia.... lol

The government and anyone who knows anything about the drug trade, knows it's not possible to filter all drugs and undesirables from the streets.

Yet they continue to make serious and determined efforts to improve the situation...

It is so easy to sit at a keyboard and make some unsubstantiated and courageous claim that it:

"will create more problems than it solves, and lull lazy minded people into a false sense of security."

Speculation and assetions, nothing more and pretty empty. Based on zero facts, just claims.

Tell you what, you zip over to China, try writing up your eloquent comments on a blog there and then let us all know how well it went.

In the meantime you may wish to consider how good you have it here in Australia...

Olivia

68

Tanks for this list man. really appreciate it. Was looking for a similar one on the net.

Olivia

69

Tanks for this list man. really appreciate it. Was looking for a similar
one on the net.

Allie

70

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Allie

71

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72

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73

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